Dairy Farm -2yr- Farmers Love Tractors
Ronda in Murphy, NC
My son, Hayden, is a huge animal fan! Aren't all two year olds? We also have the pleasure of living on a diary farm which really fuels his love of all things that moo and neigh! His is a winter birthday and a challenge for his mother! We live in a small community where birthdays are really an occasion for everyone to get together, not just the children. Because of this, we decided to hold his Barnyard Bash in our church fellowship hall.
For Christmas, Hayden received the Fisher Price Little People Barnyard. This became the inspiration for the party. I began with invitations that featured a large red barn with several barn animals around the border. We scanned the image into our computer in order to change the wording. It read "Baa, Oink, Cluck, Moo Little Hayden is turning two! Wont't you join us for a Barnyard Bash at time, date, location? In the invitation, we asked everyone to dress in overalls or jeans to play up the farm effect. We asked for RSVP's to be "Neighs only" to our home number.
It was quite cute to have a few adults neighing into our answering machine! We added a red construction paper background to the card so it would fit the 5 1/2 x 8 inch envelopes. It really made the invitation stand out. (less than $10.00 to do) I found a set of farm animal stamps ($4.99) at Michael's and used these to decorate the outside of the envelopes. Because they were larger than most invitation envelopes, there was room for a cow, horse and duck on the front and a pig, goose, and fence rails on the back.
Decorations were all homemade. I used the Fisher Price box to blow up a large barn out of red butch paper on the opaque projector. I also bought a farm animal coloring book to blow up several animals for the walls. We had a cow, horse, pig, chicken and the piece de resistence an enormous John Deere Tractor. In the middle of the grill where it says "John Deere," we put "Hayden." I teach, so the paper was handy. I worked on these over several days, but they were inexpensive. All the decorations were large enough so that when the kids stood in front of them, they looked life size.
The fellowship hall has several pieces of lattice that are on stands, so we used those as the back walls of the party and attached the animals, barn and tractor to them. In front of the barn, we stacked several bales of hay (loaned) and added a big saddle (loaned) to make the perfect place for photos of Hayden with all of his guests. We did a group shot and individuals of Hayden and each child on the saddle together to put in the thank you notes. We had helium balloons ($6.99 dz.) in red, green, yellow and white to look festive, but just a few.
The tables were covered in red and white checkered table covers (Dollar Tree) and formed a circle around the center of the floor. On the tables, I had copies of all the farm animals and crayons for the children and parents to color and take home with them. In the center of the floor, we had a children's table with several farm animal picture books (already had), a ring toss game with farm animals as the things you're trying to hit Oriental Trading $8.99), a tunnel filled with plastic balls, a tent filled with stuffed farm animals (had all of this), and the pinata (splurged $18.99). This was a holstein cow, complete with silver cow bell. We filled it with Milk Duds and all kinds of chocolate candy(less than $10.00). After a few whacks by everyone for the pictures, our nephew had to beat it into submission. I used brown paper lunch bags for the loot bags which seemed just right for a barn/cow motif.
Other activities included a game of pin the tail on the donkey that had been blown up out of the coloring book as well. We played several times and the prizes for this were farm animal puzzles and stuffed pigs (Dollar Tree). The most exciting activity of the day was the big Little Tikes wagon that his grandparents got and had put together. Everyone took turns pulling and being pulled in the wagon. Adorable pictures of two and three children at a time all piled up in the back!
The cake was a cow ($25.00), of course, and we served it with ice cream. There is a lady here who makes cakes so cute you kinda hate to cut it. The cow even had grass under its feet! For the cake table, I had a baby quilt ($19.95) made out of John Deere Tractor material, and served the cake and ice cream on John Deere green and yellow dessert plates. The quilt is now in Hayden's room as a treasure.
The food table was covered with a paper farm animal table cover, that I never thought we'd find. In true community spirit, everyone brought a dish already on the menu. We served fried chicken (KFC special), biscuits, pigs in blankets, cole slaw, baked beans, corn on the cob, veggie tray, fruit tray, chips and a variety of appropriate dips all on barn red or grass green plates with matching napkins. The soft drinks (on sale) we served in the bottles or juice boxes and just iced them down in a huge galvanized steel wash tub (loaned).
For the adults, we play a "Guess How Many" game. I filled a large blue Ball jar(already had) with M&Ms (2 bags, $4.00) and let everyone take a guess. The closest got the jar and the M&Ms. Guesses had to be placed in a cow cookie jar(already had) which mooed when you opened its top. Nothing like a mooing cow to limit your cookie intake!
The treat bags, again, were brown paper lunch bags. Inside we put farm animal stickers, plastic farm animals and small farm animal beenie babies. To this we added bubbles, blow outs in primary colors, rubber balls, and some candy. All were fairly inexpensive from Oriental Trading. For the children under one, I found teether toys shaped like animals and animal books at the dollar store.
Everyone had a farmtastic good time! At luck would have it, two churches in our community were doing a "Reap What You Sow" Vacation Bible School at different times this summer, so we loaned all the things that had been blown up to them to use as decorations. Now they are on the walls in Hayden's playroom. They may have taken some time to make, but we've gotten a lot of use out of them. It may seem like I went overboard, but I loved every minute of it, so did Hayden and his friends!
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