Lira is somewhat famous for her red cowgirl hat. So, when it came time to plan her 9th birthday party, the theme was obvious… a cowgirl birthday! At the time of Lira’s birthday, I was in the midst of an extreme health situation with my thyroid, but I wanted her party to be memorable. Simple… but fun. Memories that would last.
Cowgirl Party Favors
As each guest arrived, they received a colored bandanna that I had ordered from Oriental Trading.
Every cowgirl needs a horse. So, I stayed up later than I should have (as sick as a dog) because EVERY cowgirl must have a HORSE. Yes, I am getting a cramp from patting myself on the back. Can you hear the “Super Mom of the Year” anthem music playing in the background?
I browsed Pinterest for a while looking for DIY Stick Horse ideas and then headed to Walmart. Propped up on my buggy, I browsed the craft section for what seemed like an eternity, but I finally made it home with my treasure trove of craft supplies.
For each stick horse, you will need:
- Smooth wooden dowel
- Felt in two colors
- Yarn (for mane and to braid for rope)
- 2 buttons
- Duct tape
- Embroidery or quilting thread
- Yarn darning needle
- Polyfil stuffing
To make the stick horse, fill each sock with polyfil stuffing until somewhat firm. This was the hardest part for me because I did not know how much to use. Then, insert the dowel and tie off the sock using yarn. Wrap duct tape around the sock, covering the yarn and attaching it securely to the dowel.
Next, attached the flannel pieces (cut to look like horse ears and layered because it is cuter that way) to the sock where you want the ears to be. I hand-stitched the ears using quilting thread.
Using a yarn darning needle (or a plastic child’s needle), pull the yarn through the sock halfway and then tie a knot to hold the yarn in place. Choose where you want the button eyes and sew them into place.
Finally, create a braided cord from yarn and tie it around the muzzle, knotting underneath the horse, and then looping around the dowel and knot it again.
Cowgirl Party Games
I settled for one simple game of “Pin the Hat on the Cowgirl” so each child could have a chance to “earn” their horse.
So, I drew a simple cowgirl on a poster board and printed out cowboy hats from Microsoft Word onto card stock. My boys thought the cowgirl look just like Lira. Ummm… yeah! I planned that. Right?
After each child had a chance to pin a hat on the cowgirl, I awarded them with their horses and thanked them each for a job well-done. Away they went, heading outside to play with their horses.
Cowgirl Trail Mix Buffet
When it was time for a snack and all the cowpokes had washed their hands, I gave each child a plastic storage bag with their name written on it. They were allowed to create a personalized trail mix by adding ingredients to the bag, zipping it, and shaking it.
For their trail mix, choices included:
- Cheese crackers in various shapes
- Kix cereal
- Gummy bears
- Sesame sticks
- Mixed tropical fruit
- Chocolate chips
Also available for snack was chips and salsa, a vegetable platter, and fresh fruit.
Of course, no western party would be complete without root beer. Of course, for those who were less enthused about sarsaparilla, we had juice boxes available.
Pull-Apart Horse Cupcakes
And then, it was time for cake… Oh yeah!
The cake is actually cupcakes. I started with a rainbow-shape and then added two cupcakes for the tail and five for the head. Seriously, this is easier than you think.
Ice the entire horse in chocolate frosting EXCEPT for the tail. Then, fill a piping bag with a large star tip (don’t ask me what size because I have no idea but it is pretty big) and create the mane of the horse by making spiral shapes. Repeat the same process for the tail, allowing some of the swirls to begin on the back of the horse. Add some frosting to the bottom of each hoof.
I cheated for the eye and used something I had bought from the store for the gourmet apples, and I also used store-bought flowers to decorate the mane and tail. As for the ear, I cut a wedge from an extra cupcake and covered it in chocolate frosting.
As each child was leaving, Lira gave them a horse sucker (also from Oriental Trading) and thanked them for coming to her party.
Honestly, this was one of the easiest parties I have ever hosted. Yes, I stayed up much too late making stick horses and could not have finished them on time if PennyMom had not showed early to help me, but… the cake took minutes. The game was super simple. The buffet was a breeze.
But the results… were amazing.
Happy birthday, precious girl! May God continue to grow you to know Him and love Him and bring Him glory, all the days of your life.
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