Pony & Horse -4yr- Feed Bags
Mary in Stamford, CT USA
Four Year Old's Pony & Horse Party My daughter loves My Little Pony, so for her fourth birthday the theme was ponies (for girls) and horses (for boys).
The invitations were simple: yellow paper with horse themed border bought at Kinkos with all the party details.
Most of the 20 children at the party would be three years old, so the party was structured like a big "play date". We held the party in our unfinished basement. Two weeks before, we let our children paint a horse and pony themed mural on the white, cinderblock wall (will eventually be covered when the basement is finished). This became the backdrop for photos because the "table" (2x4 piecies of wood attached to create a temporary table for 20 small children) was placed in front of the mural.
The basement has two rooms. One room was split into "Bubble Room" and "Balloon World". The rooms were divided by hanging plastic table covers ($1 each at party city) from the ceiling. Balloon world was filled with about 100 balloons inflated using a compressor, covering the floor. Bubble Room had a 'typhoon bubble machine' which created hundreds of bubbles and bubble wrap on the floor for the kids to stomp on (note: the bubble machine made the floor slippery, so we put an ABC foam square on the floor to absorb the popped bubbles).
When the children arrived, most headed straight to these two rooms and popped balloons and bubbles. The rest of the basement was for more quiet activities (which worked well for the more quiet children). There were 'play stands' setup around the room: coloring, stickers, play doh, hop scotch, My Little Pony toys, etc. We also created a board covered with cloth and made velcro attachments of ponies, horses, etc. There was a 'streamer forest': crepe paper streamers hung in a cluster from the ceiling for the kids to run through. But the biggest hit in the quiet room was the "store".
When the children arrived, their 'feed bag' was taped to a wall (made from brown paper lunch bags, with each child's name). The bag contained "money" for the store, the tail for pin the tail on the pony, and a name tag. At the 'store' (a book case reversed, with netting hung from the ceiling to create the walls) the children could buy a helium balloon, lollipops, a small bag of candy or a pony (girls) or horse (boys) toy.
My daughter originally manned the store, but eventually all the children took turns being store keeper - this was a big hit for the kids. I also created a 'tube' that was the entrance to the 'streamer forest'. This was made by sewing netting onto two hula hoops and creating a vertical tube for the children to walk through to enter the forest. Anything unsightly was hidden either by the plastic table cloths or My Little Pony fabric (which I will now use to make curtains).
The entrance to the party was through the garage, so we lined the garage with the plastic table cloths so the rest of the garage was unseen by the guests. The children were self-entertained for at least the first hour, and during the second hour we did more traditional party activities: pin the tail on the pony, sang happy birthday and finished with the pinata.