Cowboy Western Party

Cowboy 5yr - Theres a Snake in my Boot




Holly in Henderson, Nevada


March 2003


March 2003 Winner

Cowboy party for a 5 year old boy.   

Invitations:  Wanted poster (burnt edges on nutmeg colored card stock) "WANTED"  (picture of bandit-looking guy under "Wanted") Under Wild Bill's picture "Wild Bill" "For Theft" "Calling all cowboys & cowgirls. Sheriff Preston needs your help! Wild Bill has stolen all the goody bags for Preston's 5th birthday party and he's rounding up his posse to get them back."  On the back: "Meet us at the Old Eighmy Ranch For Preston's Lil' Buckaroo Party!  Address, Date, Time (High Noon) See y'all there, partners!  RSVP to Miss Holly or Bob Willie (phone #) or use the Pony Express RSVP postcard by (date)".  I included a postcard with postage affixed for RSVPs that read "RSVP for Preston's Lil' Buckaroo Party by (date), ___________ Child's/Guest's name   Please circle one  Yee-Haw~~~I'm coming! Or Dag-Nabit~~~I can't make it!"  The front read "Sheriff Preston Eighmy & our address." My son loved going to the mailbox everyday to see if he received mail. The font I used was DJ Signpost (DJ Inkers).  We ended up with 26 kids and 30+ adults! 

Decorations: Red & White checked table cloths, real bales of hay, small (shoebox sized) bales of hay with blue and red balloons tied to them for centerpieces and decoration along our block wall. Live non-prickly cacti with burlap ties with jute on the pots on the food table. I also purchased an OK Corral entrance and fencing from Stumps.com.  We used these at the end of our driveway to welcome the children. We also made Wanted posters for each member of our family (ourselves, grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins)with a bounty, crime, and AKA and hung them on the outside walls of the house and block wall.  This was an outside party in our front yard and drive-way.  I also rented child sized tables and chairs.  I also had started making an old west town out of appliance boxes, but I was in the hospital for 5 weeks and they were rained on and ruined so I skipped it. I wish we would have had them for the kids to play in also. 

Food:  BBQ-smoked brisket, porkloin, sausage (my dad caters BBQ as a side business), baked beans, potato salad, macaroni salad, chips, dip, hot dogs and rolls. We ate on pie tins and used real silverware. The silverware was stored in galvanized buckets as well as the chips and dip.  The salads were served in disposable aluminum pans.  Activities/Games: Paperbag vest decorating, Lasso the Steer, Panning for gold, Stockade, Live Ponies, Pin the Badge (star) on Preston, There's a Snake in my Boot, Wild Bill and Pinata.   As the children arrived, I gave each of them a cowboy hat, bandanna & sheriff's badge with their name on it (Oriental Trading) and had them color a paperbag vest.  (I already had the paperbag vests cut out and fringed and had their name written inside.)  After they were finished coloring and decorating their vests they went to the front yard. In the front yard we had 3 bales of hay set-up with a real saddle on them. In front of the saddle was another bale of hay with a plastic steer head stuck in it.  The kids sat on the saddle and lassoed the steer head. 

They also panned for gold. I purchased a small plastic kiddy pool.  I used 25 pounds of play sand and spray painted gold about 1/4 of a bag of aquarium rocks and water.  The kids used disposable pie tins with holes in them to sift for the gold nuggets.  We also have a horse swing made from tires hanging in the front tree that the kids played on. I had a friend make me a stockade out of a piece of plywood with 3 holds cut out and mounted on a stand. The kids would stick their head and arms in it and giggle. The kids went around playing these activities for about 30 min. we then ate and then the ponies arrived.  We rented 2 ponies for the kids to ride for an hour.  It costs us $100 for the hour for 2 ponies.  I took a picture of each child on a pony and a group shot in front of the OK Corral and fencing for their Thank yous.  The kids fed the ponies carrots then we played 2 games. 

There's a Snake In My Boot--2 adult cowboy boots and at least 20 vinyl snakes (Oriental Trading).  Two children stand on a bale of hay with a cowboy boot in front of them.  They had to stand straight (no bending over) and try to drop a snake in the boot.  They each had 10 snakes to drop. 

Pin the Badge on Preston--I took a picture of my son with his cowboy get-up on.  I took the picture to Kinkos and had them blow it up in black and white to life size (47" tall). This cost me about $4. Each child had a paper star with their name on it and the edges decorated with silver glitter (premade by me).  They were blindfolded and had to stick their star as close to the badge Preston was wearing in the picture.  The 2 closest received horse puzzles wrapped in brown Kraft paper with jute tied for the ribbon and a snake tied to that as their prize.  I also gave the same prize to the child who was farthest away.  All through the party we kept asking the kids if they'd seen Wild Bill?  Especially when they were riding the ponies.  Between the two games Wild Bill (a friend dressed as a bandit) came running up the sidewalk and into the driveway with a large burlap bag (filled with the goody bags).  The kids grabbed him and brought him to the stockade.  They decided to let him out and he handed out their goody bags. 

The last activity after cake was the piñata.  I had a horse pull-string piñata made from a local lady.  Instead of having the kids scramble for the 10# of candy (KiddieMix Party City), I prebagged even amounts of the candy into small cellophane bags with gold stars (Party City) and tied them with curling ribbon.  So, when they all pulled their string and the bottom came open bags of candy fell making it easy for them to grab.  This way everyone gets an equal amount of candy and it's already bagged to take home.  I prefer to use the pull-string piñatas when the piñata is the shape of an animal or person.  I don't like the idea of the kids watching an animal or person shaped piñata. 

Goody bags: The goody bags that Wild Bill returned were burlap tied with jute. In them were: handcuffs (OT), harmonica (OT), goldmine gum (OT), 5 gold coins (OT), small horse (OT), cowboy stickers, a cowboy tattoo, Woody or Jessie sucker (Disney Store).  (There's also a darling Stick Horse you can make out of old jeans on the Family Fun site {hobbyhorse} for the kids. I had also been collecting jeans to make these for the kids to take home.  My stay in the hospital made it impossible to get them all completed in time.) 

Cake: My friend made this for me. A chocolate sheet cake decorated with white icing.  She "glued" with icing pretzel sticks together to look like corral fencing. This went around the entire top perimeter of the cake. She piped green grass in various spots around the top of the cake. She used shredded wheat as hay bales, graham crackers to make a trof with blue frosting inside for water. We placed 2 of Preston's plastic horses on top also. We had "Boot Scootin'" plates and napkins for cake.  We then opened presents and the kids all went home!  This was a party that lasted from 12 noon to around 3:15ish.  The children were aged 2-6 with the majority of them being 4-5.  This was a lot of work and I enlisted help from 2 teenage siblings of one of the guests for the front yard activities. Of course my husband, dad, sister and a couple friends were helping also.  This was a lot of fun and I tend to go overboard on b-day parties (I started seriously planning this party 4 months ahead). But my kids and their friends love them and have a blast.  I figure they're only little once. 

Thank yous: Small (1/2 of 8.5X11 sheet--same as invites) wanted posters "Wanted to thank you for a rootin'-tootin' good time!"  I then placed the picture of the child on the "wanted poster" center and also included a copy of the group picture.  I put a small magnet on the back so they can hang it on their fridge. On the back, we handwrote a thanks for the actual present that child gave and Preston signed his name.  I used and modified some ideas from the BirthdayPartyIdeas.com site for our party.  This site is a wealth of information and ideas.  I love it!

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