Do your child's eyes light up every time you go to a carnival? Then throw them a carnival theme party for Halloween or as a birthday surprise! With just the right carnival party supplies, you can recreate right at home some of the magic that makes carnivals great - the games, the loot, and the foods. Below, you'll get a list of the essentials and some terrific carnival party ideas to bring the party to life.

A Carnival Theme Party: Games, Games, And More Games

Wooden Disk Drop Carnival Game (1 set)When it comes right down to it, a carnival party and a circus theme party are pretty close in terms of party theme ideas. They've both got a colorful energy, playful sounds, and bigger-than-life activities. They are each a lot of fun, but there are some big differences too.

A circus has a focus on animals and big top acts (like clowns and acrobats), while a carnival makes its mark on rides and games. Lots and lots of games. Kids love both, of course, and anything loved this much can be turned into an awesome theme party. It might be a wee bit tough (and expensive) to replicate carnival rides at your theme party, but you can definitely do some pretty cool stuff with the games. And when you do it right, you can have one of the most engaging and interactive theme parties out there.

Wooden Disk Drop Game
Amazon Price: $47.96 $24.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 14, 2015)

Carnival Party Supplies: Your Essentials Checklist

Big Top Circus Station Signs Set of 4

You'll need to "step right up" on your party supplies to pull off a carnival theme party, so be ready to focus. To help you out, see the supply essentials checklist below. It will get you on the right track to theme out your carnival party in a way that will definitely make big impressions on your guests.

Carnival invitations

Just like a carnival coming to town, you need to spread the word on your big event. You can have a lot of fun here. Craft up a carnival-like flyer on colorful paper or opt for a card that appears like a carnival ticket. Anything that can set the tone for your event. In your invitation play up the games and interactive fun everyone will be having.

Carnival pennants, banners, signs, and balloons

Carnival Party Tableware and Invitation Set

Carnivals are colorful and filled to the brim with decorations, and your space should follow suit. There should be bunches of carnival balloons, strings of colorful pennants, and many (and varied) fun banners. There should not be a dull location in your space. Even pick up some carnival signs that add to the experience and use them to pinpoint various spaces like "games" and "concessions".

Carnival plates and tableware

A great carnival theme party will have the kids (and other guests) on their feet, so carnival paper plates that are easy to transport about are a must. Your food table too should be decorated to fit the theme. People will be coming by to grab more goodies and treats throughout the day, so make it feel like part of the carnival atmosphere! Look for a carnival centerpiece (maybe some of those beautiful balloons) and a table cover that matches.

A popcorn maker and vintage-looking popcorn bags

Popcorn is another excellent portable food choice, and freshly made popcorn is an amazing carnival treat! You can purchase vintage looking popcorn makers that become part of the overall theme. And the best of all: you can pair this fresh popcorn with cool popcorn bags, just like you'd get from a real carnival.

Carnival cupcakes and cupcake holders

Because people will be milling about, a traditional cake may not be the best solution. Go for cupcakes instead. They are more portable, have wrappers to help keep the kids' fingers clean, and can still look amazing. There are many cupcake holders (similar to centerpieces) that have a carnival theme, and you can find carnival cupcake rings to decorate each individual cupcake with to play up the scene.

Fun Express Carnival Can Toss Bean Bag Game

Games, and lots of them

Here's where the real fun begins! You'll need games, many many games. Think of all the fun varieties of games you'd find at a carnival and make sure you offer something similar. There's a ton of options out there from ring toss games to carnival spinners. Some of the big ones include:

Bean bag toss: Toss those bean bags so that they land perfectly into the winning holes.

Ring toss: Land those rings right on the pole to win.

Diggin PopOut Ring Toss
Amazon Price: $19.99 $16.65 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 14, 2015)

Disk drop: Place a disk at the top and watch it jostle and jive all the way to the bottom. Who knows in which slot it will land.

Carnival spinner game: You never know what you are going to land on when you spin the wheel.

Bottle toss: Try to knock down all the bottles to win!

The claw grabber game: Kids can take their chances at grabbing their favorite party favor or treat from amid a ton of options.

Carnival tickets

Have a lot of fun with your carnival atmosphere and give out tickets for making a perfect throw in ring toss or for landing on a specific wheel section with the spinner game. The kids can collect the tickets all through the day and then redeem them for party favors. Have some party favor grand prizes for the children that win the most tickets. If this is a carnival birthday party, make sure those grand prizes aren't too nice. They shouldn't upstage the birthday presents!

Loot to win

50 Assorted Plastic Stamps

Choosing all of the loot (or party favors) the kids can win is a lot of fun as well. You should have a big variety just like at a carnival, from coloring books and paddle balls to plastic stamps and glider planes. They should be nice enough that the kids will want to win a few, but inexpensive enough that you can stock up to have enough to meet demand during the carnival game playing.

Pulling together a carnival theme party is no small feat, but you can do it (and make it look easy) by following through on the above carnival party supplies. And these only scratch the surface of possibility. There are many unique carnival supplies that can help you make the event all your own in terms of style. Keep an eye out for the ones you love the most, and get ready to wow both your child, his friends, and their parents with your amazing party!