The two-part Kate Plus Eight: Sextuplets Turn 10 special will show their circus-themed birthday party
Credit: TLC

Raising eight children can be a circus – a comparison Kate Gosselin took to heart to celebrate her sextuplets’ birthday.

Dressed as a clown for her kids’ big day, Gosselin threw a carnival-themed bash for the youngest in her very busy brood: Aaden, Collin, Joel, Leah, Alexis and Hannah. The sextuplets turned 10 years old on May 10, and TLC captured all the fun for the family’s two-part return to reality TV.

“It was quite a celebratory carnival, marking 10 years of survival, health, happiness and the blessing of the best kids a mom could ever ask for,” Gosselin, 39, tells PEOPLE. “And to me, if I’m being real … maybe it didn’t seem too much crazier than our usual family-circus-type life.”

The party was an extravagant update of the sextuplets’ 3rd birthday celebration, also broadcast on the show. Back then, Gosselin rocked a pink wig. But this year, she went all out in a full clown costume.

“My dream was to reinvent our carnival theme from their 3rd birthday party,” she says. “And make it bigger, better and on a grander scale. In other words, more suited for kids of the double-digits age range this time around.”

With amusement park games and plenty of sweet treats (including a cake shaped like a circus tent), the fête was a rousing – and slightly exhausting for mom – success.

“The day was a blur of activity from the crack of dawn til late that night,” Gosselin says. “I think it turned out to be way more fun for all of us than any of us could have imagined. All nine of us came together – dreamed together, planned together, set up together and enjoyed a huge milestone with tons of our friends. Not to mention, the tons of candy, hot dogs, funnel cakes, popcorn, cotton candy, cake, ice cream and carnival games that also ‘attended.’ ”

See all the action (and what else the Gosselins have been up to) when Kate Plus Eight: Sextuplets Turn 10 airs as a two-part special on Thursday (10 p.m. ET) and next Thursday (June 26 at 10 p.m. ET) on TLC.

In the meantime, check out this sneak-peek video of Gosselin doing her best to get the kids on board with her plan:

Reporting by KATE COYNE

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