Ok, best party ever! Have you ever tried to put together a class party for a bunch of 3rd graders? It’s super hard! They are too old for stories and simple crafts, too cool to do anything cute or silly, yet too young for spin the bottle (just kidding). Seriously, this is a hard age to please, but this party went over with a bang.
I call it The Christmas Carnival, but had to make it a bit more PC and changed it to The Class Carnival. The kids didn’t care a bit about the title, they just cared about the fun. These games and activities would work for any holiday or event for kids. Come get some ideas!
Station 1: Ball Toss
Remember The Bozo the Clown Show? It’s on the cusp of my memory as a kid, but one game always stood out to me…the Ball Toss Game. I just knew I would rock it! And the prizes were legit. Turns out, kids don’t need a prize to have fun. These guys loved the challenge.
5-6 buckets (I got mine at the dollar store)
Pingpong balls (again, dollar store)
It’s as easy as it looks; line the buckets up in a long line and give the kids a ball to toss. They have to make it in the buckets starting with the first going all the way to the end. If you want to make it more complicated you can limit the number of balls they throw, or add small prizes for each bucket. If they make the bucket they get the prize inside. These guys were more than happy to just try.
Station 2: Gingerbread Fred Decorating
The class spent the month of December working on their “Gingerbread Fred”. They made their own gingerbread man then created a journal with stories and pictures of what they did with their gingerbread men during the month. Decorating and eating a gingerbread man was the perfect treat for this party.
Gingerbread men that aren’t home made are hard to come by! I ended up buying tubes of Pillsbury gingerbread dough, then I rolled them out and baked them at home. This was a great product, tasty and easy to work with, just make sure to flour the edges of the dough generously. Want a festive way to keep cookie mess from getting all over the class room? Cover the cookie area with wrapping paper. Easy clean up and festive!
Station 3: Reindeer Antler Decorating
I bought these from Oriental Trading Company in a packet of 12. It came complete with everything you need to make your antlers adorable. It was also very affordable. The kids loved it.
Station 4: Cookie Face
This is a classic Minute-to-Win-It game. You tilt your head back, place an animal cookie on your forehead then you have to work the cookie to your mouth without using your hands. We made the rule that if the cookie fell on the floor you were out. If it fell but you caught it, you could try again (that way we don’t have nasty germs getting in their mouths). We were a little stingy with the cookies, they only got one shot, but so many come in a bag, next time I would let them try more.
Frosted Animal Cookies (easy)
Station 4: Kisses Match Game
This is straight off of Pinterest. Simple, fun, easy, and they get to keep their winnings. This game was a huge success. Click here or the picture below to see the link. Or click the Pinterest icon on the side of the blog to visit my boards.
Station 5: Face Painting
No, shut up. This really happened. I know a company called Changing Faces and Balloons and they are done a ton of events that I’ve been to. They are top notch. Their face painting, balloon animals and clowns are amazing. Since the party was a carnival, face painting seemed like a magical and fun touch. So I got in touch with the owner, Sharon Neilson, and she agreed to donate her time to come to the class and paint faces! This was the highlight of the party. She worried that some kids might be a little too cool to do it, but when you have two college rivalries in town, the kids were more than willing to plaster their favorite team’s logo on their face. Some were whimsical, some were silly. My own son opted for a historical feel, yes, he asked to have the Titanic. Sharon can do just about anything and she proved it! She has has own amazing story that is worth checking out. Click here to learn more about how her company came to be or visit her Facebook page and see more of her masterpieces.
The thing is, you don’t have to have a pro do something perfect for the kids to love it. Get some stencils and have a mom volunteer. This was a fun addition to the party. Even Mrs. Florez, the teacher had hers done! It really created a festive feeling.
Some other fun additions were balloons on a stick. These were my gift to the class. I purchased the balloons and sticks at a local party supply store and for 25 balloons and sticks it was about $5.00. It was and impressive and fun addition that was low cost.
Finally, I just couldn’t help myself. Between the reindeer antlers and carnival theme I had to have a carnival take home gift. I bought these “party invitations” in a set of 12 from Oriental Trading Company. The boxes were beautiful and sturdy and included a party blower and clown nose (to double as Rudolph’s). I added inexpensive sticky mittens, a chocolate gold coin and a few Hi Chew (because every kids I know is obsessed with them). It was a hit.
As far as parties go, this could go any direction you want. Christmas, birthday, Valentines, Halloween, New Years, Easter or even summer fun. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!