Monday, October 1, 2012

Thank Goodness For Wristbands

The wee ones' school does a Carnival each year as its major fundraiser.  And yes, in this case, it's big enough that Carnival is capitalized.  It takes over 400 volunteers to put it together and run it, and it's a blast.  The wee ones love when I'm volunteering not only because it means they get to run around everywhere but also because they get no homework passes for each shift I volunteer.

The best part about those passes?  They love getting the passes.  In three years, I've yet to actually have them remember to use them.  It's a great incentive all around.

Our Carnival is huge, and everyone loves it.  It is a great community builder where you see absolutely everyone there.  And yes, this year, I even saw my chiropractor.  Everyone is there, not just kids from the school.  There are games and rides and food and everything you could want from the midway of a real fair.

The first year I went, we bought tickets by the sheet.  I went back to buy more tickets only a few times before my wallet was exhausted.  I think we lasted an hour.  Wow those tickets go fast.  The wee ones had fun, but it was a much shorter day than I'd anticipated.

Riding a kiddie roller coaster

After that first year, I learned my lesson.  We bought wristbands.  The wee ones actually do love the rides and spend the majority of their time there, and the wristbands are valid from noon until 4pm on a given day.  That I can handle.  It's far more cost effective, and we know we can spend four hours at Carnival before we're done for the day.

The wee ones are now thrilled.  They run from ride to ride, finding friends to go with them, and giggling the whole time.  We still purchase a couple sheets of tickets so that we can buy food.  And so the wee ones can have their faces painted.  It never fails to amaze me how talented some of the people who attend our school are.  Each year when they come show me what they've chosen for their face paint... I just giggle, thankful that it will wash off when we shower.

Vampire face paint on a cute little girl
Little Miss was  vampire this year.  Have you ever seen a cuter one?

You think it's a pirate, but it's Bruce!
Mister Man chose "Bruce" - his made up character from Star Wars XIX (don't ask).

Without the wristbands, our time would be much shorter at Carnival.  And we'd probably spend less money overall because we'd see how fast it was going.  Whoever came up with the idea of doing wristbands was brilliant - and not only because it means I can volunteer for my shifts, knowing the wee ones are being chaperoned by a friend who won't need to keep coming back to me for more money!

Does your school do a Carnival, too?  Or maybe a carnival?  What's your favorite part about the one at your school?

I know we can't be the only ones who love carnivals.  Carnival Savers has a contest going on now through October 4 where you can win $250 in carnival prizes.  Go enter quick though, because this ends October 4!

I am writing this post in conjunction with VolunteerSpot, a website that helps manage volunteer activities.  I've been using it for the past two years with our PTO, and it's a lifesaver.  I found it on my own and have been using it on my own.  I recently met up with VolunteerSpot and found out that they love bloggers, too.  I'm beyond excited to help spread the word about them because I personally love them so much.  Writing this post means I'm entered to win $50 from Carnival Savers, but that's not why I wrote this post!


Laura Grace Andry October 1, 2012 at 11:35 AM  

I have not taken the kiddos to a carnival yet. But I don't think that this is far off in our future. I LOVED Carnivals when I was a kid and I cannot wait to introduce my kiddos to them too. And I am all about saving some money when possible. Thanks!

Sandra October 3, 2012 at 10:35 AM  

I missed you at the Carnival! That weekend was one of my busiest of the year. But I did manage two shifts at face painting. I actually look forward to painting faces :) We don't do the wristbands, only because my kiddos are not riders. They'll do a few and it's enough. Speaking of homework passes, we never did get ours, but DD doesn't actually 'use' them either. :)

Michelle October 3, 2012 at 12:05 PM  

Laura - Oh it's so much fun. I didn't do it before we were at the school, but I wish we had when they were younger - such a blast!

Sandra - I missed you, too! I was working basically the whole time I was there. (pesky NU game!) I'm so impressed with the face painting that is done; you guys rock. I haven't seen a homework pass yet, either, but I'm ok with that. ;)

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