Idea No.


Barnyard Party -2yr- Planting Activity



February 2007


Char in Ontario, Canada

Runner Up

Barnyard Party

For our son's 2nd Birthday, we had a farm theme party using the Barnyard Celebration" party supplies and decorations and a bright coloured green and navy blue as accent colours to match the colours in the "Barnyard Celebration" party supplies.    The party was held indoors at our local Ontario Early Years Center-Preschool Centre with children ranging in ages from 2- 16 as well as several adults.

We decorated the area where the guests arrived using bales of straw a couple of small tables bright green table covers small strips of coloured curly "Happy Birthday" ribbon farm animal balloons loose on the floor as well as a farm animal balloon bouquet and an already existing desk. This area actually served three purposes. 1) The Arrival Area  2) An Activity Center and 3) The Departure Area where all of the favours were kept for guests when they left. On these bales we placed the guests straw cowboy hats and plastic cowboy hats red bandanas "Barnyard Celebration" blowers and children's activity booklets that they picked up as they arrived.

As mentioned this same area was also used for the "planting activity" where the children planted seeds in their personalized container and then took it home with them at the end of the party. The loose soil was held in a tin wagon that sat on the small decorated table with cow and duck pics sticking out of it and also a small plastic colourful lawn sign that said "Welcome To The Funny Farm." We put all of the children's planting containers all around it. Also each guest children and adults received a favour.

The children received Loot Bags and the adults received a farm-related animal photo holder purchased at a dollar store. In place of a photo we made different coloured paper thank you cards with a picture of a red barn and a hand-written message inside from the birthday boy that said "Thank you for sharing my special day we hope you had a Farmtastic Time." These were also decorated on the small tables and the existing desk in the Arrival Area.

In the main party area we decorated with life size one dimensional farm animals (cow and a pig) a barn and silo and a three dimmensional tractor for the children to play in. My husband and I made these from cardboard boxes that we collected from our local Sears outlet store. We handpainted them using mistints that I went around collecting from various paint stores. These were set up in the main area of the party where the children played and ran around and also where we later played the games Fish Pond Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Cow Pinata. (We later donated these large pieces to the Preschool Centre.)

We also had another area where we set up an activity and colouring centre. At this area the children could work on their individual activity booklets while they waited for guests to arrive instead of playing with toys if they preferred. We supplied plenty of pencils erasers crayons colouring pencils and markers for the children to use .We also played Barnyard Bingo in this area once all of the children arrived. This same area is where the children ate afterwards when it was time for the meal.

We decorated these tables with the "Barnyard Celebration" plastic table covers strips of coloured "Happy Birthday" curly ribbon a small three dimensional paper barn and animals centerpiece and a Mylar cow balloon. Over head we had a birthday banner (all part of the "Barnyard Celebration" party decorations). Throughout the Centre we had decorations of bright green streamers and navy blue streamers and solid coloured balloons some plain and some with the number 2 hanging on the walls and from the fixtures as well as strewn on the floor for the children to play.

For the buffet "farm" meal we decorated the table with bright green plastic table covers strips of coloured "Happy Birthday" curly ribbon and farm animal balloon bouquets at each end of the table. We served hot dogs potato salad macaroni salad meatballs piggies in a blanket corn on the cob farm animal shaped egg salad sandwiches fruit platter veggie platter chips and cheesies punch juice bottled water a Farm birthday cake ice cream and cupcakes decorated with green frosting for grass and yellow frosting to resemble hay. The cupcakes then had farm animal cupcake rings to look like they were sitting in the hay. The children's plates and napkins were the "Barnyard Celebration" theme. The adult's plates and napkins were bright green and so was all of the cutlery.

All of the food was served on farm themed platters wicker baskets and tin buckets purchased from a dollar store and from my own collection. The cutlery and cellophane covered toothpicks stood up in small cow and pig ceramic planters that I purchased at a dollar store.  The beverage area also had the same bright green plastic table cover with navy blue streamers with some strips of coloured curly "Happy Birthday" ribbons for decoration. The children had the "Barnyard Celebration" cups and the adults had bright green cups.

Games and Activities:

1)Barnyard Bingo- we made our own BINGO boards using a template from the KIDS Domain website and farm theme stickers that I purchased at a dollar store. We laminated them using transparent contact paper so that they wouldn't get damaged and are reuseable. Then we cut up small pieces of paper for the children (and some of the adults) to use as markers.

2)Plant a Seed Activity- each child received a small personalized plastic container already filled with soil. Each child planted seeds in their container and then put a lid on it to prevent spillage. These were added to their Loot Bag to take home. We chose seeds that would germinate quickly.

3) Fish Pond- we made a fish pond using a large flat piece of cardboard that we covered with blue crepe paper. By making a pond like this we didn't have to use water especially because the party was indoors. We placed the pond on the floor and had a few children at a time take turns catching fish. We used fishing rods purchased from a dollar store and Wal-Mart.

4) Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Donkey-we purchased an already made game at a dollar store and assigned each child a numbered tail.

5)Cow Pinata- this was a pull string pinata that I purchased at a dollar store. Inside of the pinata we put colourfully decorated personalized prepackaged small bags for each child so that each child received the same amount of goodies and toys. We learned from past experience that just putting individual bags did not ensure that each child would receive a bag especially smaller children and shy children.

6) Activity Booklets- each child received a booklet when they arrived at the party. The cover of the booklet was a photograph of our child sitting on a toy tractor with a caption that said "Baa Baa Moo Moo (child's name) is 2." The booklet contained several farm related colouring pages and activity pages such as mazes a customized word find dot-to-dots fill in the blanks unscramblers and crossword puzzles that were all age appropriate. 

NOTE:  To help make things run smoothly for each game we had large gift bags that contained the game that we played as well as the prizes (for each child) that went with that particular game. These bags were labelled with the name of the game so there were no mix ups for each game. All of the prizes were farm-related and age appropriate and were purchased at a dollar store.

The Gift Table was also decorated with a "Barnyard Celebration" plastic table cover strips of coloured curly "Happy Birthday" ribbon and a farm animal balloon bouquet. It was situated in the main area where everyone could see and yet not in the way of the children playing. We also had farm theme music playing in the background for the guests to enjoy.

The Loot Bags were prepared taking into consideration the age of the child and the gender of the child for some of the toys and snacks. We made sure to put in farm-related toys books and other items as well as crayons for the younger children and markers for the older children that was all purchased from the dollar store. In addition to some of the other candies and snacks I also found hard yellow duck candies at a specialty candy store. We individually bag some of these candies for the older children in small iridescent fabric pouches purchased from the dollar store. We used larger sized plastic loot bags in order to fit some of the larger items such as books. So to make use of the smaller "Barnyard Celebration" loot bags we stapled one on the outside of each child's larger size loot bag and colourfully printed their name on it. When the party was over the children received their loot bag along with some of the farm animal balloons from the balloon bouquets. We kept the Mylar cow balloon for our son to bring home.

Some of our family members and a few of friends helped out with the games and activities. They also helped us decorate the Centre and prepare some of the food in advance for the party. Our friends were also our roaming photographers so that my husband and I could play the games with the children and tend to our adult guests. All in all this party was a huge success. It took months of planning and preparation in advance. The children our son included and the adults had a Farmtastic Time. To see the children running around and enjoying themselves made it all worthwhile and we look forward to doing it again. "

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