Idea No.


Barnyard Party -2yr- Pin Hat on Birthday Boy



October 2005


wendydqm in Birmingham, Alabama USA

Special Mention

Barnyard Party

For my son’s second birthday we had a barnyard party!

I booked the Top of the Barn at a local state park petting zoo. The barn had a large, heated indoor space with pictures of farm animals painted on the walls. I made notes on how I wanted to set up the barn with their existing tables and chairs while I was there, so I did not have to return to figure out amounts of table clothes, etc. I also brought a measuring tape to measure the length between the poles for the pennants and the length of the tables.

For the invitations, I drew a picture of a horse standing sideways with his head looking at you. I lightly colored it with crayons. You could probably find a picture similar to this online or in a coloring book. I scanned the picture into my computer and wrote all the information on his side and belly area. At the bottom, I said to Come dressed as your best Cowboy or Cowgirl. This encouraged the children and adults to wear festive attire! To add to the fun, I cut out each of the horse invitations around the perimeter of the horse. I then cut pieces of red bandana fabric into 5 triangles and tied it around the horses neck. For the tail, I hole-punched the horse’s bottom and tied 6 lengths of jute rope through the hole. I then frayed each piece to look like the horse’s hair. (This did not take as long as you might think the bandana fabric and the small jute rope are at Wal-mart.)

For games and decoration, I ordered most items off of Oriental Trading. They had bandana-themed paper plates and napkins. I also ordered their bandana pennants and hung them all around the perimeter of the barn to make it more festive. For table covers, we bought the basic picnic-style red and white check from Wal-mart. For my son, we made him a vest and chaps out of materials we bought at Hancock Fabrics. It was a brown ultra-suede fabric with real dark brown leather trim. It turned out really cute. He also wore a red plaid shirt and blue jeans. He had on a black felt cowboy hat and real black cowboy boots. I found a black tooled leather belt with a silver belt buckle at a local tack shop. It had a horse and a horse-shoe embossed on it too cute! I found a 1950's vintage bandana-print shirt on ebay for $4 shipping and everything. My daughter wore bandana-print leggings (Gymboree @ ebay for $5 total) and a cute bib that had a cowgirl theme.

As the guests arrived at the party, we had stacked small hay-bales in the entrance to the barn. My son had 3 stick horses that we leaned around the hay to look like they had parked their horses there (and to play with at the party). We had blue-grass music playing in the background to add to the mood. For all of the food we had stainless bowls filled with basic snacks. All of the drinks were in large stainless oblong containers (that resembled feeding troughs) filled with ice.

Once everyone had arrived, we first played "Pin the Cowboy Hat on Powell". By chance, my son had been to a birthday party weeks before that had a pony. He had worn his cowboy hat and outfit that day. I blew the picture up to about 3’ x 4’ using a color copier and piecing the 8.5 x 11 pieces together with tape. I then took it to Kinko’s and had it laminated (@ $8). I copied the part of the picture with the hat on it in black and white (to scale with the poster) and made enough copies for all of the children. I cut them out and stuck masking tape on the back. I stuck the hats on the wall all around the laminated picture. We covered the children’s eyes with a red bandana. They had a blast trying to pin the hat on Powell! 

We found a horse-shaped piƱata as our next activity. It was fun, especially for the older children! Just for fun, I had gone to my local trophy store and asked if they had any damaged trophies. He made me a small trophy with a marble base and a horse on top (@ 10 tall) for only $6 because all of the parts were slightly scratched or damaged. For $2 additional, he printed a small plaque that said Best Dressed Powell’s 2nd Birthday Party 2005. I gave prizes to all of the children, but the best-dressed little girl took the trophy! I made the cake myself sort of. I took 8 store-bought rectangle-shaped pound cakes and placed them on a sturdy large tray. I stacked four of the cakes in the middle with icing between the cakes to hold them together.

The top cake I cut to look like the top of the barn with angles on both sides. I then stacked two cakes on either side of the middle one in the same fashion. I cut the last cake in half at an angle to make the slanted roofs for the sides of the barn. I iced the cake with store-bought icing tinted barn red. I iced the entire cake except for the roof. I tinted more store-bought icing about the color of peanut butter for the roof and piped it on with a flat fluted tip to resemble a shingled roof. I rolled cut marzipan (Wal-mart craft/wedding section) for the white accents (really not hard if you can roll out play-dough you can do this, trust me). I found a barn-themed kit at a local cake-decorating store (@ $7) which contained a fence, farmer and various farm animals. I placed them all around the barn. I made a haystack out of tinted coconut, grass was piped out of royal icing (Wal-mart in a box just add water)tinted green.

The loot bags were red bandanas (Oriental Trading) tied at the four corners to look almost like a hobo sack. It contained plastic farm animals (Oriental Trading)  a small bag of gold coin chocolates (Publix) and  a Sheriff’s badge (Oriental Trading). It was an awesome day we will all remember!

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