Idea No.


Cowgirl Party -4yr- Panning for Gold



December 2008


Erin in Vallejo, CA U.S

Honorable Mention

Cowgirl Party

My daughter surprisingly wanted a Cowgirl party for her 4th birthday, I had completely expected a princess party, but hey, I gave her what she wanted! 

INVITES. I dressed her in cowgirl dress & took pictures of her on her play stand up pony. It didn't matter that the pony was pink, because we colorized the pictures in sepia. On the top we printed WANTED" and below the picture "Daughter's first name "Birthday Girl" last name" and below that "And her Posse". I printed these up on regular printer paper 4 to a page. I then burned the edges with a lighter to give it that aged look - make sure to do this over a sink! I then glued the picture onto a beige colored small sized invitation card.

On the inside we did the same thing as the front picture printing the verse then burning the edges & gluing. The wording went like this "Howdy Partner __Name's__ turnin 4 - She's roundin up her Posse And wants ya there for sure. So get yer boots strap on yer spurs throw on yer cowgirl (and boy) best. On ___given date___ we'll see ya so make sure to get some rest.2pm is startin time followed by games & grub The _Last Name__ Ranch - __Address__ We're gonna lasso up some fun So can't wait to see yer there! In small print we added "If yer in the pokey or on a cattle drive and can't make it to the party have yer ma or pa give us a holler by __date and phone number__  Dadnabit partner we'll miss ya! But if yer comin YEE HAW we'll see ya there ! 

DECORATIONS. We found it very hard to find decorations for a cowgirl (or boy) party so made many ourselves. Hand painted backdrops. Sunsets with shadowed cactus fences with cows & horses behind them full size cactus & signs painted with brown brush strokes to look like wood & written in black "Jail" "Cantina" "Outhouse" etc.

We used red & white checkered table cloths accented with little succulent plants (didn't want to use real cactus with the little kids". We took a bandanna & tore it into strips to wrap around each of the pots and sprinkled little plastic Cowboys & Indians on the table tops. A friend even loaned some bales of hay a saddle blanket & saddle that we set up for the kids to take pictures on. We did buy some Mylar horse & Happy Birthday cowgirl themed balloons along with colored balloons. 

GAMES/ACTIVITIES were a hit since the kids were young I didn't like the idea that only one child would win something. We started out with Pin the tail on the Horse. Then We had horse races by using stick pony's as each child finished their race they received a bandana. Knock out at the O.K corral - a table set up with various size empty bottles that the kids threw bean bags at - after that they received a sheriffs badge.

There was also "Panning for gold". Used a large shallow container filled it with sand & river rocks I had spray painted gold. Used pie tins that we drilled holes in to let the sand sift through once they were finished here they received chocolate gold coins. 

The food was easy enough to decide on. My daughter's favorite foods are hot dogs corn bread & macaroni & cheese all perfect grub for a cowgirl party. I bought a bunch of cheap pie tins at the dollar store to set the hot dogs buns and chips out on.

We served Root beer "punch"similar to wedding/baby shower punch. Simply took a punch bowl poured in the root beer & added vanilla ice cream. It was a hit with the kids. It also gave me needed 2 liter bottles needed for the knock out game. Dessert was cupcakes with green frosting to look like grass that we added small toy pony's to. 

I came across a great find at WalMart right after Christmas that I used for the favors. Plastic horse stalls with two horse figures inside. I scored these at like $1.25 each. It seemed like I spent a lot on the goodies for the kids but by doing some careful shopping I saved a lot of money. Like the bandanna's I just bought the material and then cut them into bandana sizes. That saved me at least $10.00"

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