Idea No.


Barnyard Bash -4yr- Duck, Duck, Goose



March 2001


Ruthye in Athens, TN  USA


Barnyard Party

Barnyard Bash  We just had a great barnyard themed birthday party for our 4-year old daughter.  We began by building a flat barn front that was large enough to cover the opening into our garage.  The "barn" had doors that opened and closed and were tall enough to walk through.  We decorated the outside of the barn by painting a loft with a chicken in it and by propping a shovel beside one door and a bale of hay on the other.  We also hung a coiled up rope on the front of the barn.       

Inside the garage, we put up a string and hung strips of red plastic table coverings near the walls to hide the things that we store in the garage but did not want to remove. (These strips of plastic can be saved for paint and playdough drop cloths or to be used again at other parties.) Then we added several bales of hay (borrowed from a farmer) for interest and also to designate areas for activity.  We used cowboy hats, and baskets of potatoes, apples, and onions to add atmosphere.  In the corner we put a wooden nest box filled with hay and three eggs. I moved a table into the garage for the guests to sit at. 

On the table we had a bouquet of buttercups in a canning jar.  We also had each child a brown gift bag decorated with their name and cutouts of barns and farm animals.  I put small party favors and candy inside the bags.  The bags were gift bags so that the children could add game prizes, other favors that they were allowed to choose and more candy from the piñata.  Also at each place was a party blower, napkin, and a bandana folded and ready to tie around each guests neck. 

As the guest arrived they tied on their bandanas and were given a cowbow hat that they could take home.  Because they were a special request by our daughter, we rented a helium tank and filled many baloons that we tied into groups of three or four and tied around the garage.  After getting properly attired each guest was permitted to make a cow and a pig foam magnet to take home.  (A parent volunteer was incharge of this activity.)  During arrival and craft time, the children were allowed some free play.  We had two bales of hay forming a table that held a toy barn and plastic farm animals.  We also had two pedal tractors the children could take turns riding.      

After all the guest had arrived, we played "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" Barnyard Bingo" (a homemade version made using the computer - we used candy corn for markers), and "Duck Duck Goose".  Bingo was great because we played until everyone had a chance to win.  As they did, they chose from a basket of prizes.  The prizes were animal shaped cups - cows, pigs, chickens, or horses.  These cups were purchased from at a party store but I have seen them in catalogs like Oriental Trading.  There were not prizes for the other games but each child got to choose an additional treat before leaving.  The other favors included small tractors, keychains that had stuffed ducks and pigs, bath sponges made into ducks, etc.     

Because I had waiten until the last week and could not find an appropriate piñata, I made one shaped like a barn and my 4-year old helped.  This made it fun! 

For food I kept it simple and did not include a meal as the party was from 2 to 4.  We had chips and dip, cheese and crackers, candy corn, and candy that I molded into the shape of corn, carrots, pumpkins, and strawberries. (The kids loved these.)  I also made a scarecrow and a fence (from wooden craft sticks) and made a "garden" out of vegetables to dip in ranch dressing.  I purchased some small metal "milk" buckets that held about 8 oz.  I used them to serve the candy corn, chip dip, and ranch dressing. 

The table was covered with a red and white checked tablecloth and I even put a small plastic fly on the table for conversation.  To drink we had lemonade.  The cake was a flat rectangle, on top I put a barn that I made from graham crackers and "painted" with white chocolate that I had colored red.  On one side of the barn I made a garden and the other was a pond then I placed a small toy tractor just in front of the barn.   I stacked a couple of bales of hay together for a "Gift Table" and when it was time to open them, our daughter sat up on the hay so all the children could see.    This is a continuation for Barnyard Bash - I accidentally submitted it before I was finished.    

After the games, presents, and food, we put the children in a utility cart filled with hay and took them for a hayride around the yard.  This was of course a big hit.  We ended the party with the breaking of the piñata.  The children were given their favor bags so they could add their candy to them.      

The party was lots of fun, and even though we ran about 20 minutes over, none of the children were ready to leave. I know many people think of barnyard as a boy's party theme but it was great for our daughter too.   

ONE SPECIAL IDEA    We invited only children the age of our daughter as guests but we also have a 10-year old son and a special friend of the family who is that age as well.  We invited the friend Emily, to be a special helper.  These two older children helped with the games and had fun as well.

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