For my son’s third birthday we had so much fun putting on a clown themed birthday party. Because our son had everything he needed, and would receive a few fun gifts from his immediate family, we asked our party guests to bring an anonymous donation for the Clown Doctors charity instead of a gift. Clown Doctors visit children in hospitals and spread so much happiness when families are going through very challenging times, so we felt this was a fun way for him to receive one of the best gifts of all: the joy of giving. After the party I simply counted up the money and made the donation online at the Clown Doctors Website.
When guests arrived, they came to our Welcome Table where we had a jar for donations and a poster about the Clown Doctors and what they do. To add a bit of fun for the parents, I filled up a container with candies and had everyone add their own guess for how many pieces were inside. The closest guess got to take the candy home! I also displayed my son’s birthday album and a slideshow of pictures from the past year, for memorabilia sake.
Then we pointed them to our Funny Clown Photo Booth. Each child got to pick out a red foam clown nose and a birthday hat, and we took their photo as a clown. I later sent these to the parents as a “Thank You” for coming.
The booth was quite easy to make. We used: a large cardboard box, white paper + colored paper, pencil + eraser, tape, glue, scissors, and stapler.
First we prepared our box with the top side opened up, and gathered white paper to cover one side (we taped nine sheets of recycled white printer paper). Then we traced my son in a pose.
We looked at pictures of clowns online to get ideas of different costumes, then we made an outline for our clown clothes using our son’s body outline for proportions. After cutting out the colored paper in the pattern of the clothes, we then glued it onto the white background. Last, we stapled the picture onto the box and it was ready to go! We also set up a little stool for the kids to stand on if they needed some extra height to get their head to the top of the box.
The kids had a lot of fun wearing the wig and making faces for their photos.
After getting their photo booth picture taken, the kids were welcome to roam around to the various “stations” we had set up, including:
- Clown coloring sheets (available on the clown docs website).
- Pin the Nose on the Clown
- Strings with donuts to hang up
- Bubble station
- Chalk Station
- Sand pit, balls, and outside toys
- Baby/toddler toys and blocks on the carpet inside for younger siblings
About an hour after the party began we had a surprise visit from a “Clown Doctor,” which was my husband in a scrubs shirt with some doctor gear otherwise dressed up as a clown. He did a few tricks and sang a song, and then made me “disappear” behind a sliding door. The finale was me reappearing after the kids said the magic words, with the birthday cake in hand.
We had a regular cake and lots of party food, but the best treat was definitely the clown cupcakes. These were very easy to make but they did take a bit of time to prepare. First I made the cupcakes and let them cool completely. Then I decorated the faces with various candies on white store-bought icing. I colored a bit of icing for the “hair” by mixing in some food coloring, then used it to stick a cone on for a hat. I added a few dots of icing with candies to decorate the hats, then I put all the finished cupcakes into the fridge for about 2 hours. This helped the icing set so that the candies and hats would stay on. (It was a very hot day and otherwise everything would have slid off!)
In our family we try to give party favors that are useful as well as fun. Since my son has been enjoying learning jokes lately, and our theme for the party was Clown Doctors, I decided to make a little joke booklet for all the kids. We called it “Little Book of Smiles” and subtitled it “Laughter is the best medicine” to relate to our theme.
I searched for jokes online and chose a small clip art picture related to each one, making four pages for every sheet of paper. Altogether the booklet took two sheets of paper plus a bit of ribbon to tie the pages together. We also stuck a popper in each booklet.
It was a very fun party and very rewarding for all of us to make a contribution to the Clown Doctors at the end. To find more service-themed birthday parties, visit this post for over 15 ideas.
Chelsea is a mom of two boys under 5 and blogs at momentsaday.com, sharing ideas for families to connect and build character. She believes in using small moments throughout the day to help children learn how to use their head, heart, and hands to make the world a better place.
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