Saturday dawned, and so began preparations for Ava's long-awaited Circus party! We have been knee-deep in painting our loft-conversion, welcoming our new little nephew into the world and family birthdays galore, and so, this particular party felt like a bit of a last minute affair. Over time, I am learning that throwing children's parties doesn't have to be a huge project, but with a few ideas, a little bit of creativity and an hour or so on Pinterest, anything is possible!
It was also a slightly smaller affair... now that Ava is at school, parties can explode to ridiculously huge proportions, so we cut right back, and just had a few of her closest little friends. It felt like a little bit of a milestone, I suppose, but I will admit, having 9 little friends made things much easier in the party planning department!
Ava came up with the Circus as a theme a few weeks ago, and so we have been coming up with ideas aplenty ever since. In Norway, I gathered a few bits and bobs - party bags and animal skewers - from one of my favourite stores out there (you can check them out here... I've just discovered there's one in Nottingham! Schedule a little visit next time we're in the Midlands!) and started pinning a few ideas on Pinterest...
And slowly but surely, Ava's 5th Circus Party started to come together!
We had so much fun with this one... here's what we got up to!
1. Clown Masks
I spotted this idea on Pinterest, and after scouring Amazon and not finding what I wanted, I stumbled across this little online shop who happened to have everything I needed! Lolly stick faces, googly eyes and red pom pom noses. I'm getting nothing for saying this at all, but if you're planning a themed party, they have pretty much everything, are very reasonable, and there is just something lovely about supporting small businesses! The children had a blast making them, and lots of them made more than one!
2. Animal Hunt
The circus animals had all escaped! I had stuck little pictures of circus animals all over the garden, and the children's job was to find them all! They took their job very seriously, spotting them amongst flowers, on fences, behind tents... they had good fun hunting them down! We had so much fun, I didn't take a single photograph... oops!
3. The Clown Race
Just a good old-fashioned dress up race. Two teams, wellies, a scarf and a hat... ready, steady, go!
4. The Ring of Fire
I sat on my parents lawn on Saturday morning, sticking tissue paper to a hoop and wondering why on earth I was wasting time doing something that was purely for the aesthetic... it was a bit gimmicky, and I had no plan of action for how to use it... oh boy... it was pretty much the most successful part of the whole party! The children went round and round, following each other across the stepping stones, over the high beam and through that ring of fire and having a whale of a time! (Picture credit to Dave on these ones!)
5. Free play
Hula hoops, stilts, beams, and inflatable punch bag (Strong Man training, you understand) and tunnels... plenty for busy little bodies to be getting on with while parents chatted!
Always so much fun to be had with party food... and can be so inexpensive!
So here's what we had on the menu...
Strong Man Weights (Marshmallow dumb bells)
Flying discs (crisps)
Clown Noses (cherry tomatoes)
Circus Animal Food (fruit kebabs)
Big Top Birthday Cake (self-explanatory!)
And a little sneak peek...
It was really good fun... Ava had such a lovely time with her little friends, and even our littlest boy enjoyed himself (freedom to roam and explore is always a winner in his book!)
And off they went... though there was one little acrobat who stayed behind, beaming from ear to ear!
Happy 5th Birthday Ava M!