Thursday, May 28, 2009

HLA Hoopla

Good morning, HLA! It's Katie here to bring you another day of celebration for National Backyard Games Week! Today we are going to talk all things carnival! A few weekends ago, Heather posted about local festivals in our towns, but today I'm posting to challenge you to host your own festivals and carnivals in your backyards!

As inspiration for today's post, I will share that Claudia purchased some banners from Pottery Barn that are meant for your own at-home carnival. Take a look at the slide show below to see some of the banners hung throughout her backyard. (sorry, blogger was having issues and I could not upload the pictures directly into the post when I wrote this!) These banners would make the perfect decoration and inspiration for any backyard carnival.

One way to incorporate a backyard carnival into your summer plans is for you to host your own neighborhood carnival. Picture this: You volunteer to host the carnival in your yard and then invite each neighbor to host a booth at the carnival. One neighbor may take face painting, another the classic duck pond, and another pin the tail on the donkey. Each family in the neighborhood would attend the carnival with their children, but would also host a booth. This would be a great summer get-together for your neighborhood! If you feel so inclined, many of the banners pictured above would make great additions to your carnival. I'm sure Claudia will be glad to share purchasing information.

For those of you in Student Affairs, what about a carnival at your summer staff retreat? Each department within your division could be responsible for hosting a booth. Judicial Affairs could take a pie throwing contest, and Res Life could take the ring toss.

When I think back on the early seasons of Jon & Katie Plus 8 (before all the drama began), I remember when they hosted a birthday party for the sextuplets that was a carnival. What if each attendee was in charge of having a booth instead of bringing a present? The possibilities are endless!

Just as we shared our summer traditions and plans for water and soaking up some sun, how about we share plans we can make for carnivals this summer? Who is up for the challenge of planning a summer carnival for your neighborhood, family, or friends? What carnival game ideas do you have or have you been a part of in the past? Do you have a theme in mind for your carnival?

Signing off until tomorrow with the song of the day...


Cheryl said...

Do you remember the dunking booth?

Those are awesome banners.

Hey Everyone! Go over to Taste of USA and vote.

Chaotic said...

wow....that sounds like fun... but I am not up to the task in my own backyard! We assist in a yearly festival and (this being Texas) it is in October, when the heat has slacked off a bit. Facepainting, swimming, dressup, talent show, etc.

Cristine said...

No more parties for me. William's party last weekend was enough for me. No carnival games, but our theme was wear Bermuda shorts. I have pictures up on
If I had to guess a game at our house - AT what time will the keg blow?? (Sunday morning @ 10 am- actually there was only 3 beers left at the end of the party)
Or, how much meat will be eaten (12 pounds pork, 24 sausages, and 24 hot dogs). How many items will be left behind by neighbors? (4, 3 still awaiting their owners).
For anyone in the Chicago area, this weekend's Trib will have all the summer festivals in the magazine section. A definite must for planning the summer.

Peggy said...

Great backyard fun ideas!

Growing up, my 2nd cousins always had a tiny backyard games event to help raise money for the Jerry Lewis Telethons.

At the kids elementary school in WI every March the entire school filled the gym with games, cake walks, ring toss, food, face painting....the carnival was many of their endless fundraisers.

At one point, we thought about having a Survivor Party, making the games a bit more challenging, require friends to outwit, outplay.. outside....

I'm not up to the task anymore... as much fun as this all sounds... it's great for little ones... and great for college students to bond... but I don't think the average 14 year old thinks this is a great idea!!! But, I will love to hear the stories of how all of yours turn out!

If you have any questions about game ideas... just ask... I was involved in our school carnival for 6 years!!

Robin Weiss said...

We're having a 4 yo birthday party/ July 4th party which will include a jumpy. I guess I could expand that, but in this home stretch of school and preparing my eldest to leave for Japan, I can't think all the way until the end of June! LOL

b.k.root said...

Two years ago, our theme for RA Training was "Come Have Fun at the RA Carnival!"

We did indeed host a carnival. We created a duck pond, dart-balloon popping game, ring toss, and more. We also purchased cotton candy online.

Most of our games were very inexpensive. has a lot of supplies.

Cheryl said...

I was thinking this morning as I was getting ready... we didn't really play in our backyard growing up and my parents have a great backyard. We played a lot in the front and a lot in the street. A lot of Hide & Seek, Sardines and Kick the Can. I loved growing up in a small town where you could ride your bike anywhere and feel safe. :)

The Catholic church always had a Fall Festival with cake walk, auction, BBQ, duck pond and so on. It was always fun.

I'm still trying to execute the Shark Party... I can't undertake a carnival party too but maybe next year now that I know I have such cool banners just a mile away!

heather said...

I love the carnival much fun! This would be great for a church fundraiser, birthday party or just to let the kids have fun in the backyard.
And...I don't think these banners would be ALL that hard to make with a few cans of fabric spray paint and some white canvas fabric.

Claudia said...

My town held a carnival every year right on Labor Day weekend. It was a kind of "last hoorah" (Cheryl, are you cactching that... last hoorah or ray).

I loved earning tickets and then cashing them in for prizes. If you were doing this in your neighborhood, kids could earn tickets either for small prizes (gently used toys donated by neighbors) or for fun neighborhood privelages (fresh baked cookies from the Beeny's, one free lawn mowing, a special delivery on your front door step).

The same notion could work with a staff - gently used items that people don't mind donating or gifts based on people's talents.

The beauty of what Katie is suggesting is that the work doesn't fall on any one person or family. Simply claim the date and then let everyone pitch into to contribute games.

Nice work, Katie. How about an international carnival with you and your residents sometime in the fall?

Katie K said...

Claudia, I love the idea of an international fair next fall! That way we could include games and traditions from all different cultures! This could be a perfect opening community program for my building!

I think a good prize system is giving out tickets for each winner or maybe play cash. Then, just like at Chuck-E-Cheese or something they could cash in the tickets for prizes. Or maybe use the cash to have an auction for the prizes!

I remember from the episode of Jon and Kate that I'm thinking of that they created their own wooden carnival booths. I think if you were up for this endeavor, you could easily find schematics online for that!

Claudia said...

Katie... take it one step further and let your students win funny money that can be used at an internation bazaar. Residents can offer up fun items/chatchka from their respective countries and other students can buy them.

You'll have to excuse me... Matthew and I are in the middle of a Magic Treehouse book where JAck and Annie are wandering through an international bazaar in the middle east.

Katie K said...

CKB- as I was sitting in a session this morning that thought came to me! Great minds think alike!

Cheryl said...

Here's a blog I follow. She's a teacher in Utah and periodically she posts funny things her students say. Today's topics are carnival tickets.

In case blogger cuts it off:
my name is brayden and my dads a mexican.blogspot .com - put it all together