Rodeo Party

Rocking Horse Rodeo 5yr - Barrel Racing




Ellen in Emmett, ID  USA


June 2001


June 2001 Winner

FOR MY SON'S 5TH BIRTHDAY PARTY, we are planning on having a "Rocking Horse Ranch Rodeo".  We will have the yard separated into 4 "corrals" and each guest will be allowed to try their hand at each activity. 

INVITATIONS: We will be sending out "Wanted Poster" party invitations.  On a piece of parchment paper, we will write "WANTED: Your Presence on Saturday, (date) at 2:00 PM.  Ornery Aaron will be hosting a Stick Horse Rodeo to celebrate his 5th birthday at (Address)." Then we will burn the edges and roll them like a wanted poster and tie with a ribbon.  Most of them will be hand delivered, but the ones that will be mailed will be sent in a mailing tube.  {For invitations: 10 pieces of parchment paper, computer and printer, lighter, ribbon, mailing tubes}

TO DECORATE THE YARD, we will have a poster board sign that reads " Welcome to the Rocking Horse Ranch!" set up at the opening of the yard.  Then we will have hay bales separating the yard into four sections, The calf roping section will have the hay bale calf (Take a bale of hay, poke a broom handle into one end and decorate bristles or mop to look like the head of a calf.) in the middle of the corral. The barrel racing section will have the stick horse and two "barrels" spaced for a barrel race. The 3rd section will contain the pool, filled for gold panning, and two bales of hay with tin cans set up on them.  The main section will have a rocking horse, where all of the cowboys will get their pictures taken at the end, after they have their entire western garb.  There will also be a large table set up for the first two activities, and when they are done, the table will be cleared and the cake and presents set up on the table. As well as the rest of the "Chow Wagon stuff.  I will make a large arch to go around the table, with the opening on one side, and the kids will come to the chow wagon to eat.  D├ęcor will include, scattered around the yard; horseshoes, lanterns, cowboy hats, boots, rope, saddle, maybe a fake campfire with an old cast iron coffeepot on it. We are planning to make up "wanted" posters of all of the guests, each with a fitting crime; cattle rustling, horse theft, bank robbery, poaching, gambling, etc.  We are going to have the portable stereo set up with cowboy music playing. {For decorations: poster board sign, hay bales, hay bale calf, two 5 gallon buckets or other appropriate "barrels", kiddy pool,  $8 in pennies, sand, 6 tin cans, large table, with table cloth (red checked) lrch fitting table, horseshoes, lanterns, cowboy hats, boots, rope, saddle, fake campfire, cast iron coffeepot, wanted posters, rocking horse}

GAMES AND ACTIVITIES: DRESS UP TABLE - Before we have a rodeo, we have to have cowboys, so first, each guest will go to the first table where they will make up a vest for themselves. For each vest, you will need a brown paper grocery bag.  Cut the back of the bag down the middle to make vest opening. Cut the bottom enough to fit a child comfortably around neck and shoulders. Decorate with markers. (You can cut a fringe on the bottom if you want to.)

THE BRANDING TABLE - Next, the guests will learn what it's like to be a real cowboy.  They will have to learn to mark their property to keep it safe from cattle rustlers.  They can "brand" cow and horse pictures with branding irons made of cowboy shaped sponges with a wooden thread spool glued on for the handle. They can dip their "branding iron" in different colors of paint that will be in aluminum pie tins. Guests can then take their pictures home. After the activity, each cowboy will earn his hat.

CALF ROPING - To be a cowboy, you have to know how to handle a rope.  Guests will take turns roping our hay bale calf. Tie a rope to a Hula-Hoop and let them use it to "lasso" the calf.  Each guest will get to throw until they can rope the calf, then they will earn their sheriff's badge.

BARREL RACING - Fancy riding doesn't make a cowboy, but it helps to be able to stay in the saddle. For our next activity, we will give each guest a stick horse to ride. At the signal, they will race their trusty steeds to the goal and run around a barrel placed there and return to the start line. Every rider wins a bandana.

PANNING FOR GOLD - Since the cowboy profession is a risky one, what with cattle rustlers and drought, most cowboys have to find another way to fill their empty wallets.  Our cowboys are going to try their hand at the gold rush.  Fill a small kiddy pool with water and sand. Stir in $8 worth of pennies. Give players a pie tin and have them dip and sluice the sand out to expose the pennies. They get to keep all they get. (give them a "money bag" to hold their "loot".)

TIN CAN SHOOT - One of the most important things about being a cowboy is protecting your herd.  That means you have to know how to handle a gun.  Each guest will receive a squirt gun, loaded, and told to try to shoot off three empty soup cans placed on a bench. The guests will get to keep their guns. {for activities: 8 brown paper bags, markers, cow and horse pictures from the internet, cowboy shaped sponges, "handles", aluminum pie tins, paint, 8 cowboy hats, hula-hoop, rope, 8 sheriff's badges, a stick horse, 8 bandanas, 8 money bags, 8 squirt guns}

FOOD: I will be serving a rattlesnake cake. You bake a bunt cake and then cut it in half, and turn one half over so that when you connect the sides, it looks like a snake slithering over the table.  I will frost it as close to a diamondback as I can.  On the side, in baskets lined with bandanas, I will serve Star shaped cookies, decorated to look like Sheriff badges and trail mix. For drinks, I will serve lemonade and Roy Rogers (a glass of coke with a splash of grenadine, and a maraschino cherry, Grenadine is a red syrup made from pomegranates and used in many cocktails, it is not alcoholic).  Serve the meal on metal pie plates or the cheap foil plates from the grocery store.  {for food: cake, ice cream, baskets, bandanas, star cookies, trail mix, lemonade, coke, grenadine, maraschino cherries, pie plates, plastic silverware, paper napkins}

PRESENT TIME: During present time, all of the little buckaroos will sit and watch Aaron open gifts.  When he opens a gift, he will thank the person it is from giving them something from him.  For the kids, he will give a Licorice rope and a harmonica to stick in their "loot bags" from the panning for gold game, and for the adult helpers, we are making up chili kits (HOMEMADE CHILI MIX IN A JAR  Place 3 cups dried kidney beans in bottom of one-quart canning jar. Next, place 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/8 cup dried minced onion, 1 t. salt, 1 t. low-sodium beef bullion, 1/2 t. celery salt, 1/2 t. garlic salt, 1 T. chili powder, 1/2 t. black pepper into a small ziplock baggie. Seal baggie and place on top of beans. Place lid on jar and store in a cool dry place until ready to use. Attach the following instructions for later use, or for gift giving: ROCKING HORSE RANCH'S HOMEMADE CHILI  Remove seasoning packet from jar and set aside. Place beans in a Dutch oven sized pan and cover with water (at least two inches over top of beans) to sit overnight. Next day, boil beans in same water for one hour or until tender. Rinse and set aside (refrigerate if this will sit longer than 30 minutes). One hour and 15 minutes before you are ready to serve your meal, brown 1 pound of lean ground beef in a large skillet, and drain. Place beans, ground beef, seasoning packet and one 16 oz can of tomato paste in the pan. Fill can with water 3 times and add to mixture. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for one hour).{For present time: I am planning on having 8 licorice ropes for the guests, plus a few more for the siblings of the guests, also, I am making 25 chili kits}

HAY RIDE - We will end the party with a hayride.  My Grandpa says we can attach the trailer loaded with some bales of hay to my Grandpa's tractor and take the kids and adults for a hayride around our block. 

THANK-YOU - We try to Send thank you notes within one week of the party. Remember to mention what the gift was that you're thanking the person for -- and how much your child enjoyed it!  Our thank-you cards will be Cardboard horseshoes and the outside will say "I will never run out of luck with a friend like you!"  The inside will say "Thanks for coming to my party" and contain the personal note. {For thank-yous: cards printed on computer}

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