Idea No.


Barnyard 2yr - Mrs. Cluck's Hen House Game



October 2010


Alecia in Bryan, Ohio, USA

October 2010 Winner

Barnyard Party

My sister and I decided to do a combination birthday party for my niece who was turning one, and my daughter who was turning 2.  My niece's favorite thing has been her Piglet chew toy, and somehow, that inspired me to dream up a barnyard theme for our girls.   

INVITATIONS:  My sister designed these as postcards.  On the front she put a barn on a horizon with some trees and fields in the background.  In front of the barn was a pig pen of sorts, which she put Piglet (from Winnie the Pooh), and then a horse, cow, and rooster.  To the side she had some hay bales, and a garden.  Across the top in red lettering it said, It's time to harvest some fun!  On the back there was a very small barn with a word bubble coming out of it that said,Oink!  Oink!  Moo!  Moo!  Our daughter is turning 2!  Cock-a-doodle-doo!  Our niece turns 1, too!  (We put their names where I said, daughter and niece).  Then below that it said Plow Date:  xx Harvest time:  xx    Place: Our Funny Farm, address  and then it said to RSVP to save your spot at the Pig's Trough (our kitchen).  These turned out super-cute and we got a LOT of compliments.    

FOOD:  For the tableware, we had some cute barnyard themed plates and napkins, that a friend of mine's mom gave me.  Other than that, I used solid red plates and napkins, and white flatware and cups and bowls.  Our menu was chili and toppings such as cheese, Fritos, onion, sour cream, and saltine crackers.  I bought some aluminum pie tins and we used those to set the toppings in.  We also had hotdogs, salt and pepper potato chips, donuts, and apple chips.  I had a sign on my cupboard that said Frito Pie:  Fritos, Chili, Cheese, Onion, Sour cream it had a lasso type border.  People tried this and loved it!  We had a slushy type punch that my sister made up, and we had apple juice boxes for the kids.  These were set in that bushel basket, that I explained earlier-I put a cake cover upside down in it and filled it with ice and put the kid's juice boxes in this.  We had people eat at the start of the party.

DECORATIONS:  Most of the decorations were just part of the games we had.  I had picked up a couple of things throughout the summer at some garage sales.  One was an old milk glass jar(used as a vase) that had wheat coming out of it.  I used that to prop up a sign that said Pig's Trough and had a picture of a trough with a pig behind it.  I matted this onto colored paper and then taped the sign to that milk jar and put this on my table with the food.  I also had a sign that said Watering Hole and had a picture of a well, and a water ladle.  This was matted on blue cardstock and propped up on my counter next to our drinks.  I had found some bushel baskets at a garage sale that I used to hold drinks.    There was a sign that read Outhouse that I mounted on brown cardstock and put on our bathroom door off the kitchen.  I also had a black crescent moon shape that I taped underneath it.  I also put some toilet paper made out of straw on the bathroom sink!  *this was a gag gift my parents received from someone I think it said hillbilly toilet paper or something. 

The rest of the party was held in the backyard.  I set the games/decorations up on the perimeter of the backyard, with seating in the middle.  My daughter's have a bouncy horse on springs I put some corrugated sheets underneath this (so it wouldn't sink into the grass), and moved this outside.  This was our horse stall.  Next, I had a 3-tiered stand that we no longer needed and was in our garage.  I bought 2 straw wreaths (from Goodwill), and set those on 2 of the shelves.  Then I set a stuffed rooster/chicken (found with the stuffed animals at Goodwill), next to one of the wreaths (which I was using to look like nests).  I had chick-stuffed Easter eggs sitting in a basket off to the side(kind of hidden so the kids wouldn't get into them).  To make the chicks, I glued 2 white or 2 yellow pom-poms together, and then attached a little orange beak(out of construction paper) to each one.  I had a sign that said, Mrs. Cluck's hen house; it had a picture of a hen sitting in a nest with some eggs around her.  I mounted this on red cardstock, and then I glued this to some corrugated, which I then scored, and folded, so that I could prop this up on the top shelf of that stand. 

The next area which was the biggest hit of all was the Pig Pen.  I cut some fence shapes out of corrugated material (I am lucky enough to be able to do this where I work).  They were about 30 inches high and about 40 inches long.  *I would like to insert here, that if you don't have access to this, you could buy some short fencing, in the garden center, or you could hot glue paint stir sticks together and make a fence this way.  Okay, so our backyard has a fence around it so that was the back of our pig pen, then we taped dowel rods onto the fence sections that I had made, and stuck those into the ground.  We left one section so that it could be opened and closed.  I also laid down some sheets of corrugated as the floor of the pig pen (so that the piggy balloons wouldn't pop on the grass).  You could lay down a tarp if you had one.  There was also a sign that said Pig Pen and had 3 cute pigs on it.  I matted this onto scrapbook paper and then glued to some cardboard, and cut out.  You can use cereal or pizza boxes to make your sign's sturdier.  Then I taped a dowel rod to this sign and pushed it into the ground next to our pig pen.  A couple of days before the party, I made the piggies.  I blew up about 20 pink balloons and tied pink curly q ribbon to each one for a tail.  I printed off pig faces onto pink paper and cut those out, and attached a face to the other side of the balloon using glue dots.  These turned out REALLY cute! 

The last area that we set up was the cow's pasture.   We had some leftover fence sections that we didn't use for the pig pen, so we just used some of those here too.  For the cows, I collected some milk cartons from some people at work.  I printed off some cow faces onto white paper and glued these onto the front part of each milk carton.  I even had some brown milk jugs because a guy at my work must really love chocolate milk!  Ha!  Next I put about 2 inches of water into the bottom of each milk jug and capped it.  (You might want to GLUE these shut, if you think the kids at your party will uncap them and make a mess).  These would be used to weight down helium balloons.  I seen some cow print balloons on oriental trading and really kind of wished I would have bought those but I ended up seeing them too late.  Anyways, I bought a helium tank for about $20, and my husband and brother in law filled up some white balloons and attached 2 white balloons to each milk carton.  I will say the instructions on the helium tank say if you are filling latex balloons not to do this more than an hour or so before the party and I thought oh it'll be okay well, by the END of the party, they were pretty much deflated so I would follow the directions!  If I would have had some black balloons, I would have had them mix the white and black balloons. 

I have also seen where you can draw cow spots on the white balloons, and we were just running out of time.  To tell you the truth, I don't think the kids would have noticed it anyways.  So, these were our cows, and we just set them around the cow pasture.   I also had a sign that said Cow Pasture which had a cow eating some grass on it.  I matted this onto some light green cardstock, and glued to cardboard, taped on a dowel rod, and stuck into the ground.  I also had some orange, red, and yellow balloon clusters that my husband and brother in law filled with helium.  At the last minute, I didn't know what to use to weight them down and I went through my pantry and gave found some cans of beans, so that's what they used!  (This was funny, because chili was part of our menu).  There were also 4-5 hay bales set around the yard for sitting on.  I found these for $2 each, a week before the party, and thought that was inexpensive enough for me to splurge a little on.

GAMES:  I had some goody bags for the kids to decorate as they start to get antsy before I get to the games, and I don't want them messing with stuff, QUITE yet!  So, I had printed out more of those pink pig faces, and white cow faces, and I had also printed out some yellow chicken faces.  I had some pink lunch sacks, yellow lunch sacks, and regular brown lunch sacks, and had my oldest daughter glue these faces down onto them, coordinating the colors.  Then each kid could choose their own goody bag, and color in the faces, and put their name on them, etc.  I had some strategy behind how I did some things, which I will explain a little as I get going here. 

First, I gathered all of the kids over by our horse.  I told them that my daughter and niece had farm chores they needed to complete.  They needed their help to finish all of their farm chores so that they could then celebrate their birthdays!  I asked the kids if they would help us all out!  To which they were getting really excited!!!  I said, well, first, if we are going to be farmers, then we need to LOOK like farmers!  I had some red and blue bandana's that we put around each child's neck.  I introduced the kids to our horse, Daisy.  (that bouncy horse on springs).  I told them that we were going to pet Daisy, and that later on all of the kids could ride Daisy.  I told them that there were some rules though.  One rule was that they could only ride the horse ONE at a time, and the other rule was that they had to take turns so that they could all ride Daisy.  I got the kids around the horse, and we put my daughter on the horse.  Then we had parents standing by to get a great photo op!  *this part was planned because while I had the kids distracted I had my brother in law hide the chicken eggs around the yard I did NOT want to do this prior to the party, because the kids will already find them.  I know how this works!  Ha!  So, after all the kids were able to pet the horse, I explained that she needed to rest up so that she would be ready to give horse rides later. 

So, next I told the kids that we needed to head over to Mrs. Cluck's hen house!  I explained that Mrs. Cluck has lost her chicks and we need to find them!!  The object of this game was for everyone to go and fine ONE egg (there were only about 13 or so hidden, and about 9 kids), and to bring the egg back.  Once everyone scattered and found an egg and brought them back, I told them to open their eggs, and put the chicks back in their nests!  So, once all our chicks were found, then each child got some chicken feed from Mrs. Cluck.  The chicken feed was candy corn that I had put in cellophane bags.  I had made up tags that had a picture of a chicken on it, and said chicken feed in yellow print that was bordered in orange.  I attached each tag to the candy corn.  I actually made up enough chicken feed so that the adults could take some home as favors also.  I put these all in a basket, to hand them out to the kids.  *While I handed out the chicken feed, my brother in law let all the pigs out of the pig pen.* Next, we moved on over to the pig pen, where I exclaimed the pigs are out!  I told the kids that we needed to corral all the pigs BACK into the pen!  I told them on your mark, get set, go!  They kids really had a BLAST doing this, and it was downright hilarious!  The ONLY thing I would have done different was I think I would have had 2-3 kids go and corral one pig each, and then rotated another 2-3 kids, etc.  I say that because I was trying to help my 2 year old and most of the other kids were 4-6 years old, and they were much FASTER, and by the time I got my 2 year old, I had to actually ask one of the kids to leave her a pig!  Ha!  This was downright hilarious though!  The kids got a handi-snack for completing this chore. 

While I was handing handi-snacks out, my brother in law scattered the cow patties.  These were actually brown bean bags that I made from a brown shirt I found at the thrift shop.  If you aren't one to sew you can use a glue gun!  This is what I did.  Next up was our cow pasture.  I made the kids get in line, and told them we were going to move on over to our cow pasture.  I started sniffing my nose I asked them, Do you SMELL that?  It smells, like cow poo! Oh my gosh, it is SMELLY!  I explained to them that one at a time, each child was going to have to scoop a cow patty up and put it into the wheelbarrow.  I had a kid's shovel, kid's size broom, and a small kid's wheelbarrow standing by.  The kids thought this was funny, and were shrieking about having to touch a cow patty, etc.  This was great.  (The little kids just picked them up).  Once the kids cleaned up all the cow patties, they received a Cow Patty!  This was actually a little Debbie Starkist treat that had a tag taped to it that had a cow on it, and said, Cow Patty.  Again, I made up extra of these for favors for the adults too.  The kids loved it!  I thanked all the kids for helping our two farmers with all their chores, and told them all that they did a GREAT job!  I told them that our farmers could now celebrate their birthdays! 

We let the kids open their presents next because I don't think anyone was really ready to eat cake yet.  Before we got to the kids games, I walked around and had all the adults write their names down on slips of paper(when asked WHY, I always tell them we'll be drawing names later for clean up crew!  Ha!).  After presents, we drew out adult names for the adult door prizes.  I usually try to have something just for the adults, because I always feel so grateful that so many friends and family attend these birthday parties year after year for my girls.  For the adult prizes, we had 2 bottles of wine from our local winery.  The wine that we chose were called Barn dance Red and Barn dance White, which I thought were just PERFECT for this party!  My sister also made up 2 plates of pumpkin cookies so that if an adult didn't drink, they could have cookies.  The adults were so excited and the wine went first! Ha!   

CAKE:  For our cakes, we wanted to have a cake for each birthday child.  My sister made my niece's cake, which was a Piglet cake.  She cut out a 9 x 13 into the shape of Piglet and frosted it in pink, and used that star-tip on some of it.  She did a GREAT job, and my niece recognized this cake right away!  My mom and I had some major problems with the first cake that we made for my daughter.  We had seen a barn cake with silo in the family fun magazine online.  It was SO cute!  Well, I'm going to say right now I don't DO 3-D cakes, and I don't think I'm ever going to attempt another one again!  The silo and barn just wouldn't hold together and after 2 hours of messing with this thing the night before, we ended up tossing the whole cake, because it just crumbled.  I'm SURE that other people would have better luck with this, but it was a disaster for us. 

We DID however make up the animal cupcakes, which turned out ADORABLE!  We made a chicken cupcake that we frosted yellow, and sprinkled with yellow tinted coconut.  Then we placed yellow lemon slice candy on it for wings, and 2 chocolate chips for eyes, and then a cut up orange slice for the beak.  The cow cupcake we frosted white then sliced a pink marshmallow in half and attached that as the snout.  We frosted two little black nostrils on it.  Then we put chocolate chip eyes on it, and 2 white chocolate chip ears/tusks towards the top.  I frosted on black spots.  For the pig cupcakes, we frosted these pink, and attached a pink marshmallow (cut in half) for the snout.  I think they used red licorice for the nostrils (in that family fun magazine), so I think that's what we did also.  For the ears, I frosted up a couple of graham crackers with pink frosting, and stuck these in the freezer.  Then we cut very small triangles off each corner of the graham cracker and propped them up for the pig ears.  The eyes were chocolate chips. 

SO, then, since we botched up the first barn cake the morning of the party, my mom made up a 9 x 13 cake for me.  We frosted it white, and then I hand drew a barn on the one side and frosted this red.  I used white frosting and outlined a white door, and then used pretzel sticks to make an X on the door.  Then I outlined a white hay loft, and tucked in some leftover yellow coconut spilling out.  I used Chex cereal and concocted a barn roof.  Off to the other side then I wrote, Happy 2nd Birthday, Daughter in green lettering.  And my mom then did her border along the top and bottom, in green.  This cake ended up taking us a half hour to make up, and looked great.  (Versus the attempted 3-D cake the night before).  

I also wanted to say that my DAD really got into this barnyard theme, and he gave the kid's wheel barrow rides after the party started dying down.  He had put some padding in his wheelbarrow along with some blankets and the kids got to go on a wheelbarrow ride!  They all LOVED this!!!!  My dad couldn't believe it, but I told him, of COURSE they would love it!  I wanted to go on a wheelbarrow ride myself!  Also, when we were all just hanging out after the party festivities, the kids had the best time playing in the pig pen.  I got many pictures of them playing with that AFTER the games were done.  So, I really think that was a huge huge hit!  This was a fairly simple party, as I have done a Candy land party before that was a lot more complex, but EVERYONE seemed to have a really great time.  I got compliments on the food, favors, games, decor, everything.  And I KNOW my 2 year old and all of the other kids had a great time THAT is why I do these parties.  I couldn't do birthday parties like this without this website--- a personal thank you to everyone that submits ideas.

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