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Option 1: Take a headshot of your child wearing a cowboy / cowgirl hat and a bandanna around his or her neck. Add this wording “Saddle up and trot on this way to celebrate (child’s name) birthday party. RSVP (your name) with a yeah or neigh. Meet us at the ranch (your address) and date and time.
Option 2: Create a wanted sign with this wording “Wanted: Wild (an adult who can play him) for Stealin’ all the Candy. Callin’ all cowboys and cowgirls. Sheriff (child’s name) needs your help! Wild ______ has stolen all the goody bags for (child’s name) birthday party and he’s rounding up his posse to get them back and catch Wild ______. Meet us at the ranch (your address) and date and time.
Purchase cow print balloons or make your own by making black marks on white balloons. Tie them to your mailbox. Place hay bales on the walkway to the party. Place a sign on your door welcoming your guests with cowboy/girl themed pictures or a “Wanted” poster.
In the party area, decorate with balloons and black, white and red streamers. Hang cowboy/girl themed pictures. Place hay bales around and stick horses (directions below). Have western/country music playing in the background,
For the tables, use red and white checkered tablecloths, red and white plates, cups, napkins and plasticware. You can also purchase cow printed tableware or mix and match. For centerpieces, place small hay bales on the table and tie balloons to them. Decorate the table with tin cans and fill them with snacks. Fill mason jars with wild flowers and tie pretty ribbon around the rims.
Get a few refrigerator boxes and recreate a western town with a saloon, bank, sheriff and blacksmith.
Photo Opp: For a photo opp, use the above, or make a large wanted sign and cut out a large square in the center for your guests to place their heads. These are great to send with your thank you cards.
Make Sock Stick Horses
Prior to the party, make sock stick horses by hot glueing eyes at the top of white tube socks, attach ears and mane made out of brown felt, then stuff them with cotton stuffing or newspaper. Take rope and tie the sock ends to long thick dowels.
You can also create horses with pool noodles. For the heads of the horses, cut a piece of felt that you will place over the top of the pool noodle. Attach eyes, ears and mane on the felt, and place it for the head.
Games and Activities
Stick Pony Races
You’ll need two stick horses. Make a starting and finish line. Divide the kids into two teams and have each player race to the finish line and back and hand the horse to the next player. the team that finishes first wins.
Take small rocks and spray paint them gold. Use a sandbox or any plastic container. Place them under sand or packing peanuts or shredded paper. Use aluminum pans for sifting.
Another idea is to hide gold chocolate coins under packing peanuts or shredded paper.
There’s A Snake In My Boot
Have kids stand on a hay bale or chair and try to drop 10 plastic snakes (or small pieces of rope) into a cowboy boot. The one who gets the most snakes in the boot is the winner.
Shoot ‘Em Down
Take soda cans and stack them up and give the kids water guns to shoot down the cans. You can also use plastic bottles and line them up. Hand out water guns to the kids.
Make a stick horse with a dowel, stuffed sock and wiggly eyes. Tie the sock onto the dowel with rope. Place the dowel securely in the ground. Have the kids roundup the horse with a hula hoop or rope.
Water the Cows
This game should be played outdoors. You’ll need two containers filled with water, two empty jugs or milk/juice cartons, and two plastic cups. Set the containers and milk cartons on two opposite ends of your yard with a cup next to each container. Divide the kids into two teams and have both teams line up next to their containers. Have the first kids in line take the cups, fill it with water and run to the jugs and empty the water into them. The players run back to their teams and hand the cups to the next players in line. The first team to fill their jug wins.
Play Pin the Badge on the Sheriff or Pin the Tail on the Horse
Sheriff says (for Simon says)
Decorate a Paper Bag Vest
Take a paper bag, cut a bag down the front for the opening. Cut a circle in the bottom larger than the circumference of the child’d head. About three inches from the bottom where the neck hole is, cut two holes on each side of the bag large enough to put the child’s arm through. Let the kids decorate them with markers or crayons, stickers and other embellishments.
BBQ ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, chili, chili dogs, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw
Root beer, sweet tea and soda
Dessert can include root beer floats
You can also make a fire pit so the kids could make s’mores.
Cowboy figurines, horse figurines, cowboy/cowgirl hats, bandannas, water guns, toy snakes, sheriff badge pins, cowboy themed coloring books and crayons,
cowgirl-themed costume jewelry, cowboy/girl themed stickers, chocolate gold coins
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