version of act.

Balaneiing Barz:el»
Craft a kid-friendly the classic plate-oalancing one hano, eaeh guest tries to keep the b.arrel aloft. For a tougher trick, nave him balance the stic:k atop a finger. If you like, til'l'le eaeh partygger and award a (SlrizetJP the one who balances the bar~el the longest. Holding the balancing stick in

ing Bongo Baa-rely
This simple devise will thrill your little daredevils. Challenge kids These active toys, made with easyto-find items from hardware and grocery stores, are perfect for creating a three-ring show. With colorful painter's tape or sidewalk chalk, make large circles on the floor or ground, then set up one activity each. Have an adult ringmaster' on hand to spot the acrobats in to see who can stand on the board the loogestwitliout Jetting the encils'tsuGI;i the gmuocl. Our directions give a couple of sizes for the board ant! for the pipe, so you ean ehoose the degree of difficulty. (Balancing is easier on a wider board and pipe, harder on a

The GI"'a'rity-De:fy~ to page 77 for lIi:l'ections tc.\ tidIthltee projects shown here.


Encourage partygoers to imagine they're far up in the air asthey navigate this narrow beam. An umbrella adds an ~u~hentic aerialist touch and may help with balance (just be

-----------------------------------------------------Gravit:;;rDe'ryiflg: Bongo Board
(from page

The Greatest Party on Earth!

------------~---------~---------------of the center paint. With the pencil point, pierce a hole through each mark dots

1m Cover

the two-by-four

with duct tape, being sure


to cover the top edges to prevent splinters, We added a contrasting strip of tape down the board's center to create a tightrope effect. wide and36·inches long


o Pencil and ruler o Board, 10 or121nches


Hi Cover

the bricks with dud tape, Set one under

Using the template,

o Duct tape o Pool noodle o Gluegun o PVC pipe 2 or 3 inches wide
end caps

(many lumber yards will cut to this length for you)

each end of the board, Make sure the end rests directly over the brick so that the board won't tip up. when a guest stands on it.

on the X at each
dot. Widen

bottom and the lid of the barrel, then use the craft knife (adults only) to cut a small the openings with the pencil,

with matching
[from p,ge49]

You will need: D Ducttape D Oatmeal, cornmeal, or similar cardboard. container
with lid (we used an 18-ouDce oatmeal Container)

Using double-sided tape to adhere the decorative

paper, cover the barrel's sides. Decorate the dowels wltr electrical tape as shown. Wrap a rubber band securely around two dowels, 9 inches from one end.

o Pencil a line 1'12
inches in from each end of the board, Starting

at one


D Pencil and paper D Craft knife D Dcoble-sided tape D Decorative paper
D 3 (36-i nth-long) wooden dowels

and endi ng at the otheri cover the board with duct tape stripes.

1m With

a serrated

kitchen knife,


two pool-noodle segments to match the width of the board. Slice open each segment along one side and slip the segments over the ends of the board. Add lines of hot glue where the noodle edges and the board meet.

D Electrical tape D 2 rubber bands D 6 pencil-top erasers

g, Insert
!I'll. Stick a square
of duct tape an the bottom of the container and, if the lid is cardboard, stick another one atop the lid (if it's plastic, leave it as is),

the two dowels through the barrel's bottom

holes. sliding. them in until each rubber band is flush against the bottom. Slide the lid over the dowels' top ends, then fit the lid in place,

ill Place the

end caps onto the pipe and place it

ill. Make

a template by tracing the barrel's bottom

m. G.ently twist

the lid so that the dowels crass inside

under the board.

on the paper, Cut out and fold the traced circle into four equal sections. Open the circle; stud (ours is 8 feet long, but you mark the center, and draw a line along one fold Ji!l:lI Along the line, mark a dot % inch from either side

the container, Place erasers on all the dowel ends. To use the barrel, set it atop the remaining dowel. which serves as the balancing stick.



You will need:

o Two-by~four o Duct tape
o 2 bricks

can adjust the length to fit

To let guests grab the spotlight, hang a to festive tablecloth

serve as a backdrop. Add a paper banner cut from computer printouts and taped to a string. Snap digital photos of guests posing with a red nose. Print the shots for kids to take home, or use them for thank-you notes.

your favorite


mix. Cover the it

caRe with white frosting, extending your favorite corn muffin recipe or mix, add the batter to the muffin tin,

onto the platter along one short end. Separate red Pull 'n' Peel Twizzlers into sections of one, two, and three strands and arrange them on the frosting shown. With decorators' birthoay as icing, pipe a

message on a frosted sugar ~

cookie, then frame it with a Twizzler strano. Finally, cover the cake's top

section and the frosting on the-platter

Clown Hat

with caJamel com, See·more great birthday cakes on page 38.



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