Idea No.


Barnyard Bash -2yr- Activity Chalkboard



March 2002


Celia in Fremont, California, USA

Special Mention

Barnyard Party

Barnyard Bash for two year olds.

For invitations:  I created my own by placing a picture of my son's face onto an image/body of a farmer from an old nursery book.  The background had already the scenes of a barn and some animals.  I used the wording "Old MacPhilip's turning two - EIEIO.  We'll celebrate with chores to do - EIEIO.  We'll pick apples here and gather eggs there.  Eat some chow and gobble the birthday cake - OEIEIO!"  Then inside I provided all the party details.  I also used another image of a farmer waiving his hand while on a tractor.  Again, I placed my son's face/photo onto it using a computer program.  I asked each child to dress in overalls and provided them each with a red bandanna as they came into our front door.

For the menu:  I created an animal-themed menu and placed it on a red & whited checked buffet table that included a Piggy Birthday Cake (a cake shaped like a pig's head) and, A Flock of Sheep Cupcakes (each cupcake was a sheep decorated with mini marshmallows).  I served Old Fashioned Lemonade in a punch bowl and provided juice-box drinks for the kids in a galvanized steel bucket. I also served Kentucky Fried Chicken, tossed green salad, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and chili in an old heavy cast iron pot. I also found very small galvanized steel buckets which I lined with red linen napkins and served various crackers and pretzels in them and placed them on the children's red & whited checked table.

For activities:  Since my son's birthday was in the middle of winter, I held the event indoors.  I removed most of the furniture out of my living room and transformed it into a farm.  Using my computer, I printed out ducks, cows, chickens, rabbits, horses, and placed them on my walls.  I also had scarecrows of various sizes, bales of hay, and fruits and vegetables in baskets arranged throughout the house.  In the living room and kitchen, I also replaced each hanging picture frame with that of a farm animal.  I had two child-size bean bag chairs that were shaped like an apple and a plum.  I created a first prize ribbon for each of them (as the largest apple and plum at the 2001 County Fair) and taped it on each of them.  I also made several stalks of corn (out of construction paper) and a couple of apple trees(out of cardboard and paint).  The paper apples were laminated and actually velcro'd onto the trees so the kids pick them with their baskets.  As the kids entered the front door, I had a sign welcoming them to "Old MacPhilip's Farm." 

On a small chalkboard that was held up by an easel, I listed all the activities/chores that had to be done on the farm: 1)apple pickin', 2) gather eggs (I used a three tier bookcase and made nine nests out of excelsior and placed wooden eggs in each.  I also taped several paper chickens and a rooster all around the bookcase/coop.), 3) a wagon ride.  On the sides of the wagon, I made an advertisement---"Old MacPhilip's Farm, where good food grows," and 4)singing and dancing. I had children's nursery songs playing in the background.  We also gathered around in a circle and sang "Old MacDonald (replacing with my son's name) had a farm" and "BINGO". When it was time to open presents, I had my son sit on a stuffed chair that was shaped like a cow (borrowed from a friend).

For Favors:  I sent the children home (in addition to their bandannas)with a galvanized pail filled with an Old MacPhilip's Farm Coloring Book (that I had created and printed out on my computer---it featured the lyrics to the song and the animals to color as well as pictures of my son I created for the invitation), crayons, a box of raisins and a rice-crispy treat (my son's favorites). This was a lot of work, but I had planned this several months in advance, so it came together smoothly.  Everyone had a good time.

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