You spin the wheel on the left and as you do, a message about the upcoming party scrolls across the top while, cute images, including the faces of the boys (who are actually Colin and Ethan, but I changed the names for my etsy listing), circus animals and tasty treats, appear through the tent opening underneath.
For the party, I'll have carnival-type games, like a shooting gallery, a ring toss and something involving floating ducks (still have to work out exactly what happens with the ducks). My mother-in-law has gamely agreed to attempt to make balloon animals for the kids when they come in the door.
As kids play the games, they will earn tickets that they can redeem for concessions, which will include cotton candy (I picked up a cotton candy maker from Goodwill some months ago) and popcorn.
Fun little toys will be packed in popcorn bags for goody bags -- kids will "fish" for their goody bags.
In the past, I have used Oriental Trading (OTC) for the toys. This year, I decided to give their competition a try and have ordered a variety of toys from Century Novelty (there have been times when some of the items from Oriental Trading have been less than spectacular -- pretty much as described, however, I didn't read the print clearly enough and some items were disapppointingly tiny for instance (and, once, a set of paper kaleidescopes simply didn't work at all) -- they have a return policy, but I haven't taken advantage of it, so it's possible that they would have, in the end, made everything all right -- I just didn't have the time to deal with it in past years)
So, long story short, we'll see how their competition fares. One nice thing about Century Novelty is that you can order items by whatever quantity you wish, but at OTC, you must purchase by a set quantity (12, 8, 144, typically). This gave me more flexibility. We will only have nine guests and this will eliminate some waste. Also, among other toys, the boys will receive squirt guns and gliders and the girls will get body glitter and lip balm/gloss (which I'll purchase at a local store).
Other items in the goody bags: red foam clown noses, 3d tropical fish puzzles and candy (purchased from the dollar tree locally).
This card is on sale at my store on etsy: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=25788953 -- take a look!
Other circus party ideas (some of them quite elaborate!) can be found here.
And please leave comments -- I'd love to hear some feedback. If you have ideas for games, activities or other party-related topics, let me know! (particularly if you have them before this Saturday -- I'm getting close to crunch time!)