Farm Party -2yr- Pigs in a Blanket
Cassandra in Yuma, AZ, USA
My son LOVES animals, so for his 2nd birthday, we gave him a farm theme. My grandmother raises birds, (chickens, geese, turkeys, finches, etc., etc.) so we decided to have the party there.
I started making the invitations by printing out the best looking farmhouse picture I could find online, in colorbook format. I printed them on red cardstock and then just the outline of the barn on white cardstock. I made the barnyard doors open up to read "cluck cluck, moo moo, Marcus Reed is turning two!" I explained that it was on Marcus' Dude Ranch, and printed out "yays or neighs:" followed by our phone number. The top barn doors opened up to a picture of the baby in his cowboy hat with a very ornery look on his face! I included a map to get to the house, and, of course, a barn to mark the destination! To make sure everyone found their way, I hung signs leading to the house with balloons attached. The signs read: "Marcus' Dude Ranch", with an arrow underneath.
Since my grandma already has her house all decorated in chickens, a cucoo clock, and such, decorations were fairly easy. I started shopping about six months in advance, so I got a chance to find the best deals and not FEEL like I was spending a lot of money. As for decorations, I ordered a whole lot of farm animal balloons off of ebay, added a red and white checkered tablecloth(Target), a couple of animal printed couch cushions (my grandma has a lot of cats, and a few kids have allergies), a Marcus' Dude Ranch banner, and voila, down on the farm!
For food I used silver pie tins (99cent store) as plates, and clear forks. I used two galvanized silver buckets(feed store) for water, and I found two great big metal buckets (Target) that I used for Capri Suns and sodas. I had a veggie tray with a sign that read "garden Veggies". I bought 4 bags of lil smokies, and crescent roll dough. The night before, my husband, sister and I cut the dough into tiny triangles, and rolled each, individual lil smokie. We cooked them about 15 minutes prior to the party. They were a huge hit! We also stuck a bottle of catsup on the table and a sign that read "pigs in a blanket" with a picture of a pig! I bought two disposable turkey pans (99cent store) and filled them with chips.
The cake was homemade, in the shape of a barn, equipped with doors and everything! It was pumpkin spice. Then, we made about 30 cupcakes, white cake, and drizzled yellow frosting on them to make them look like stacks of hay bales. I bought little farm animal cupcake toppers, the kind that have the stick, (orientaltradingco.com) and stuck them into random cupcakes all over. And stuck the rooster on top of the barn.Cupcakes are a good idea for small children, since they aren't too good with forks yet.
As the kids arrived, they were given a cowboy hat(orientaltradingco.com), and directed outside to play around with the chickens and other birds. Then, the neighbor brought her horse over and each child went on a horse ride. We had a bouncy thing in the front yard, for the children who were waiting their turn, or already done. Next, everyone took a hay ride. The adults loved this part, because it gave them something to do! I was sure to invite a few friends without children, who came especially to help out with the kids. This way, the adults were able to have some time to enjoy the party as well!
Next, everyone came in for cake and presents. I played Barney's "Down on the Farm" dvd to distract the smaller children while the baby opened his gifts. I made sure to have my son turn to each person individually and thank them. It's never too early for manners!
For goody bags I found these adorable buckets to put all the treats in. The bottom was filled with popcorn, and the top with mixed candy. I stuck two Cowtail candies (they are these long caramel candies with cream filling, they say "cowtails" on them, and have cowprint all over them.) I also found some tiny silver buckets(orientaltradingco.com) and stuffed little plastic farm animals in them(WalMart). I added animal fruit snacks, a box of Cracker Jacks, and a sheriffs badge (orientaltradinco.com). The buckets looked great as added decoration to the party! I passed them out as the kids left, and let each child take home a balloon of their choice.
I also handed each adult a little card I made out of cardstock with a picture of the baby on the computer with the web address (snapfish.com) on it, along with the username and password (Party06). That day, I posted all 200 pictures online, and the adults were able to go online and order them. I let them know this ahead of time, so that they could enjoy the party and not have to worry about taking pictures. We made sure to get pictures of each child on the horse, with the chickens, etc. They were able to go online that day and order whichever ones they chose.
I sent out thank you cards along with a reminder of the website info, and farm animal stickers, and a picture of everyone on the hayride. People still talk about what a great time they had, and Marcus still remembers all of the animals (and friends!) he got to play with!
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