Cowgirl Farm Party -4yr- Barnyard Bingo
Jolynn in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania USA
For my daughter's 4th Birthday she decided on a Cowgirl & Cowboy /Farm Birthday Party. We really had alot of fun with this theme. I know this is a long entry... I hope you find it worth your time to read.
Invitations were homemade. I used a huge 8x10 picture of a Red Barn that I scanned, embellished with computer graphics, printed, and mounted on heavy cardstock, then cut out. There was a ribbon made from hay on the front which looked like it was coming out of the chicken coop at the top of the barn. The barn doors opened to reveal black & White cow spotted paper, with a vellum overlay, which included party info. The inside of the doors had farm animals on them which I made look 3D by mounting them on Pop-Dots.I also included a denim print jean pocket(made out of paper)with the invitation, This had additional party info. printed on red & white bandanna print cards which had been slipped inside the pocket. One request was that the guests come dressed like a farmer/cowpoke. I borrowed 25+ hay bales from a local farmer to place around my yard for decoration and also used them as a place for guests to sit.
I also laminated different farm animal,barn, tractor, & cowboy pictures and placed them around the yard & on my fence. I stapled the large farm animal pictures to wooden stakes and pushed them into the ground to give the impression that animals were standing all over my lawn. When the party guests arrived they were directed to a cowpoke dress-up area where they were given a bandanna (to wear however they liked) a cowboy hat, and silver metal sherrifs badge with their name written on it. They were photographed using black & White film. The picture was then placed on an old fashioned "Wanted" poster that I designed for each child using my computer. I printed these on parchment paper and tore and burned the edges so they looked authenic.They were tacked up on our fence for the duration of the party. They made a great decoration and turned out really adorable! (Each child took their poster home after the party.)
We also used them to vote for the "Best dressed Cowpoke". The winner got a certificate and a prize. The party guests then made their way over to an area where they Built and adopted their own farm animal.(Very similiar to The Build a Bear Workshop) First, they choose their unstuffed animal.(Purchased from JoAnn Craft Store) They stuffed it with shite fibor fill, put a satin heart inside. A musical disk was inserted into the animals "paw" which played "Old Mac Donaled had a Farm whenever it was pushed, and they stitched it closed. Next they tied a ribbon around it's neck, added bows for it's ears, & the cows got cowbells. Then they choose a name for their "Barnyard Buddy" and promised to take good care of it. They each got a picture taken with their new animal and signed a birth certificate (which I designed on my computer) to take home.
Next, they made their way over to the barnyard area where I had several live, small barn yard animals to pet and poney rides. (I rented this service from a local company for 1 hour). Of course we took pictures of each guest on the horses and with the animals. Next, we played some group games. I scattered dozens of white plastic eggs all over the yard (the kind you use for EASTER) We had several adults with big rooster puppets on their hands(I borrowed these from our local library) wait among the eggs. At the go signal, the children had to collect as many eggs as they could while the roosters "pecked" at them. Afterward, they opened their eggs. If they found a little chenille chick inside, they were awarded a prize. That game was a BIG, BIG hit!! Next, we played Barnyard call (a little like hot potato) The children all sat in a circle and passed around blow-up farm animals (Oriental Trading Company) When the Farm related music stopped, the person working the music called out an animal sound. If that sound is made by your animal, you had to take your animal back to the "barnyard."
For the barnyard, I set up bales of hay in a giant square and broke some bales to make some loose hay in the middle. The play continued until there were 3 winners. The children got to play in the hay a little while. Their blow-up farm animals were stored there until the end of the party, when they could take them home. Next, we played Barnyard Bingo with BINGO cards I designed on my computer. We used farm animal erasers as markers.(Oriental Trading Company) The children got to take the erasers home with them after the game. While we were playing BINGO my sister hid dozens of plastic farm animals in the hay filled barnyard I meantioned earlier.
After Bingo, We all headed over there for a Hay Hunt. We gave each child 2 minutes to dig through the hay and find as many plastic animals as they could.While the children took a break to eat, I set up several carnival type, farm related games, around my yard. When dinner was over the children were each given a bandanna printed coin sack tat they wore on their wrist. (I had these made for $1 each) The object was for the children to work their way around the yard and play all of the games. At each game they were awarded wooden nickels (Wooden Nickle Company) which they put in their coin sacks and would used later to buy prizes. There was a duck pond game, milk bottle crash ( pyramid of milk bottles that are knocked down with a ball), milk can toss (toss balls into an old fashioned milk can), cattle roping (a rope is tossed behind a wooden fence.
A helper is waiting on the other side to attatch a stuffed cow and prize to the rope). Poney Round Up (stick horse are pushed into the ground and player tries to throw rings made from rope around it) Egg toss (player tries to toss as many wooden eggs as they can into a basket filled with hay and a stuffed chicken). I also rented a large wooden cow that had a mixture of water and powder in it. The children got to sit on a stool and actually pull plastic utters that expressed "milk" into a bucket! They loved it!!GReat photo opp. too! After about 20 minutes I gathered up the children and took them 2 at a time to the "Farmers Market" that I had set up in my dining room. They were given a wooden apple picking basket that I attatched a rope handle to and lined with a bandanna.
They could buy goodies with their wooden nickles and fill up their baskets. I had so many items to buy. Each indiv. Packaged in tiney zip lock bags with labels I designed on my computer. Some samples were: Gummy worms, "from our garden", gummy strawberries & cherries, "picked on our farm", Nerds candies & Skittles Candies that I put in packets to resemble seeds, rubber chickens that held lollipops, Cow patties,(chocolate covered carmel & peanuts), haystacks (toasted coconut balls), bendable rubber farm animals, collapsable farm animals, farm animal grabbers (OTC), farm related stickers, farm books (Ollies), farm stories cassettes (The Dollar store). The cake was decorated with cow spots and plastic cow candles and red ribbon. My daughter opened her gifts in the hay barnyardwhile we listen to a Barnyard Bash CD that I burned on my computer.
The party was a huge success. We even had strangers stopping their cars to watch! We all had such a great time! Later, I sent each of the party guests pictures from the party along with their own copy of the Barnyard Bash CD.I decorated the Jewel case with a B & W picture of my daughter, dressed like a cowpoke, with all of her party guests. I also handmade the thankyou cards to Coordinate with the party invitations. I was so surprised that my daughter and I received thank-you notes & cards from some of the guests after the party for having invited them!
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