The past few years a few friends and I have put together a carnival in the cul-de-sac of our street to celebrate the end of school. Over the past year, our neighborhood has changed a lot, with tons of move-outs and new move-ins. In fact, it’s still happening. It’s been a big change. I’d say the biggest change lately, though, has been within myself. I’m not the same girl I was a year ago or even a few months ago. I’m still changing, but one thing I know for sure is I’m no longer the girl who sits around waiting for things to happen. If I want to do something, I do it. So this year even though the ladies who started the carnival have moved away, I decided to recruit a few of my other friends, still do the carnival, but make it neighborhood-wide. I am LDS and invited our whole ward/neighborhood to a free carnival. I have been reading the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and in one paragraph (chapter nine) it says, “Don’t aim so high, people will think you are crazy” talking about when Andrew Carnegie suggested he devote twenty years to doing the research for the book. When one mom called me and asked me “if I was crazy” and another messaged me the same question I knew I’d thought big enough. Ha! Change is what you make of it. And if I’m going through change which will lead to growth along with flops, I might as well make them big ones. Thankfully, this one went fabulously.
Those two fabulous ladies are my friends Stacey and Corrine. They stepped up big time and helped me make this carnival so great for the kids. I planned on approximately 50 kids and we had almost 100. Thankfully we had enough to make it fun for all.
Oriental Trading also stepped up big time and agreed to help me make this little carnival possible. Tons of the fabulous prizes and decoration came from them. I can’t say enough about the fabulous people at Oriental Trading that I get to work with in their Ambassador program. It’s been a fantastic experience. The cute red and white table skirt, the carnival goody bags, the photo booth door banner, and the pennant banner all came from them.
We held the carnival in our church parking lot. It was a windy day but I’m sure glad we didn’t do it inside the church. Popcorn is tasty but oh so messy. Our ward building has a popcorn popper we used and we filled these cute little plastic cups the kids could keep after they finished eating the buttery popcorn.
My fabulous parents have a cotton candy machine and some carnival games they let me use. We also had some of the other moms step up and run a game or bring a game of their own to man.
My friend’s little girl learned how to make balloon animals just for the carnival.
It’s amazing what you can do when you pick something and just decide to go for it. She did an amazing job and, as you can see, the kids loved them. I’ll show some of the games we had in case anyone else wants some ideas to host a carnival of your own. I highly recommend it. The kids sure had fun.
Spin the wheel. A classic.
A fun little fish pond.
Frog Launch. There’s a teeter-totter type board, you put a stuffed frog on one end, and launch the frog on to lily pads to win a prize. The boys loved this one the best.
Water balloon toss. You toss a water balloon back and forth between two people taking a step back each time you catch it until it breaks. Fabulous on a hot day.
Duck pond. These cute little ducks have numbers on the bottom. Five prizes were laid out on top of the numbers one through five. Whatever number is on the bottom of your duck is the prize you get.
We had a cake walk stocked thanks to wonderful ladies donating cupcakes and brownies. You can see the popcorn mess I was talking about. Whoops 🙂 The birds liked us, I’m sure.
Ring toss. Another classic.
Here are just a few of the awesome carnival prizes. These are all from Oriental Trading. The sticky tumbling men, elephant whistles, and dolphin key chains went over well with the diverse ages. With additional donated candy and prizes, we ended up with an abundance that lasted the full two hours.
And last but not least, we had Melissa and Bre on face painting. Bre has been doing the face painting every year because she is a pro. It’s almost the longest line. Something about carnivals and face painting that adds the magic to the experience. I can’t thank these ladies enough for stepping up and adding the oomph to the experience.
Now what’s the next crazy adventure? I have something that’s been in the works the last two months I’ll be sharing with you very shortly. Stay tuned. 🙂