Part 3: The Stalls
Each stall had its own sign/s, instructions, supplies, vendors and an icecream container of tickets to serve as a cashbox. The stalls we had....
- Ticket Booth. This was where the vendors picked up their name badges and signed in, and where new arrivals were issued their tickets.
- Food Cart. More here.
- Prize Booth. I taped a table into sections with numbered signs indicating the cost of prizes arranged within each quadrant. "Quadrant." What a word. /sigh. Prizes included glow sticks, fake spiders, boxed jigsaw puzzles, stickers, bouncey balls, and novelty stationery. Thank you, dollar store.
- Photo Booth. Complete with props, and run by a husband and wife team of professionals who donated their time and talents to our carnival. If a photo you've seen here is good, it's pretty safe to say they took it.
- Colouring Competition. I put together an A5 carnival-themed colouring sheet and printed off a stack to set up on low tables with colouring pencils. The lovely ladies assigned to this area were armed with sewing pins so they could display finished work on a striped sheet behind the table.
- Guessing Jar. Adjacent the colouring table, we had the guess box checked regularly to ensure we had the "closest guess" in hand to be knocked off its perch throughout the night, rather than looking through a hundred guesses under time pressure towards the end. The colouring competition winners and guessing jar winners (yes, plural in both cases -- we're softies) were announced right before the scheduled time for "Pie Face." I didn't want to get the crowds' attention more times than I needed to. If you're keeping "the" spreadsheet I talked about back here, consider adding "bell" -- I paused the carnival music and rang mine to get those present to listen up. A child won 79 lollipops that day.
- Ride On! Hired from our local toy library, we had a range of ride-on toys in the tyre-enclosed area at the end of the rec hall -- cars, planes, tandem trikes and so on. Ivy pretty much spent two hours straight here, hopping out of one vehicle and getting in another.
- Pie Face. We displayed a sign for the "Pie Face" along with an announcement of when creaming would take place, explaining the right to cream another would be won by bidding in an auction. Haki took the bids, and two Primary leaders and two branch leaders (including our Branch President...like a Pastor), stepped up to the plate. I was one of the leaders. I was a creamed. I was impressed how much the kiddilicks were willing to pay to do so. One of the targets did an ol' switcheroo, much to the crowds' delight. Things needed: Whipped, sweetened cream (so you can make a show of tasting it), tin foil disposable pie plates/trays.
- Face Painting. We were spoiled to have very talented and devoted face painters. This was the most popular booth on the day, and I was tickled by how long wee ones were willing to wait to be transformed. Things needed: A mirror, paints, brushes, water, fabric / splat mats, image sheets of ideas.
- Lucky Duck. This is a nice little stall, because it doesn't exclude anyone -- anyone of any age can pick a duck from a little pond. Things needed: A suitable "pond" and a supply of rubber ducks, numbered on their bases.
- Ring Toss. We play that you had a three chances to get a ring on the spike. As with all our stalls, where a punter needed to stand was at the vendor's discretion -- littlies were given a separate line than older folks. Things needed: Op shop bangles, a free-standing paper towel holder (I got one for 50c).
- Hacky Toss. Things needed: Hoola hoops and a hat placed at different distances, marked by numbers of tickets won for success.
- Hoop Shot. The Young Men (12-18) and their leaders ran this game, which made the most of the existing basketball hoop (at the opposite end of the hall from the ride-ons). We also had a little mini-hoop and lightweight basketball-looking ball alongside so that again, little'uns could still have a chance at joy.
- 10-pin Bowling. Things needed: Coloured water in soda bottles and a pair of balls from the dollar store. We taped a tarpaulin triangle to the ground beneath the pins as a guide (and to look pretty) -- cut out from the next game's sheet of tarpaulin -- you beauty! We also taped the lids on, in case. Idea from here. Tickets were awarded in different increments for a strike, spare, or hitting any over...and again, distance was adjusted for age/height/strength etc.
- Holey Tarpauley! I came up with the name (/awkward shoulder dance), but the idea is from here. Holes were cut from a sheet of tarpaulin and numbers added to indicate the prizes to be won for getting projectiles through the various holes. We used coloured tape around the edges, and suspended this from a wire in the gym.
- Toilet Roll Toss. Haki and some kids from his class ran this one, with a potty, toilet seat and laundry basket as varied targets for landing a toilet roll.
- Can Stacks. A classic! Stripped of their labels, tennis balls were thrown at cans in stacks of six. This one required a lot of work from our vendors!
- Spray Away. Idea from here. Use a watergun to spray ping pong balls off of their tees -- tickets awarded according to how many you knock off before your water runs out. Things needed: a base for the tees, tees, ping pong balls, water gun, bucket of water on hand.
- Hole-in-One. I found a roll-out green, hole, ball and putter for $5, so this was a gimme.
Vendors wore striped aprons, name badges, and a white shirt.
- Bunting (made from cheap packs of A5 paper, cut to shape and size, double hole-punched, and then threaded onto string);
- Bubbles (from a bubble machine)
- Flour stars; and
- Loads and loads of linen.
Feel free to browse my pinsperation board for my source ideas and further ideas I toyed with.
You can read some notes on organisation here.
My Primary kids are still talkin' about it, Esky said just today, "You know, I think we need to have another carnival," and I am smiling typing this. Also, Esky gives me and Haki imaginary tickets when we do something well; "That was great, you can have five tickets." BAHA! It was worth all the trouble, and more (it was enjoyable work). If you're planning something in a similar vein, on any scale, I hope you enjoy the entire journey as much as we did! I recommend making the most of stuff you can repurpose and get for free, being open to adapting your initial ideas, and saying "yes" to help...especially at clean-up time.