In between Christmas and New Years Day, Aidan turned 9!
Last year Mike and I spent some time with him brainstorming ideas for a Carnival-themed birthday party. Unfortunately it wasn't able to happen for his 8th birthday, but one year later we all managed to pull it off.
The party was planned for the afternoon, and Aidan invited about 15 kids. Luckily there were just as many adults on hand to help out.
Auntie Sara worked up the invitations while I pulled together some signs for each of the game stations.
Susanna made booklets that contained game tickets for each station and the kids were supposed to try each game once before going back to their favorite ones.
Each kid got a ticket booklet and a container to hold the tickets that they won at each game.
After all the games had been played once, they could start cashing in their tickets for prizes.
In addition to corndogs, juice boxes and chips, Susanna got a new cotton candy machine for the party; Sara was a trooper as she cranked out cone after cone.
We had six game stations, including:
The Guessing Game: where the winning guesses took home the jars of candy.
A Squirt Gun Shooting Game: ping pong balls were set up on bottles, and each kid had 10 seconds to squirt as many off as possible. Note the cool labels applied to empty beer and wine bottles.
The Balloon Pop: a classic using darts, balloons and big sheet of plywood.
The Bean Bag Toss: tossing beanbags through holes cut out of plywood.
The Ping Pong Bounce: a tricky one that required some precision. Kids could bounce the balls off the floor or off a small wooden ramp. This was the hardest game, but I was surprised at how many times this one was attempted.
The Ring Toss: our only purchased game, which included inflatable "posts" and plastic rings to be tossed over each post.
This portion of the party lasted about two hours, which was followed up by eating, presents, and then finally an hour or so of running around outside and getting really muddy and hyped up on sugar. All of the adults "crashed" at about the same time as the kids. Needless to say, we slept well that night.