Cowboy Western Party

Wild West Cowboy -5yr- Steer Skull Cake




Robin in Antioch, IL   USA


March 2005



For my son's 5th birthday we decided to go with a Wild West Party.  Since his birthday is in March and the only thing predictable about March in Illinois is Mud we decided to plan things that would work inside as well as outside if possible.  This year his birthday also landed on Easter so I had that to condend with also.  We decided to have his birthday party the day before Easter and to go along with his theme we had a Rattlesnake Egg Hunt instead of an Easter Egg Hunt. 

I made the invitations on my computer with some fun cowboy lingo, like ya'll come, give us a holler, calling all buckaroos, and come for some fixins (or Grub). Inside the invite I included all the party details, and on the inside page I put a picture of a wanted cowboy that I found on my clipart, under it I called him Chester Bunny, wanted for scattering Rattlesnake Eggs all over "Last Name" Ranch.  This way the kids knew that there would be an Egg Hunt. We have our parties for family and a few close friends.  We usually have around 12 kids under 12 and 2 a little older. 

For food I served a few hordorves like veggies served up in my super old tin camping dishes as well as chicken drummies in the same.  For the main course we had beans and biscuits,(that's all my son wanted to serve) bbq, hotdogs, a couple of salads and chips and salsa.  Of course we had bottled root beer(sasparilla) to drink as well as other pop and juice to drink.  I also made sure we had shelled peanuts around. 

For the cake I made it into a steer skull(you know boys) The cake wasn't very large so I made cupcakes in both yellow and chocolate for the kids the decorate them selves, that was a big hit.  think lots of frosting and sprinkles of every color.  I also made sugar cookies in the shape of cowboy boots, steer skull and Cactus. 

When the children arrived, I suited them up with a cowboy hat (oriental trading) and a vest that I made out of felt.  I also made each of them a sheriff star that I ran off on card stock with there name on it.  I put the girls in pink and the boys in black.  I just put pink ribbon over the black band that was already on the hat.  When they came in I had tables set up for them to color at.  I found alot of cowboy coloring pages at various cowboy websites.  When everyone arrived I handed out puzzles pieces to each child and adult to draw on for a souvenier for my Son.  I made sure all the children knew that I included one for them to take home and do for themselves.  We really got some fun pictures from that.  I ordered the blank puzzles from hands on fun (a division of oriental trading) One recomendation here is that you make sure that everyone is drawing on the right side of the puzzle because both sides are white.  I haven't quit figured out if the puzzle is gonna actually go together all the right sides showing or not.  If it doesn't I'll just put them in a collage for my son's bedroom wall.

As everyone was coloring I also had a cowboy trivia quiz for the adults to take.  It was 18 questions and it was something fun for the adults to do also. I found all the questions online and just typed them up on word.  I also had a mason jar full of cowboy shaped beads(oriental trading) that they had to guess how many were inside, another thing for kids and adults. 

For the prizes for those 2 games I made some oatmeal chocolate no bake cookies that I put in a bag and made a pretty little tag on my computer that said "Cow Paddy" made with love on "last name" ranch.  The tag had a heart and a picture of a backside of a cow.  Around on the tables I also had lots and lots of Cowboy books from the library.  Ones for the kids and for the adults also.  I got ones with lots of neat pictures.  When everyone was done with their puzzles pieces, I left my step dad in charge of grading all the quizes (gave him something to do) I took the kids outside, well not really, we are in the process of putting on an addition, It is completely inclosed, but has not inside walls yet so I took them in our soon to be family room.  I had 5 different stations set up there. 

First I took a picture of each one of the kids in from of a backdrop that my sister painted for me.  It was on a blue sheet, and she just painted mountains and a sunset on it.  My husband was supposed to make a covered wagon out of our radio flyer, but that did not get done.  So I just had the kids sit on a bale of hay in front of the backdrop and took their picture.  I had a cowboy frame for them to make in their loot bag so I the picture is for them to put in the frame.  Then they tryed to throw rubber snakes in a cowboy boot.  THey panned for gold in a pool of sand, they used a cork gun to shoot at some thin wood cowboy shapes, and I they used a squirt gun to try and put a whole through a tissue paper bear. 

For the gold I just bought decorative rocks from the dollar star and spray painted them gold.  I sewed little brown bags out of felt squares for them to hold their gold, and they closed it with jute twine.  for the cork gun range, I found some thin wood cowboy shapes (Michaels)that I painted up and taped a straw to the back and strung it up across what is going to be the fireplace.  When the kids hit them with the cork gun they would spin around. 

For the water gun bear hunt, I just strung up 2 pieces of string and clothespinned a bear shape cut out of brown tissue paper to the 2 strings.  Clipping them up was tricky but eventually it got easy so practice first. Every kid got a prize for each game whether or not they succeeded or not.  I had gummy handcuffs, horseshoe magnets, gold coin bubble gum and the gold.  When the kids where all done I handed out there loot bags so that they had a place to put all of their things. 

For the loot bag I sewed burlap into bags, inside I put cowboy stationary that I found on my computer with each kids name on it, the cowboy picture frame, t puzzles that they could color on themselves, dot candy, a "cow paddy" cookie like I gave as adult prizes, a bag of whooper eggs in a bag with a label on it that said "Rattlesnake Eggs" Caution, rite likely to hatch any minute. I tied it close with jute twine and labeled it with a personalized horse shoe.  I used the same wood pieces that I found for the shooting range.  THe girls where pink and the boys where gray.  I just used puffy paint to right on them. 

THen we ate, opened presents, sang happy birthday, decorated cupcakes, went back into the additon for a horse pinata, then it was time for the rattlesnake egg hunt.  I hid 12 plastic eggs for each child.  I seperated the boys and girls eggs.  I didn't want to put candy in them cuz of the pinata, and easter the next day, so I found all kinds of other little things. Boys, snakes lizards, bouncy balls, erasers, tatoos, noise maker balloons, little yo yo's and stuff like that.  Girls I had stickers, stamps, rings, sticker earings, necklaces, jacks, baretts and clips.  The kids loved this.  WHen the hunt was over everyone was free to go home. 

For decorations I made signs on my computer.  I found something that looked like a peice of wood for back ground so I made signs Like "last name" Ranch, no spittin, no chewing, no drinken, watering hole, howdy, and some other things.  I had some cowboy things cut out to hand from the light fixture above our table. Cowboy boots, hats, cactus, six shooter, horse shoe and stuff.  For every child I made a wanted poster.  I just used some tan card stock, I found the wanted poster frame on one of those cowboy websites that I found the coloring page.  I put their picture that I had taken on another occasion I put it in the middle and then I put a $5000 reward and a reason they were wanted.  I just came up with some ideas based on the picture or their personality or whatever.

My daughter was wanted for attempting to run this household.  My son was wanted for serious crimes of fashion (I had several pictures of him on it dressed in all kinds of crazy outfits.  My neice was wanted for babysitting Saturday night.  You can think of all kinds of things if you just try.  I also put some of these wanted poster frames out when the kids were coloring.  They liked to draw their own wanted poster.  I put the date and My son's name and 5th Birthday party on the the back so they could take it home.  I also had some bales of hay around, a triangle (one of the musical ones to call everyone to dinner) hanging from the porch, cowboy boots with flowers in them, lasso, and some other cowboy stuff. 

For the thank yous I printed a magnet with my son in his cowboy outfit that I made him for the party. 

Everything went pretty well.  I got a lot of my ideas from this site, or someone elses clever ideas sparked a clever idea for me.  Hopefully this will give you some ideas of your own.  Have a great party.

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