Bring the children under the Big Top for some clowning around at the circus!
bigtop1 © 2014 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Invitations:

Clown Face: Write party details on the back of a white paper plate. Photocopy a clown face and glue it to the other side of the plate, or draw one using a picture of a clown as a model. Use a felt-tip pen to add a funny mouth, wide-open eyes, and other facial details like freckles or rosy cheeks. Glue yarn hair at the top and a bow tie at the bottom. Then glue a red pompom in the middle of the face to make a nose. Mail in a padded envelope.

Decorations:

Set up a circus tent: Swag colourful crepe-paper streamers from the centre of the ceiling to the corners and sides of the room, and let them dangle down the walls.

Place animal posters on the walls at child's eye level.

Place three Hula-Hoops on the floor to make a three-ring performance area.

Cut two large appliance boxes into cages and paint them with bright colours or cover them with animal-print paper or cloth. Set the cages in the party room with stuffed animals inside.

Decorate the table with toy clowns and a carousel cake.

Play marching music in the background.

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Costumes:

Make, rent, or buy clown accessories, such as big feet, red noses, bow ties, orange or yellow wigs, and white gloves. Offer them to your guests as they arrive. (Party stores and costume shops are good sources for such items.)

Games:

Toss the Clown Nose: Get a large cardboard box and paint the front of the box to look like a clown face. Cut out the eyes, the nose, and the mouth, making wide holes; set the box in the middle of the party room. Give the children beanbags or balls to try to throw through the holes on the clown face.

Copy the Clown:Have an adult dress up like a clown. Then have the clown lead the group in a game of Simon Says or Copy Cat.

Knock Down the Animals: Set up a row of stuffed animals on the floor or table. Have your guests take turns rolling a ball at the stuffed animals. If a player knocks over an animal, she gets to keep the stuffed animal. Then another player takes a turn. Let the guests roll until everyone gets an animal.

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Activities:

Clown Face:Have a face painter come to the party and turn all the children faces into clowns.

Animal Masks: Buy sheets of felt in animal colours (black, tan, brown, gray, and so on). Cut the felt into circles the size of a childs face, and cut out eye and mouth holes. Staple or Super Glue a ribbon at each side, for tying the mask in the back. Search for large animal faces on posters and calendars, or in books and magazines. Copy, if necessary, and then cut out the animal eyes, noses, mouths, and ears. Let the kids glue the cutouts near the openings on the felt circles to make animal faces. Have your guests wear their masks and play at being animals and don't forget to take pictures.

Circus Juggler: Hire a juggler to come to the party and perform amazing juggling feats. Or hire a clown magician for the party.

Circus Stunts: Have the kids perform simple stunts, such as a somersault, a tightrope walk on a balance beam (or on a piece of tape on the floor for one- and two-year-olds), a headstand against the wall, an animal walk, or a step through a Hula-Hoop. Videotape the stunts and play back the video for the party guests.

big_top_cake © 2014 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Food:

Make Elephant and Monkey (peanut butter and banana) sandwiches for your hungry clowns. Serve with a side of Chocolate Tiger's Milk.

Serve Monkey on a Stick:Stick bananas on lolly sticks, freeze, then serve. If you like, roll the frozen bananas in peanut butter and sprinkle with crisped rice cereal.

Make or buy giant pretzels and serve with melted cheese or mild mustard. Or make the pretzels with the kids as a party activity: Prepare the dough and have your guests shape pieces of the dough into any shapes they like; then bake, cool, and serve.

Clown Cupcakes
  • Bake cupcakes and allow to cool.
  • Remove paper baking cups from teh cupcakes.
  • Take clean paper baking cups, flatten them, and set cupcakes in the middle.
  • Frost cupcakes with the white icing; the frosted cakes will be the clown face, and the flattened cups are clown collars.
  • Decorate the clown heads and faces with tubes of coloured icing.
Clown Cones
  • Fill sugar cones with balls of ice cream and place upside down on flattened paper baking cups. The cones are the hats and the balls of ice cream are the faces.
  • Add face deatils with icing.
  • Serve with Clown Cupcakes

Party Bags::

Give your small clowns clown accessories, such as clown noses, bow ties, hats, feet, and gloves.

Fill bags with age-appropriate toys, sweets, and books about the circus. Tie the bags with ribbons and attach big red clown noses labeled with the guests' names.

NOTE:All party bags should be age-appropriate and safety tested.

Variations:

Take the kids to a local circus, carnival, or fair. Be sure to have lots of adult supervision.

Hints:

Crepe paper goes a long way in creating a circus atmosphere.

Some children are afraid of clowns, so introduce the clown slowly. If necessary, ask the clown to remove the wig, nose, and other accessories to show your guests that this strange creature is actually a person.