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Clown Themed Children’s Party

Over the years we’ve thrown many birthday parties at the Davidson house. The kids and I would usually just come up with a party theme and let our imaginations run wild. This clown themed children’s party was for my son in 2007 when he turned 8. These party ideas work great for preteen boys and girls, a clown theme or a circus theme, when you need an active party on a budget.

Circus Games for the Clown Themed Children’s Party

For this party, we did need two to three parents because we divided the kids into smaller groups and staged the games in the front and the back yard. Having smaller groups meant that the wait time was less when the activities required taking turns.

Several of our games required small beanbags that I quickly sewed myself using two colors of scrap fabric. The bags were about 2 1/2 inch squares. Each was filled with about 2 tablespoons of dried white beans. At this size and weight, they were easy to toss and couldn’t hurt anyone when thrown. And we sent the bean bags home as party favors. My guess is that I had about 8 bags per child. If you would rather purchase bean bags for your clown themed children’s party, here is a set of 72 bean bags from Amazon.

Pink and blue dotted fabric bean bags

Souvenirs, Props and Prizes

We played down the competitive nature of the games by not offering prizes, Instead we had party favors of the beanbags, the Clown Hats made from styrofoam bowls, and red clown noses. For more fun, we had a few wigs for those who wanted to dress up. Most of the parents took pictures of their child with my son in the Stand In Board either at drop off or pick up. Or you can have one person in charge of taking pictures that they then text to parents.

Clown Pants

A young boy holds out the suspenders of his wide clown pants in order to catch the beanbags tossed to him.

Clown Pants was my favorite game we created! The children tossed beanbags and the wearer tried to catch them in his pants. We had the kids take turns wearing the pants. Some wanted to and some did not. You can either play 1. That the wearer who catches the most beanbags wins. Or 2. Divide the throwers into two teams, giving each team one color. The team who gets the most beanbags in the pants wins.

The clown pants were created using a large pair of pants purchased from Goodwill, a pool noodle (you might also use a hoola hoop), martial arts belts, and duct tape. You may need to cut off excess length from the pants so that the kids aren’t tripping, but you will want them longer than any child’s legs so that the beanbags will collect rather than fall out.

First you cut away the waistband from the pants. You will then need to bend and tape the pool noodle into the pants, creating a new, wide waistband. You may trim the noodle to fit, but I think ours was just about right.

We used what we had to make the suspenders, and what we had were tae bo achievement belts. You could also use real suspenders if you have some that fit. We taped our suspenders to the right length, and then used diaper pins to attach them to the pants.

To play, simply designate two lines – one that the wearer can’t cross and one that the throwers can’t cross. Then let the kids go to it! Throwers will keep going, all at the same time, until they run out of beanbags.

Beanbag Clown Hats

While some children played Clown Pants, others were playing a similar bean bag toss game using a Clown Bowl Hat to catch bean bags with their heads!

I crafted these inexpensive hats beforehand so that the glue could dry completely. These are simply two bowls glued together with tie straps. One bowl up to catch beanbags. One bowl down to cup the child’s head. My guess is that we stapled curling ribbon onto each side for the tie straps. But we did pull out paint and brushes to let the kids add their own embellishments.

I was able to purchase red and yellow styrofoam bowls in 2007. These were colorful, matched the theme, and were easy to paint on the outside. (You don’t want to be painting the inside of the bowls.) Paper bowls would work as well. Plastic bowls are easier to find online, like these from Amazon, but you won’t be able to paint them. You could skip that part, or have stickers for the kids to add.

Boy wearing Beanbag Clown Hat and a red nose smiles at the camera.

This game is a fun one to play with teams of two players standing opposite one another. Toss the beanbags to your teammate who tries to catch with the bowl on his head. Then the teammates return the toss back while again the teammate tries to catch the tossed beanbags. It’s actually pretty challenging to catch with your head!

Two boys wearing Beanbag Clown Hats made from styrofoam bowls are holding beanbags.

Walking the Tightrope

While still in another part of the yard (yes, it’s a three ring circus), guests try to walk the tightrope which is really a 2×4 in the grass. This was a little too easy, so to jazz it up, our tightrope walkers had to carry an umbrella and balance a book on their heads.

A boy balancing a book on his head and walking on a two by four holding an umbrella.

The Laugh Line

This was just an emergency game that we added to fill a little more time that we needed. There’s no winner per se, just a whole lot of silly fun.

Children lying on the grass, each resting his/her head on the belly of the person behind them.

Have children lay down, legs out, and alternating sides as they each rest their head on another child’s stomach. Then have the children try to successfully send a laugh down the line from the bottom child to the top. Starting with the bottom child have them laugh “Ha!” with a force that expands their belly and moves it up. This game is silly and usually just sets the whole group to laughing and giggling.

Clown Themed Photo Stand In Board

Kids love to have their pictures taken and our Photo Stand In Board was a hit. We used a coloring book page, traced onto a projector sheet and then projected onto a very large piece of cardboard. A large piece of plywood could also work. As long as you have a projector, this is such a fun addition to a clown themed children’s party. Takes a little time, but so worth it.

We took a picture of our son with every party guest that day. Most chose to be throwing the pie rather than receiving the pie! But I just love that toothy grin!

Stand in board featuring two clowns and cut outs for two faces.

To support the picture, we have two plastic milk crates taped to the back. You can simply weight these by filling the crates with whatever you can find as a heavy support.

As I look at the pictures, it looks like I added a white sheet behind so that the kids’ heads are framed in white rather than the trees in the background. My guess is that I taped the sheet across the back with good ol’ duct tape. Or it could be just white trash bags taped above each cut out face.

Clown Birthday Cake

Two cakes cut into the shape of a clown face, hat and bow tie, decorated with candy pieces.

This cake is easier than it looks! All you need is a cake mix, a square cake pan, a round cake pan, frosting, food coloring and candy.

Prepare the cake mix according to the directions and divide batter between the square pan and the round pan. Bake according to directions. Cool and remove from pans.

Next, cut the cakes as pictured below. Assemble according to the diagram.

Frost the cakes, tinting frosting into desired colors.

Candy used for decorating:

  • Licorice twist for hat trim.
  • Small candies such as Skittles, Reese Pieces or M&Ms to edge the hat and the bow tie. Red pieces for the smile.
  • 1 white gumdrop for the hat pom pom. 1 red gumdrop halved for the two rosy cheeks. 1 purple gumdrop for the nose.
  • Life Savors Mints for the candle holders on the hat.
  • Two Oreo cookies for the eyes. Break one cookie side in half to expose half the white cream center. Top each with a small candy as the eyeballs.
A boy blowing out candles on the clown birthday cake.

Birthday Party Success!

The rest of the party was spent eating cake and opening presents! As you can tell from the pictures, the party included school friends and a few older sisters’ friends as well. Hope you enjoyed the photos and ideas, and I’d love to hear which games and suggestions you will use at your next party.

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