Idea No.


Barn Bash -1yr- Fried Chicken, Beans & Potato Salad



Oct 2002


Amy in Wanatah, IN    USA

Special Mention

Barnyard Party

I couldn't think of an idea for my sons 1st birthday, then while cleaning up the playroom one day - It dawned on me.  His favorite toy during his first year had been the Fisher-Price Farm. So I decided to make his 1st Birthday a Barn Bash!  I have a 5 yr old girl also, whose friends would be there too.  This party was great for boys and girls of all ages.

First was the invitations - 55 of them!  All for less than $2.00 (minus postage of course!)because my 5 yr old had almost everything I needed. I cut green poster board into 5" squares. Using my computer, I printed across the top "Old McLiam had a farm, EIEIO" Then cut red barns and yellow silos (construction paper) for the front. On the left hand side, I glued the yellow silo, then cut a T shape in the red barn.  I printed out the Party info on white paper, cut and glued it to the back side of the barn, then glued the barn on the square next to the silo. The result - when you folded back the T shaped Cut on the barn(which I had painted a white X on to look like barn doors) you saw the Party info "You're invited to a Barnyard Bash!" for the place I put "at Liam's farm", I also added at the end "kids-wear your barnyard best!" I cut up some raffia (Wal-mart/craft store) to look like hay and tucked it behind the 'barn doors'. I had to make my own envelopes because of the custom size (brown mailing wrap-looks like a brown paper bag-dollar store) The solid, bright colors and simple shapes made the cards look fabulous. 

We had just moved into a bigger house and had a living room with a fireplace and hardwood floor and we had no furniture to fill it.  Since his birthday is in March, it was too cold for the pole barn outside, and the wood floors were perfect for that barn feeling.  We brought in bales of straw (hay may cause allergies) to use as seating. Placed toy tractors on the shelves. Taped seed packets on the walls. Using poster board,I constructed a huge barn (matching the invite) to cover the fireplace (and of course, placed the beloved FisherPrice farm in front for the little ones to play with). Brought inside my daughters child-size, wooden picnic table. Chick feeders (TSC) with jars filled of Candy corn were placed around in low places for little nibblers to reach. 

Using twine, I made a clothes line then took clothes pins and hung on it some of my sons little clothes (so cute!)  I had fun with this - I hung a diaper, a pair of little socks, a onesie, a pair of overalls, a tiny pair of thermal underware, a pair of boots that didn't fit anymore, and one of daddys red hankies. In my daughters room was -The BarnYard- with a sign "Do Not Feed The Animals".  I borrowed a friends baby gate (the kind that swings open)for the door to keep out wandering little ones. I rented 4 live chicks ($1.20 per) and put them in a Radio Flyer wagon with sides, my niece brought her rabbit in its cage, I used an old metal bucket filled with water placed on a fake grass mat to float some rubber duckies. My daughter has two animal pillows - one is a pig and one is a lamb.  The pig I placed on a brown blanket (mud puddle) and the lamb I tied with twine to the corner of the bed with a bell on it's neck. I laid an old wooden ladder on it's side in the corner of the room as a coral and put two broomstick horses behind it with a bucket of water and a bucket of straw.  The kids loved this room!

They all showed up in their overalls, and flannels. Upon arrival, I handed each child a small burlap bag. I'd written 'FEED' on it,filled it with chex mix, and tied it with twine. Since the sign in the barnyard said 'Don't feed the animals' they had to eat it themselves! I could hardly get them away to play the games! We raced pink 'pig' balloons with fly swatters, played pin the tail on the cow, for the little ones - the rubber duckies in the barnyard had numbers on the bottom, so they won a prize according to the numbered duck they pulled out. The best game was when we sang "Old McLiam". 

First I placed a big metal wash tub filled with straw in the center of the room and told the kids to dig in and find the plastic eggs. When all had found one, they opened them to reveal either a candy or a number. The kids with the numbers got to be the predetermined animal during the song - and they had to wear the appropriate accessories! The pig wore a rubber pig nose, the lamb wore a shower cap covered with cotton balls, etc.  When we sang the song "and on this farm he had a (animal)" the child had to make the appropriate noise. At the end the crowd judged by applause for the winner - the winner won a sack of potatoes! They were such good sports, this game works best with the older children.

Time to EAT!- the table was set with a red and white checked picnic cloth, milk chugs on ice in a metal wash tub, metal pie tins were used for plates(8 for $1 at dollar store!), plastic silverware wrapped in red hankie cloth tied with twine (hankie used for napkin-cloth found at fabric store, then cut into squares) Fried chicken, baked beans, potato salad, chips and dip - Nothing fancy, just the typical barnyard meal! 

Goodie bags were made from mens brown work gloves (again-dollar store!-pkg of 4 pr=8 goodie bags!) each finger filled with something different-plastic farm animals, gummie worms, plastic harmonicas, etc.  This party was amazingly cheap-just use what you've got in the backyard or garage! Since we live in the country we had ready access to things like metal tubs and straw bales.  Almost everything that I had to buy was purchased in one stop at the Dollar Store! The party was a hit-People are still talking about this one! Word has spread to people I don't even know! My daughters kidergarden teacher now asks me to decorate for the kids school parties!  Sorry so long, but there was so much detail, and I sure I left something out! I hope you get some good ideas for your barnyard bash!

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