A good old-fashioned sports carnival will keep kids active, outdoors and having fun. The party games can also be rather nostalgic for the adults. To really make the theme, place the guests and their parents on one of two “house” teams and ask them to wear their team’s house colour.
Sports carnival theme invitations
Make the invitations like a certificate with a picture of a medal on them. Inform the child which team they’ll be on (red or blue or give them a “house” team to be a part of for the party day).
Sports carnival party theme costume ideas
Think school sports carnivals – coloured t-shirts in the house colours, matching socks, streamers in hair and pom poms.
Sports carnival party theme decorations
- Use the house colours you chose as the base for your colour scheme – a bunch of balloons resting in a fishing net look great and can serve another purpose as a celebratory balloon release at the medal presentation (see project).
- Use coloured paper to make simple triangular buntings. A too-easy one is to stick the triangles on a long strip of masking or cello tape (only to the middle of the tape) then fold the tape over and stick it to itself.
- Make boxpleat streamers and matching pom poms for the guests to cheer on their team. Bigger streamer pom poms can also be used as decorations.
Sports carnival party theme activities and birthday party games
- Tin-can bowling – use a bunch of old tin cans and stack into a pyramid on the table. The children have to knock them all over by throwing a ball a few metres away from it.
- Balloon rockets – Tie a piece of string to a stationary object and pull it tight before tying to another stationary object like a table leg. Before tying the last piece of string end, thread a piece of plastic straw (which has been cut to around 2-3 centimetres in length) onto the string. Then, blow up a balloon and twist the end instead of tying it off. You could peg it to hold it also. Hold it tightly and have someone else tape the balloon to the straw so it’s hanging underneath it. Repeat on another piece of string, have two opposing team members hold the twisted ends of the balloon and let go after “Ready, set, go” and watch their balloons shoot down the string as the air is released.
- Three-legged races – have two children stand next to each other and tie their neighbouring legs together with a bandage or scarf. The kids then try to run the race as one.
- Apple bobbing – in a large bucket (a bright-coloured plastic storage tubs is ideal), fill about three-quarters to the top. Place a bunch of apples in the water so they float and each child has to try and bite into an apple without using their hands.
- Sack races – pillowcases work well, but you could also ask your local fruit shop if they have any real potato sacks you could use. Have a child wriggle their legs into each sack and get them to jump to the finish line.
- Egg and spoon race – each child is given a spoon and an egg on it. They have to race to the finish line with their egg still intact. If you’d rather not waste the eggs, use ping pong balls!
- Medal presentation – at the end of the carnival, have all the children line up (under the balloon net!) and present them with gold medals around their necks. Once they’re all proudly wearing (or eating) their medals, let the balloons go and take some happy snaps.
Sports carnival theme take-home party bag ideas
A little paper bag filled with a punch balloon, sports whistle and a soft bean ball.