My little two year old is a now a three year old–big event! JP’s been talking the last month or two about how he was going to have a Dumbo party (sometimes several times a day), so even though I wasn’t sure he totally understood what that meant, that’s exactly what we had for him.
I decorated our sky blue walls with clouds, a stork, crows, Timothy the mouse, and flying Dumbos. I just printed coloring pages on the color paper I wanted, cut them out, and turned them over.
It was fun to be able to use my old gumball machines that I’ve had since I was young–probably junior high. I filled them up with new gumballs, of course.
I had in my mind that it would be fun to have a circus parade on the mantle, so I used my kids’ animals and gussied them up a little with crepe paper and ribbon for a parade.
I used a lot of flags cut out of paper and stapled to ribbon to decorate. Most of these were from past parties, rearranged with new color patterns.
We started out with coloring pages and a photo booth before dinner, although I wish I had done a better job with the photo booth–I forgot about it after only one picture!
Here’s a fun one from later in the party:
Dinner was typical circus fare: corn dogs, kettle corn, jumbo pretzels, apples with caramel, and my friend brought over a veggie tray. We also had candy circus peanuts and frosted animal cookies.
After dinner, we headed outside for some simple carnival type games stationed around the backyard.
Ring Toss–water bottles and pool rings with clown noses and whistle lips as prizes (I got my idea for this here).
Bullseye–a game I bought 4 and a half years ago at Hobby Lobby for Little E’s first birthday party, which was also a circus party, just not specifically a Dumbo circus party.
Ball Toss–three wiffle balls and a stack of red cups with slide whistles as prizes (idea for this here).
Penny Toss–the kids had to stand behind the sheet to toss the pennies in the circles.
Fishing Hole–paper fish with safety pins scattered on a blue sheet with a small Melissa and Doug fishing pole we had from one of their puzzles.
Balloon Darts–a bunch of small balloons taped on a piece of wrapped cardboard. Even though we used a dart with a rubber tip, I stayed by this one the whole time for fear of someone getting hurt. I sort of wished I had bought the steel tipped one because the end kept getting bent, and the kids had trouble popping the balloons–they had to throw really hard, or it would just bounce off the balloons. Despite the problems, this was the most popular game. The prizes for this one were sticky hands.
Last of all, we had the Fish Cup game with a few toy fish inside cups with water in them. The kids threw ping pong balls in the cups, and if they could do it, they could win their very own goldfish (ok, not exactly like at a circus or carnival). I found the idea for the goldfish prize here.
After games, we headed back in for cake!
I had fun making this cake in different colors, but if I do this again, I need a white cake recipe that doesn’t require gently mixing an egg white mixture with the rest of the batter. I was supposed to fold it together, but I had to really stir to get the color right, which made the cake way too dense. I also put lemon filling on top of the yellow layer, which was crazy because with the weight of the other pieces on it, even with a frosting barrier, the lemon filling squished out and eventually the other layers slid off because it was so slippery.
I completely forgot to have JP wear the Dumbo ears and collar I made him from felt, fleece (for the collar), a head band, and hot glue (my idea came from here)! He wouldn’t have worn them for long anyway–I think he got too hot. He does look so cute in them, though!
Party favors were popcorn boxes from Hobby Lobby, swirly pops, animal cracker boxes, whistle lips, and hand clappers.
We had a great time at our Dumbo circus party!