Cowboy Western Party

Cowboy Party -6yr- Cow Roping




Denise in Bainbridge, PA, USA


August 2002



Cowboy Party For our son's 6th birthday, he wanted to have a cowboy party. With the theme in hand, I began to prepare for the party. A month before the party, I began to gather supplies and make the props.

Props made before hand were SIGNS: a welcome sign that read "Welcome to the (last name)'s ranch population 4 (used to greet guests), wanted posters for our children and niece complete with bounty, sign post arrows for some famous western towns(Tombstone, Badlands, Carson City, and Laredo, O.K. Corral, Eureka Gold River, Rattle Snake Gulch, Soda Saloon, and Chuck Wagon. "SAWHORSE COW AND HORSE": these were made by covering the two sawhorses with fabric. For each start with taping a pillow covered with a plastic bag to the center of the sawhorse. For cow drape several yards of black fabric on the sawhorse pulled tight around each "leg" with a strip of white fabric. Create a three dimension head by sewing and stuffing for adding to sawhorse-Tape a dowel with duct tape to one of the saw horse legs and attach the head. And add a tail. For horse, drape with several yards of brown fabric over sawhorse and pull tight around each "leg" with strip of brown fabric. Create a three dimension head and add to sawhorse the same way as the cow. Add a yarn mane and tail to complete the horse.

PIN THE TAIL ON HORSE: Using my home publishing, I created a horse poster and cut tails to match from construction paper.

PIÑATA: a Boot piñata was made with a paper bag covered with starched newspaper strips and crepe paper.  It was filled with bags that contained candy, sheriff badges, harmonicas and plastic snakes.

RATTLE SNAKE RUCUS: a snake made from a tie, the large point stuffed with fill and the small end a plastic container with a few small beads or rice this end is knotted creating a rattle snake.

PANNING FOR GOLD: Poking holes into bottom of aluminum pie pans and making Possibilities bags from yellow shammy cloth, shoe strings and buttons. Directions came from the book "Westward Ho Activities Book" by Laurie Carlson

COW ROPING: Wrapping rope around the top of a laundry basket(cut from the rest of the basket) to create a lasso.

HAY BALE TOSS: getting a mini hay bale.

FAVOR BAGS: white bags with black marker cow spots on them. Inside the favor bags a nerds rope and Wanted Photo frame.

Our invitations created on our computer said front: "We're rounding up at the (last name) Corral in Bainbridge Road Territory!" inside: "Our Buckaroo (name) is turning 6 and your presence is wanted at the party. Date, time, location, Give us a holler at (phone number) by (date) to RSVP Sure hope that you can do-si-do on over for some boot stomping fun. Yeehaw!!!! Please wear denim shorts or denim overalls, if you can. We sent them a few weeks before the party.

We invited 20 children to the party. We had decided to hold the party at our church in case of bad weather, we would have enough space. The day of the party, we set up in the church pavilion, the weather was beautiful. We hung the signs and wanted posters. We used some signs to create areas for the games and eating.

The eating area: Chuck Wagon area of food/cake table and picnic tables with table clothes for guests and Soda Saloon(above the cooler) Since we were using soda cans and straws I decided to put the children's names on sticker strips to be placed onto the straws so we would know who belonged to each can. In the OK Corral, the "sawhorse" horse and cow were set up in the corral. This area was the location of the cow roping and hay bale toss. 

The Eureka Gold River, the gold panning location had a wading pool with play sand and "gems and gold"(aquarium/vase glass marbles)and water. We set up a CD player and had western music to play. As each guest arrived they were given a bandana and cowboy hat purchased from Oriental Traders. To pass the time until all the guests arrived, we practiced tying knots. The children really enjoyed making different kinds of knots.

After all guests arrived (10 children and 12 adults), we had each guest sit on the "sawhorse" horse to have a photo taken (these photos will be included in Thank you cards for Wanted Poster Frame favor). Then on with the games. Pin the tail on the horse were each child was blindfolded and given a paper tail to try to place on the horse poster. We moved to Rattle Snake gulch and played Rattle Snake Rucus which is played like Hot Potato. Each player passes the tie rattle snake and is out when the music stops. Last player wins.

From here, we went to the OK Corral and tried to rope the "sawhorse" cow with the laundry basket top lasso. The children found this very difficult, however, they really loved trying. Along with this, we had several rope lassos for the children to try out while waiting. The children then tried to throw the hay bale, we had a parent measure the distances with a tape measure (note if you do this be sure to tie the bale together, ours come apart and we tied it with twine.) The Corral events were a big hit!!!

Next, using pillowcases, we had a sleeping bag (sack) race. We did three races, then each winner raced to find a grand champ. They loved it. After the sack race, we went onto Eureka Gold River (wading pool), here we panned for gold using the pie plates to sift our the gems and gold. Each child had a possibility bag to gather their loot. This was a great event for the children, they enjoyed playing in the water and finding gems and gold in the pie pans!!.

AT THIS POINT OUR FOOD WAS READY WE ALL WASHED UP TO EAT. Our food was BBQ Potato chips and hot dogs wrapped with crescent rolls. Ketchup and mustard was available. Our plates were silver (to resemble pie tins the real cow boys used)and napkins red and white checkers. The hot dogs are wrapped, placed on a baking sheet and cooked to 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

After eating, we broke the piñata and had the children play pass the boot. Pass the boot was how each guest gave the birthday boy their gift. As the music played the boot was passed, when the music stopped the guest with the boot gave their gift. Once all the children gave their gifts. We enjoyed cake.

The cakes were Horse heads made by my friend using directions from Family Fun site. The children loved the cake too. By now it was just about time for everyone to leave. Each child, took home their hat, bandana, bag from piñata, possibility bag with gems and gold, a nerds rope and Wanted poster photo frame. I had a cowboy story to read as we waited for parents to come, but we were so busy with the rest of the stuff that we never got to the story.

The children had a great time and the adults enjoyed ourselves too. I had many comments on the cow and horse props. It was a lot of work, but worth every minute of fun we had. We sent thank you cards made with our home publishing program that said front: "THANKS PARTNER!" inside: "Thank you for joining me at my party. You helped make it more fun!! I really loved your gift you gave me too!! Thank you again."  Inside each card we included the photo of the guest with the horse prop to insert into their frame to help remember the party.

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