Farm Party -3yr- Animal Cookie Cutters
Carla in Chandler, AZ USA
For my son's third birthday, we decided a farm party would be lots of fun. I am a huge fan of this website, and I got lots of ideas for the party from here, and added a few touches of my own.
For invitations, I took a picture of my son in overalls with a red bandana around his neck. I tinted the picture black in white in Photoshop, but kept the overalls blue and the bandana red. I used photo corners to affix the picture to blue denim colored paper, on top of red bandana patterned paper, all on brown paper cards. I then put a label under his picture "Farmer Jace is turning three!" and added a little bunch of straw under the picture. Inside, I added details about the party, saying there would be some good down-home cookin, and to bring your swimsuits if you want to take a dip in the local pond (our new swimming pool), and to wear your best denim. Many of the kids came dressed in denim and overalls (and even a few adults!). We had around 17 kids coming, of different ages, and all of the parents would be staying too, so I tried to have lots of activities for everyone.
For food, we served barbeque sandwiches (several different meats), corn on the cob, salads, hot dogs, fruit, cheesy potatoes, veggies, etc. I also made these little merinque chickens which turned out super cute. http://www.pastrywiz.com/season/easter1.htm
For decorations, I had red and white checkered tablecloths on all of the tables, as well as bunches of sunflowers. I bought red, blue and yellow balloons, as well as some farm animal balloons and tied them around the house. I then taped red, blue and yellow crepe paper around the house.
For activities, we had rented a petting zoo for the back yard. This included a cow, chickens, rabbits, goats, etc. The kids, of course, loved this, and my son spent a lot of time feeding the cow hay which he got a real kick out of. I had a foam art project available for the younger kids which I got on clearance at Michaels. They were little foam barns, and packs of farm animal foamy stickers for them to decorate the barns with. The kids enjoyed making these.
I also bought farm animal cookie cutters on ebay, and I baked the cookies and set them out with frosting and other sprinkles and such so the kids could decorate a cookie.
For gift bags, I had purchased some farm animal noses (the kind that strap around your head) from a local party store including cow, rabbit and rooster noses. I decided to incorporate these into making the gift bags for the kids. I put a nose around the bag, and glued large googly eyes above the noses. I then glued these little straw hats above the eyes, and decorated the bags according to what animal they were.
For the rooster, I glued orange, red and yellow feathers all over the bag. For the rabbit, I glued this soft white fur-like stuff all over the bag, and added a large white poof-ball in the back as the tail.
For the cow, I painted black and white spots all over the bag, then glued a cow bell on rope around the bag in the "neck" area. I then looped a coordinating bandana around the handle of the bag (all of this from Michaels).
Inside the bags, for the boys, I included a die cast tractor, and for the girls, a nice jump rope (both from a toy outlet store), and both got lollipops and Hershey candies with wrappers that said "thank you for coming to Jace's third birthday party" (purchased the wrappers on ebay). The kids each received a bag when they first arrived at the party, so they could wear the bandana and animal nose if they wished. I then instructed the kids to head out back. In the back we had the petting zoo, and a hay search which was really fun.
For the hay search, I purchased three bales of hay (around $8.00 each at a local feed shop). I used two as seating around the petting zoo. We have a large trampoline with safety netting around it, so I placed the third bale in the trampoline and spread it out (it was around 1 foot thick). I then mixed all sorts of candies and toys in the hay, including about 15 packs of miniature plastic farm animals that I got at a dollar store. I had tied a plastic barn door decoration (party supply store) along the outside of the trampoline. The kids had a blast digging through the hay looking for treasures ,and they were able to store what they found in their bags. The kids also enjoyed taking some hay out of the trampoline to feed the various animals, and I was able to donate the two full bales of hay to the petting zoo people as a tip. I had also thrown inflatable farm animals in the pool (Oriental Trading), and each child got to pick an animal to take home.
For the cakes, I made the pig and sheep cakes found on Family Fun website. The sheep cake, in particular, was very cute, as it was covered in marshmallows. I got a lot of compliments on the cakes, and they were fairly easy to make. We really lucked out as far as the weather (we are in Phoenix and it was July), and I intentionally held the party in the evening so that the kids and animals would be more comfortable. The party was from 5:00-7:30, but we had kids who were here until around 9:30 because they were having so much fun.
Probably only about 1/2 of the kids ended up swimming because they were having so much fun playing and doing the other activities. All in all, the party was a blast, and my son just loved it all (as did the other guests - got tons of compliments on everything). This website was a huge help to me in planning this party (as usual), and I had a fantastic time putting it together!
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