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Cowboy party
How to have a classic cowboy party for kids

Giddyup! As kids parties go, a cowboy parties are a classic favorite, so cowboy up!
Learn how to have a classic cowboy party for your little cowpuncher or bucking
bronco. The food is easy for kids: hamburgers for lunch or try a spaghetti Western.
For the cake you have so many options -- a horse, a stagecoach, a cowboy hat, a
cowboy boot or a ranch scene with horses. Below you'll find, cowboy cake ideas,
cowboy game ideas and more to help you make this day memorable. See also our
cowboy food ideas.

The best part about a cowboy party, boys can take on the role of classic characters
like Buffalo Bill, Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone or Roy Rogers, and the girls can be
Annie Oakley or dress up as rodeo queens or pretty pink cowgirls. Boys and girls alike
will have fun wearing a fake cowboy mustache. (See lower on this page.)

Cowboy party favors
Shopping for a cowboy party for kids is relatively easy, though surprisingly they may
not have what you need at the local party supply store. You can provide inexpensive
cowboy hats for the kids or simply bandannas and sheriff's badge by shopping online.
Your cowboy party can have a classic
cowboy and Indians party, too, though
shopping for these retro cute items is even harder.

Even if you give the kids a cowboy hat at the party (or a bandanna or a sheriff's
badge), trust us that they will come to expect a favor at the end of the party. Your
favor bag can contain a water gun, a horse figurine, a rubber snake, and a
harmonica. For candy you can choose, gold nugget gum, chocolate coins, or butter-
mints with a Western motif.  Wilton candy molds can help you create chocolates or
suckers in the shapes of horse heads, cowboy hats or cowboy boots. You'll also find a
variety of mustaches and tattoos. Try making a
chocolate mustache on a stick. If you
can sew or find a burlap sack and turn it a money bag, even better! The little outlaws
will love their loot bags. Or give the kids just one nice thing, such as  a Jaw harp to
give that twangy down home feeling.

Cowboy cakes
Sure, you could do cowboy hat cake, or a cowboy boot cake, but for an unusual idea
to meet the cowboy theme, try a
Stagecoach cake. Pictured left, the Westward bound
cake by Wilton looks just like the famous Wells Fargo stagecoach. And of course a
horse theme cake is always a fun way to roundup the cowboys for cake.

Ideas for invitations
See our pony party invitation page to learn how to design your own invitations.
Depending on whether your cowboy party is more of a Country Western hoedown, or
a Wild West theme, your cowboy party invitations can have several options for the
wording:

Cowboy party invitations:

  • Western theme version:
  • Kick up your Heels for Birthday Blakes Bash!
  • Come on over Y'all on Saturday August 22, at noon
  • Mosey on over to the O.K. Corral: 123 main street
  • RSVP: Buffalo Bill or Annie Oakley at 867-5309

  • Cowboy version:
  • Cowboy Billy is turning five
  • Bring the little Outlaws over Saturday August 22, at noon
  • Smith Ranch: 123 main street
  • RSVP: Sheriff Sandy or Deputy Dean at 867.5309

Cowboy Games

Kids party games don't have to be expensive. The little cowpunchers at your pony
Party need some activities, and you can steer the fun with these cowboy inspired
games:

  • Gunslinger's revenge. While guns aren't politically correct, your little cowboys
    should have a silly string shootout or a water gun fight, this is a kids party after
    all! Just make sure the little outlaws have a change of clothes or you get silly
    with this game outside. Shoot tin cans with water pistols. For a more appealing
    look, spray-paint the cans silver, alternatively pink for a pink cowgirl party.

  • Rattlesnake Egg Hunt. Kids are always up for party favors and candy, so dig up
    your Easter eggs and stuff them for a rattlesnake egg hunt. Gather up the
    posse and advise the little ranch hands that there has been a severe
    rattlesnake problem on your ranch and that you need the little cowboys and
    cowgirls to help to rid the homestead of snakes. Then use a cap gun to set off
    the hunt. A little "Yee-high" adds to the party fun.

  • Lasso up the fun with a lasso. Any cowboy or cowgirl will feel like a rodeo star in
    no time with EZ lasso, left. Kids can make a real, spinning lasso loop and
    perform tricks. It's fun to practice, and helps improve kids motor skills.

  • Play pass the rattlesnake. This game plays like "hot potato" but your little
    outlaws and cowpokes will pass a rubber snake and get "bitten" when music
    stops. Choose country music of course or a theme song from an old cowboy
    Western show.

  • Have a three-legged Horse race. Divide guests into pairs. Tie a bandanna to the
    inside leg and start the race with a cowbell. For older kids you can blindfold one
    and have the other hold a sugar cube on a spoon.

  • Set up a horse-shoe toss. Horse around with the idea of good old fashioned fun.
    You can often find some safe plastic Horse shoe sets at the sporting good
    store, toy store or dollar store. The Rubber Horse Shoes by Schyllng, right are
    super affordable and safe because they're made of rubber!

  • Have the kids lasso up a rocking horse. Tie a rope to a Hula Hoop. Alternatively,
    find a smaller hoop and lasso a large plush Horse.

  • The Round Up: Use the birthday child's own Horse toys and "brand" them with
    numbers and assign corresponding prizes. Tell the little cowpokes hat some
    ponies have escaped from the corral and you need their help in the round up.
    Watch the fun unfold as kids stampede for horses and exchange them for
    prizes corresponding to the brands.

  • Pan for Gold. Panning for gold is a fun and easy sandbox activity. Just bury
    plastic gold coins or pennies and have kids sift through the sand with pie pans
    that you punch to filter the sand. For shiny pennies, clean up them up in a
    solution. Just 1/2 cup salt and 4 tablespoons vinegar does the trick. Award Gold
    Miners gum to a lucky penny.

  • Pinata ideas: Find assorted sweet creams in a bandanna motif wrapping on
    eBay, or cowboy candies (tiny pastel colored tarts) at Oriental Trading and get
    cash back. Award a harmonica, a jaw harp, Rubber snakes, or cap guns for
    prizes.

Whatever cowboy games you play, consider safety first (even for a classic game)!
While bobbing for apples is a classic game (and horses love apples), it's neither
hygienic, nor safe. Kids can drown even in a bucket of water! And for your horse shoe
toss game, choose plastic or rubber horse shoes to avoid a toss in the wrong
direction.

Cowboy Party Activities

  • Cowboy Down: To calm your little broncos after sugaring up with cake, read a
    story before opening  presents. Bronco Busters by Alison Cragin Herzig
    copyright 1998 is a good one for a cowboy Party. Another good one for the girls
    is any book from the Cowboy Kate series by Betsy Lewin.

  • Get crafty online. Keep party goers occupied with coloring or craft project. Get
    free cowboy coloring pages

  • Stash some mustaches. Make a cowboy mustache using an eyebrow pencil to
    decorate party goers. Use ready made branding tattoos or rubber horse
    stamps. And create Indian braves using colorful face paints. Here are are sorts
    of fun cowboy mustaches you can buy online.

Make a cowboy or cowgirl from a roll of toilet paper: Start saving used rolls now.
For the girls, choose the
cowgirl craft, which has an easy to use template. For the
boys, try the
cowboy craft. Finally, any horse crazy kid will love this Horse craft.


  • Cowboy Craft  idea: Make a cowboy vest from a paper bag
  • Open up a large brown paper bag.
  • Put it upside-down like you're dumping the contents.
  • Cut a hole at the top with room for the head. (Remember the bag is
    upside-down)
  • Cut holes on each side with room for the arms.
  • Cut the front to open the vest.
  • Taper the neckline into a V shape.
  • Cut fringe at the bottom of the upturned bag.

  • Cowboy Food Ideas. When it comes to food for a cowboy party, forget the
    beans, most kids won't like them. Keep cowboy party food simple. Wrangle up
    burgers and dogs to keep the little cowpokes happy. You can get creative with
    food in other ways, such as branding the burgers. Search Amazon for barbecue
    branding irons. These fun irons give burgers and steaks a personalized touch.
    The adults at your party may enjoy: Paula Deen's cowboy Party food, or
    Emeril's Lagasse's cowboy coffee. Another fun idea is to stuff the chips or other
    "feed" (party snacks) into feedbags (burlap sacks).

More cowboy food ideas...
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