Idea No.

19666

Cowboy Party -4yr- Make Your Trail Mix

Award

Date

March 2009

From

Jennifer in Limerick, PA USA

Honorable Mention

Cowboy Party

For my son Joey's 4th birthday he decided on a Cowboy Theme.   His birthday is in October and we already had his Cowboy costume for Halloween, so this worked out great.  

INVITATIONS: I created the invitations on the computer to look like a wanted poster.   I wrote Wanted Wild Joe for Stealin all the Candy.  Callin' all cowboys & cowgirls. Sheriff Joey needs your help! Wild Joe has stolen all the goody bags for Joey's 4th birthday party and he's rounding up his posse to get them back.  Meet us at the Big J Homestead to get 'deputized' and bring justice back to Merion.  Saturday, October 25th from 3 to 5 pm.  See y'all there, partners! RSVP to Miss Jen or Judge Jeff at XXX-XXX-XXXX.  I printed the invitations on parchment paper, rolled them up, tied them with raffia and hand delivered them.     

DECORATIONS:  I was originally planning on having this as an outdoor party but at the last minute the weather didn't cooperate, so decorations were a bit light.   I covered card tables with red and white checkered plastic table clothes (which made clean up extremely easy).  I had some cowboy wall decorations from Oriental Trading and hung them on the walls.   Of course, we played Country music enhance the mood. 

FOOD:   I had a selection of mini pigs in a blanket with BBQ dipp'n sauce, veggie tray with ranch dip, pretzels and chips, and juice boxes for the kids.   

GAMES: 

1) I made individual coloring books for each child with about 20 cowboy coloring pages from the web.  The cover of the coloring book resembled the wanted poster from the invitation but with a blank box where the picture was for the kids to put their own self portrait.  The kids enjoyed coloring in their book and when they were done, the coloring books went home with them in their goodie bags.  

2) Next, each child was transformed into a real cowboy or cowgirl.   I purchased straw cowboy hats, red bandanas and silver sheriff stars for each child.   The kids really loved dressing up!  

3) Next, the kids made trail mix.   I explained that the trail mix was very important for the cowboys out on the range.   I gave each child a zippered sandwich bag with their name on it.   Then I set out bowls of teddy grams, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, peanut M&Ms, Chex cereal, and pretzel Gold Fish.  The children were allowed to mix whatever they wanted in their bags.   When they finished sampling their recipe, the children bags were added to their goodie bags.  

4)  Next, we played pin the star on the cowboy, just like pin the tail on the donkey but with a jointed cowboy cutout from OT and glittered silver stars that I cut out of paper.  

Now was time for birthday cake.  Instead of making a cake this time, I decided to make BIG cupcakes for each child.   They got to frost their own cupcake with chocolate or vanilla frosting.  Then, they got to decorate their cupcake with various sprinkles, Nerds candy and mini M&Ms.   After everyone was finished decorating their cupcake, we sang Happy Birthday and everyone got to dig into their own creation!  

After opening presents and playing for a little bit it was time for everyone to go home.  But we had one last task to complete.   Wild Joe stole all the candy from the goodie bags and it was our cowboys and cowgirls job to find out where Wild Joe hid the goodie bags.  

At this time, I sent all the kids upstairs while I hid the goodie bags in the basement.   Then, we played Hot and Cold until everyone found a goodie bag.  The goodie bag was made from a brown paper lunch bag and had some candy and small novelties from OT in it. All the kids got to take home their goodie bag, their coloring book, trail mix, their cowboy hat, bandana and sheriff star.  

It was a fun and easy birthday party that my son still talks about.

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