Cowboy Western Party

Cowboy Party 3yr - Burlap Favor Bags




Candi  in Pikeville, TN USA


September 2013


Runner Up

When our little boy turned three, I knew I wanted to make it a big deal.  So, what could be more fun than a Cowboy Party!  

INVITATIONS:  I bought invitations on Ebay.  They were simple 4 x 6 cream colored invitations with a red bandana trim and a little boy riding a pony.  The invitations read:  Put on your boots and saddle up!  D___ turning 3 Yippee!  I wanted the location to match our theme and I really lucked out finding a petting farm only 11 miles from our house. The Cowboy Attire:  My son wore cowboy boots, blue jeans and a cowboy t-shirt I had made to match the theme of the party.  His older sister wore the same.  Her boots and hat were pink (she is such a girl!) 

FOOD: We served BBQ sandwiches, baked beans, cold slaw, potato salad, broccoli salad, haystacks, birthday cake, cupcakes, and smores cake for the adults.  The drinks were sweet tea, bottled water, root beer, chocolate milk and lemonade.  I wanted to keep the cake simple, I chose a cow print two tier chocolate cake with a cactus print around the bottom (I wanted a little bit of color), and an old fashion sign that said Happy Birthday D___ was made of fondant and put on the top tier.  The sign on the cake kinda looked like a wanted poster.  I kept the cupcakes simple.  They were just white.  I did put them in a bandana cupcake liner and used cowboy cupcake picks for each one.  The petting farm included a hot dog, chips, and a drink for each child, so I didn't have to bring extras for the kids.  I used cowboy plates and cups for the kids with bandanas napkins.  I took each napkin and wrapped up a fork.  I tied them with raphia and glued on a sheriff's badge.  They looked awesome.  The adults just had solid colored red plates and mason jars.

DECORATIONS:  As guests arrived, they were greeted with a haystack display.  On the haystack, we had a picture of D___ with a balloon display which consisted of cow print, red, and black balloons.  On the hay we placed the cowboy gear each child would need for the day. We bought a small sign to place in front that read Howdy Folks Welcome To The Party!"  I also placed an old lantern on the hay stack to give it a more rustic look.  There was a fabric pony for guest to sign and write our sweet boy a note.  On the food table I used a fabric black table cloth.  I put a red bandana table runner on the table.  Then I bought small straw bales 6" x 6" x 12".  In the center of the table were three of the straw bales stacked up similar to the front entrance.  I placed the cake in front of the straw. Then hung a burlap banner above the table that read Happy Birthday.  

On each end of the table I used one straw bale.  I attached a balloon bouquet to each.  Again the balloons were cow print red and black.  I also included another picture of my son.  Then I placed the food around the table.  I used the straw bales as the cupcake holder. I also used two small mason jars for decoration.  I put a red bandana in each tied raphia around the top and attached a sheriff's badge in the front.  I put horse suckers from OT in these.  For serving I bought bandana trays and bowls from Hobby Lobby.  I also bought silver medal tins from Oriental Trading.  It looked great and really didn't take that long to set up.  The drink table was set up to match the food table.  I used drink dispensers for the tea and lemonade.  I set the root beer bottles on the table and the rest set on the ground in a large medal tin.  The gift table was very simple.  It was a black table cloth with a burlap sign hanging on it that said gifts.  I used picnic tables for the guest.  I used red bandana table clothes for each.  On each table I had a balloon bouquet and small medal tins with unshelled peanuts and mints (wrapped to look like bandanas).  The petting farm had a tent set up so we decided to use it for crafts.  I used red paper lanterns hung from the center to decorate the tent.  Each station had a sign with the title of the game.  I bought the template from Etsy and just printed them out.  I put the on card stock to make them a bit more sturdy and the we hot glued them to dowl rods so we could stick them in the ground.

ACTIVITIES: Upon arrival each child was transformed into a cowboy or cowgirl.  Each boy got a cowboy hat a red bandana a water gun a sheriff's badge and set of handcuffs.  Our little cowgirls got the same with the exception of the bandana they got a cowgirl necklace instead.  They looked so cute!  Next each child got a tattoo and then moved onto the photo booth.  At the photo booth the children put on a mustache and then put the faces inside the wanted posted prop I found.  After that they could go to the craft's tent and paint a birdhouse car etc. We did this first so they would dry before time to go home.  There was a bounce house set up by the petting farm for us to use as well.  Through out the party the owner of the petting farm gave pony rides tram rides (that's the train made out of barrels and hooked to a lawn mower) and there was a hayride for all the children at the end. Being we were at a petting farm the children also got to see pigs goats donkey's llamas basically anything farm like.  Ducks and chickens walked around the entire time we were there.  There was also a fire pit for us to make smores.  The kids loved this!  We also set up a "Jail" so the kids could play sheriff.  My husband took a big card board box and painted it to look like a jail.  He cut out a hole in the front and put in plastic rods so our outlaws could look out.

GAMES:  1. Of course we had Pin the tail on the Donkey.  
2. There's A Snake In My Boot: For this game two children (of similar age) stood on a hay bale and tried to drop 10 snakes into a cowboy boot.  The one who got the most snakes in the boot was the winner.  
3.  Gold Mining At Turtle Town:  For this we used our turtle sandbox and put fish tank rocks painted gold inside.  The children used metal pie pans for sifting.  They loved finding gold!  
4. Stick Pony Races:  We set up 6 stick horses and gave each child a number.  From my classroom I had a fun wheel with numbers on it that matched the numbers on the children.  I really didn't want anyone to get hurt so to make this game less intense I spun the wheel the number it stopped on allowed that child to take a step.  The winner was the first person to get to the finish line.
5.  Shoot Em Down:  We painted soda cans to look like cows prints and stacked them up.  The children 2 at a time were allowed to shoot down the cans with a cork gun.  The winner of course was the one who shot down all of the cans.  
6.  Pass the Cactus: For this game we used a singing pickle (it could have been a cactus) I had in my classroom.  It is similar to the game hot potato.  The children passed it around and whoever was holding it when it went off got out of the game. The winner was the last person standing.  
7.  We had a horse shaped Pinata hanging from a tree.  A pinata is a must have at all of our parties!  I just love watching the kids try hit at that thing.  

Now for the adults: 1.  The petting farm provided Corn Hole and Horse Shoes.  2.  We also set up a rook table.  The adults (Dads) were very happy for something to do.  As you mother's know the moms were chasing the kids!!!  I bought gold nugget gum plastic cowboys and indians and cowboy boot pencils as prizes.

GOODY BAGS:  This was my favorite part of the party.  I had so much fun making them.  I bought burlap sacks from Etsy ($14.00 for 25).  On each sack I hot glued a brown horse shoe and star decoration (These were actually plastic rings but I took the ring part off and just used the front).  I also attached a sign to each that I made.  I took a picture of my son in a cowboy hat and overalls and printed 25 copies in sepia.  I cut out the picture and glued it to brown card stock.  Then using rope font I put Thanks for sharing my special day!  Your Friend D____.   Inside of each bag the cowboys got stickers a small plastic horse a mustache a harmonica and cowboy candy. The cowgirls got the same except they got a pink slap bracelet instead of the mustache.   I bought everything mentioned above from Oriental Trading Birthday Express Hobby Lobby Ebay and Etsy. Since I knew months ahead of time what I wanted I was able to shop around and find the lowest prices.

THANK YOU NOTES:  For the thank you notes I just printed a group picture card that simply said, "Thank you for sharing my special day." I wanted to send out the pictures so the children would remember the fun day!  All and all this was one of the easiest parties to plan and prepare.  I really lucked up finding the petting farm.  It already had the animals and the big red barn.  All I had to do was set up the decorations and bring the adult food.  Not to mention he only charged $6 a child.  All the adults were FREE!!!  We had a great day!"

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