Birthday Party: Circus Theme (Ages 2 to 8)

* Have the party 'animals' do some circus stunts, taking turns being the ringmaster. The kids can jump through hoops, leap over jump ropes, duck under sticks, and step through tires and other obstacles while pretending to be animals.
* Play carnival games using the cardboard box booths. Include such games as Ring the Soda Bottle with rings cut from tag board; Gone Fishin' with sticks, string, and magnets for fishing poles; Penny Platter with pennies tossed on a plate; and Water Gun Shooting Gallery with squirt guns to shoot small plastic bottles off a ledge.

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Get ideas for activities, food and favors.

* Have each kids draw a clown face on a large sheet of paper using felt-tip pens, crayons or paint. See who can come up with the funniest face.
* If older kids don't come with their faces already painted, have them use face paint to paint each other's faces to look like clowns.
* Instead of having the kids wear costumes to the party, provide a variety of funny, old thrift-store clothes at the party, and have them mix and match to create their own crazy clown look.

* Set out plates of animal crackers for snacking.
* Make Animalwiches by cutting animal shapes out of bread with cookie cutters.
* Cut out slices of bread, cheese and meat using animal cutters. Place all animal shapes on a platter and let the kids assemble their animal sandwiches.
* Bake a Buried Clown Cake:
1. Bake a sheet cake; cool.
2. Frost the cake with chocolate icing.

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