If your gathering is having horse or pony rides, what fun! Make sure you have lots of adult help and lay the ground rules – you know the ones about safety and listening up. You want the kids that are not familiar with horses to learn how to approach them and how to conduct themselves around them. Take several digital pictures of each child, print the best one, place it into an inexpensive frame and give it as a party favor keepsake.
As a door prize, have everyone guess how many candies, goodies or coins are in a jar. The person whose guess is closest to the actual count, takes the jar home.
Purchase cowboy hats and handkerchiefs. They’ll wear the cowboy hat for the party and, as an activity, they can decorate the handkerchief with fabric pens and rubber stamps that you provide. Both hat and decorated handkerchief become their favors.
Hide horsy items such as small plastic horses, stuffed toy horses, sticker sheets, Bella Sera card packs, and other items such as notepads, coloring books, inexpensive horse jewelry, etc. around the yard and have a treasure hunt.
Pin the tail on the horse. A birthday party is not complete without the classic pin the tail game. Use a horse poster or enlarge a computer image into the desired size. Make multiple copies of the horse’s tail and cut them out. Each child pin the tail on the horse – somewhere – because she is blindfolded during her turn. Winner who gets it right or is closest, gets the prize.
Toss horse shoes. This is a fun outside activity and, ideally, you’ll use real horse shoes. Drive two sturdy stakes into the ground and have the guests toss two horseshoes each. The winner is determined by the closest shoes. Have kids cheer each other on.
For each of the players, suspend one small apple on a string from a tree. Without using hands, each person has to bite and eat the apple like horses.
Instead of an egg race, have a sugar cube relay race. Draw names to put guests into two teams. Each team has a “race track” consisting of a pair of chairs placed away from each other in a straight line. Place a bowl on each chair – at the starting line, the bowl is empty and on the distant chair the bowl is filled with sugar cubes. The race is on! The first racer speeds to the bowl of sugar cubes, scoops up just one and races back to the starting line, drops the sugar cube into the yet empty bowl, passes off the spoon to the next racer and steps aside. The teams go through their racers one by one until the far bowl is empty of all sugar cubes. The team that fills their bowl the fastest, becomes the winning team.
The galloping horse relay is similar to the sugar cube race. Again the kids are split into teams and lined up. Carrying a riding crop, the players canter from the starting line to the opposite end (a chair or a stake), go around it, and canter back. The crop passes from kid to kid until each has had a turn. The team with the first finish is the winner.
Have the kids make their own favors by personalizing t-shirts, bracelets or bandanas. You’ll provide all the necessary materials, guidance and supervision. The kids will bring it on with their unique creative talents. Best of all, they can take their creation home.
Pose everyone around a horse, a stack of hay, a bon fire or your decorated table. Take your time with the shot to get a great picture. They’ll say “heowdy,” you’ll get the shot. When your child sends the thank you notes, she’ll include the group snapshot as an additional memento.
Lastly, lets have a great horse birthday cake
By now you’re turning into a horse party expert. We haven’t discussed food or cakes. After all the detail stuff we just discussed, horse food items are easy. Just go for chocolate, candy, grain – I mean granola bars – munchies, apples.
The cake will be the final wow of the party! Bake a regular sheet cake and cool. Select a horse head image from the computer that you can enlarge. Place it on the sheet cake as a template and cut around it. Frost the shape generously in your child’s favorite horse color, paying close attention to location of eyes, nose, mouth and ears. You could use Necco wafers for eyes and nose, but I think tinted icing and your whimsy and talent would be far better. Don’t forget that the horse in your daughter’s dreams has a lush, flowing mane. You can add a blaze or a star. Black licorice simulates bridle and reins but you can also use chained chocolate chips or pieces of chocolate. The kids will think your cake is the horse’s whinny!
Another simple cake idea that has a large impact on the kids, especially for the cowgirl theme, is a Cowgirl Boot Cake. Trace out the shape of a large boot, frost it and go crazy with the decorations. After all, the boot should have lots of bling.
Bake the cake large enough to feed all guests. Let your creativity run wild. Use the same theme you used for the party, enlarge if necessary, lay on sheet cake, cut around it, apply icing.
If you have enjoyed all of the planning and it’s finally time for the party, but you don’t have horsy music, visit www.DressYourHorse.com.Go to the fun stuff page and let the horse songs play during your horse-themed party or download them from www.Playlist.com. Enjoy!
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