A Carnival Celebration For The Birthday Boy

My oh my, how the time flies around here. Today my sweet little nugget wakes up a four year old and I'm not sure how my mama heart feels about it. It can be such a catch 22 to see our kids grow. We had so much fun celebrating him at his carnival birthday party this weekend.

Ever since my sister and I took the boys to a carnival earlier on in the summer he was asking for a carnival party. I thought, ok, I think we can work with this. I actually had a lot of fun planning this, as I do with all of their parties. Most of you know I enjoy a good Pinterest inspired party and I'm not even mad about it. I think when people think about parties like that they start assuming dollar signs ($$$). Yes, parties can be expensive but if you plan them right they don't have to be. 

Of course what it all comes down to, regardless of backdrops, feature walls, or themed food, is the fun and smiles that the kids have. On the other hand, if you also enjoy all those things (like I do) then you can incorporate them by using things that you already have or getting creative with the concepts.

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Last week I was rsvping to someone else's party when it dawned on me, oh shoot, we have nugget's party this weekend! For some reason it felt like I had soooo much more time to get everything together. I always had the general idea and theme for what we were doing, but aside from a few amazon purchases (thank God for them), I had nothing else prepared. I usually work well under pressure so I knew I could pull it off, but it wasn't without a few trips to the dollar store and amazon packages arriving everyday. I picked up this four shirt for him (that came with one day shipping) that he looked so cute wearing. I am happy to say, this time around there were no extreme late nights for me and everything came together really quickly.

What I learned through planning his party is that a lot of people are confused about what a carnival is and what a circus is. If you look up carnival parties online to get some inspiration, all of the sudden you see that people have elephants and big tops at the party, and I'm like, hold up, since when did a carnival ever have animals?? I don't know about you, but the carnivals around here are all about the food, rides, and games. Now that we have that cleared up, I'm going to focus on things that are relatable to a carnival.

Remember those wood pallets I stained for C's baby dedication? Well surprise, surprise, here they are again. I warned you all that they will probably be at most of our parties. They worked out perfectly here for a focal point on our food/dessert table. I took some basic string and strung it across them and then used clothes pins to secure bags of popcorn and cotton candy across them. Everyone got to take one as they wanted and I loved how it transformed the table decor.

I also used popcorn holders for decor around his party with yellow tissue paper to look like popcorn. I took the larger popcorn holders (all of this was found at the dollar store) and did centerpieces for the tables with tickets, candy, and balloons in them. We had typical carnival food, hot dogs, hamburgers, corn dogs, french fries, along with some sandwiches and other sides.

We had games for the kids they could play and win prizes for that also served as some of the things for their party bags, which were also popcorn holders by the way. My father in-law made this awesome wheel that spun around and the kids got to pick the color they thought it would land on. I recycled the baby's empty formula containers and made a can toss game out of them. We also had a bean bag toss that was fun and hung from the trees. One of my favorites though was old bottles we found that we recycled and used these ring toss rings for a bottle toss game. But, I think the one thing that really gave the feel like we were at a carnival were these multi-color pennant flags that we strung all throughout the backyard. I love them so much that I keep joking with Eric that we should just leave them up for the rest of the summer.

The weather ended up being beautiful, which I am so thankful for. I forgot to take a picture of it but we also had rubber ducks (all taken from the kids toy box) that we wrote numbers on the bottom and had floating in a little pool for the kids to pick and match the numbers. We also had some other yard games for the kids to play that the adults also jumped in on and had some fun with as well. We used our bounce house that also makes an appearance at most parties and had water balloons for the kids that they went nuts over. The best part was seeing him happy and enjoying all the fun.

We tried for a cute family pic but the cotton candy and a sneaky little brother that kept pulling party hats off made it interesting.
To my sweet birthday boy, you have been melting our hearts ever since you came into this world. There's something about your personality that is so genuine and caring. You have been rocking your new role as a big brother and have become so independent these last few months. I'm to blame for part of that as a lot of my attention has been on your baby brother. Through it all you have been so caring and most of the times (hence most of the times) you are understanding about it. You still give amazing hugs and such sweet kisses that melt my heart over and over again.

You love riding your quad and most people can't believe how well you handle it and that you started riding when you were three. Often times I think you are wise beyond years. You observe so much around you and know when to pull back and when to step up to things. You pick and choose the right moments to be extra loud, like when others are sleeping ;) and tell some of the most animated and amazing stories. You love playing uno and dominos and I have to laugh because when I was your age I'm not even sure I knew what both of those were. Your smile lights up the room and your infectious giggle brings a smile to everyone's face. I pray that God would continue to pour out his blessings upon you, that you would always keep Him first in your life, and that you would always remain as sweet as you are. Dream big my baby boy.

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