Rodeo Party -4yr- Stick Ponies for Cowpokes
Heather in Woodstock, GA, USA
For my son's 4th birthday, he chose a rodeo theme.
I got invitation card stock with a cowboy boot on it and printed the invites on my computer. The invitation read "Callin' all cowpokes! Mosey on over to the rodeo and help us celebrate Nolan's 4th birthday. It's sure to be a rootin' tootin' good time! Give is a holler by the 23rd to RSVP. Come wearin' your rodeo duds."
I made stick ponies for each cowpoke, brown for the boys and white for the girls. I used felt for the head, yarn for the hair, glue-on eyes and stuffed them with poly-fil. I staple-gunned them to a dowel. Each child was also given a hat and bandanna upon arrival (from Oriental Trading). We had rodeo events. First, a pig herding contest. I had about 50 pink balloons blown up and drew pig faces on them. I divided the children in teams and gave each a flyswatter, then released the pigs. While on the stick- horse, each team was supposed to herd as many pigs to their side of the yard. However, the grass was prickly and dry so as the kids swatted the pig balloons, they popped. This was hilarious! The kids had so much fun!
Next, we had a roping contest. I took a long piece of rope, looped one end around the length and loosely tied it so that when the resulting hoop was around something and pulled, the hoop closed up kind of like a lasso. We used my younger son's plastic ride-on cow and each child had to throw the lasso around the cow's neck and then pull him to the other end of the yard. The parents and children cheered the roper on.
We also played stick the nose on the cowboy which I downloaded from Hewlett Packard's website. We had a #4 pinata. I gave each child a brown paper sack with a name label on it to collect the candy. I printed out a boot outline and let the kids decorate it with beads, foam pieces, markers, etc for a craft.
My son is a picky eater so for food we stuck to regular fare like pretzels and fruit. The kids drank sarsaparilla I took the labels off of 2-liter bottles of root beer and made my own Sarsaparilla labels. A girl friend who makes cakes made us an unbelievable dude ranch cake, complete with cowboys, horses, etc. I decorated with balloons and streamers red, white and blue.
Some of the balloons had U-shaped magnets (like a horse-shoe) tied to the end of the ribbon, which the kids took home along with the pony, hat and bandanna.
The party was a huge success. Everyone had fun and I kept the kids busy. My son had a great time and that made all the effort more than worth while!
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