Cowboy Western Party -2yr- Haybails & Cactus
Marie in Canandaigua New York USA
For my son's second birthday we decided to have a cowboy western theme.
The invitations (since they were hand delivered) were made of black construction paper, I cut out the silhouette of a cowboy's profile, then taped real grass to his mouth to make it look like he was chewing on it. On the invitation I wrote all our information in the form of the song "oh give me a home, where the buffalo rome". Then I took bandanas I bought from Walmart, and tyed them around the invitation for the invitee to have for the party.
The day of the party (it was outside in August) we made the backyard look like something out of an old western movie. We had a dog pen out back, so we used that as the "jail", where the kids could go in and sing for their supper (we had an old tin cup in there so they could scrape it against the side of the metal fence). On the side of the "jail" I took pictures of my whole family, including the birthday boy in cowboy gear, scanned the pictures on the computer, and did "wanted posters" for each one. My son was wanted for being too cute and stealing cookies. I then printed them out on paper bags (the brown kind cut to the side of a regular piece of paper) and burned the edges to make them looke old. The adults got a kick out of these!
I put out haybails, and balloons and streamers and had regular cutouts of cactuses, boots, and even the fossiled head of an old steer. My dad had some old deer horns that we hung up! I also bought inflatable cactuses and put them around the yard. I threw some plastic snakes around the hay bails and wrote signs (all out of brown paper bags to make it look authentic) that said "look out fer rattlers!)
The table with all the food was the "Saloon", we had a covered wagon decoration that my mom had found at a garage sale (I believe it used to be a planter) that we put chips and dip in. I also made chocolate hoarseshoes and yellow chocolate stars for the kids to nibble on. I had a separate table for the drinks that included root beer for the adults and lemonade (rattle snake juice) for the kids. On the beverage table I made a sign that said "What's yer poisen", and then had the drinks listed.
For games we played "dig for gold", I made pieces of gold out of regular rocks, spray painted gold, and hid them in a sandbox. We had a pinata (a boot of course), Since we had a tractor and a wagon, I covered the wagon with bendable dowels, and light brown cloth to make it look like a covered wagon, and the kids had wagon rides, with the birthday boy up fron riding on Grandpa's lap.
For the younger kids, I made the "okey, dokey corral". I bought some plastic fence you use for a little garden at Big lots, painted it brown and put it around a tree. In there I had a rocking horse and a spring horse and a ridable horse (that used to be mine when I was a little girl). The younger ones really enjoyed this. We also had a shoot out, in which I used plastic squirt guns and a desegnated area, and the kids would have to stand back to back and take three paces and turn and shoot, the older kids loved this game!! We had to have pin the badge on the sheriff (my husband is artistic and drew the picture of the sheriff for me!)
For the cake I made a regular rectangle cake and cut it into the shape of a cowboy boot and decorated it accordingly, it was really cute! I also handed out children's size cowboy hats for the party guests to wear and take home (online at oriental trading company) and star badges with "sheriff" and their names written on them (also OTC).
For the gift bags I bought these roy roger tins online. They were like little buckets, and I put plastic snakes, cactus drink stirrers, a customized book mark, that I made (I found cowboy sayings online and put them on the book mark, and had their names on the other side.) I had these little smiley face cowboy and cowgirl toys (oriental trading company), stickers, blowouts, and much more. I also gave out little stuffed horses (OTC) in which I tied a little string around their necks with a little paper saying their name (like Blaze, Comet, Freedom) and wrote a little back story for each horse and customized it to each child's personality.
I had a ton of fun with this! At gift time, I layed out a blanket on the grass, that had horses on it and the birthday boy sat in the middle and opened his gifts. Everyone had a great time and my little one was exhausted at the end of the day!!!
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