Monday, March 9, 2015

Sheriff Callie's Wild West Birthday Party

I can't believe Little C turned 3 recently! But we had to celebrate and we did it in style with a Sheriff Callie Cowgirl Dance Party. So far, we've hosted every birthday party at home and gone all out with themes the past two (eventually I'll post about last year's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse featuring Minnie Party). Mickey Mouse party ideas were soo much easier to find than wild west and I had to come up with most of the ideas on my own. So you don't have to come up with everything on your own if your little one wants a cowboy/cowgirl party, here's a run down of what we did.

Invitation:

Party Planner:
I have a file I use for just about every party we host to keep myself organized. I fill it out on the computer then print the pages for reference. It has areas for guest lists, menu ideas, shopping lists, party activities, gift lists and more. If you'd like to use my planner to organize your next party, click on the link below. Please note these are for personal use only.

Decorations:
We kept decorations pretty simple - balloons, a birthday banner and an "about me" chalkboard wall. Since we don't have a good party store close by and we were too lazy to drive out of the way for some helium-filled balloons, we blew up a bunch and just hung them from the ceiling using curling ribbon and Command Decorating Clips.

Every year I hand-make a birthday banner for Little C; I think this one is my favorite yet!

We have a chalkboard wall in the kitchen and it quickly became a party decoration. Papa Bear (with Little C's help) drew an awesome Sheriff Callie and Sparky and I added an "All About Me" section with some of Little C's favorite things.

Activities:
I like to plan play areas to keep the children occupied for the bulk of the party; children are free to move around as they wish and I'm happy to report we had no big messes or incidents of any kind during play time this year! Everyone played and ate and then just before cake I turned on a youtube playlist of dancing songs and we had a little ho-down!

1. Build Nice & Friendly Corners - I put out a variety of blocks, some tractors and farm animals so the children could build their own Wild West town. I forgot to take a picture, but I taped printed photos of Sheriff Callie characters to some of the blocks as well. As you can see, I made a sign for each of the play areas with pictures from the show I found online.



2. Ella's Saloon - We have a counter/food stand in the kitchen built out of Pipeworks (I've had these since I was a kid, I don't think they make them anymore but these Pipe Builders are similar). That plus a small table and chairs and a fridge make for a great saloon!
I made picture menus for the customers, including Ella's famous milk and cactus juice and sandwiches. (To make your own sandwich play pieces, you can use my Food Template - this also includes patterns for pizza; use felt or foam paper to make the various ingredients)

I used the drink dispenser from my Pretend Play Snack Stand, adding photos above the buttons to show which side dispensed which drink (I cut squares from clear page protector sheets and taped them to the drink dispenser; just slide the drink pictures into the pockets). 
I rearranged Little C's fridge, putting in only what the kids would need for the saloon - utensils, plates, bread slices, sandwich fillings, ketchup, mustard, chocolate syrup (for chocolate milk of course!) and birthday cupcakes since it was a birthday party after all!

3. Farmer Stinky's Barn - I happen to have this play dough farm set which includes a plastic barn and molds to make various animals and people. It lent itself perfectly to this party but if you happen to not have this set, you can use playdough and animal cookie cutters and make a barn out of a painted box or simply use a toy barn/farm playset.


I made sure to include the various molds and cutters along with rollers, plastic knives and fake flowers in case anyone wanted to add a flower garden to the farm.

4. Pony rides

5. Horseshoe toss

 


6. Wall mural - include some crayons for big drawing fun! (if necessary, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers will get crayon off just about anything)

7. Wanted Photo Booth - I turned a large flat cardboard box and some paper letters into this adorable photo booth! I even cut mustache shapes out of black construction paper and glued them to popsicle sticks in case anyone needed an authentic cowboy mustache! If only our little ones were a little more cooperative...


8. Ho Down Dance Party
 At least someone was dancing! Those are the cutest cowgirls I've ever seen :-)
(additional ideas I didn't use this time around)
9. Best Buddy Fishing - A fishing pond is always a fun and easy addition. See my DIY fishing pond here.

10. Gold/Gem Dig - Dirty Dan and Dusty are two mining hogs on Sheriff Callie, always finding some silver, iron, gems and crystals. To entertain your own miners, hide some small gemstones in a bin of play sand or in brown playdough. Don't forget to include some digging supplies and a magnifying glass or two!

Favors:

I forgot to take a picture before all the favors had been taken home, but we had plastic hats, badges, bandanas and kazoos. I simply glued Callie printouts onto brown paper lunch bags to carry most of the favors home (the hats obviously weren't fitting in there!).


Food:
Appetizers
  • Toby's Perfect Popcorn
  • Peck's Tasty Trailmix (Chex Mix - you can use whatever kind of mix you prefer!)
  • Farmer Stinky's Prairie Peppers with Ranch Dip (cut up red, green, orange and yellow bell peppers) 
Main Dishes
  • Saloon sandwiches (we got a croissant platter from BJs)
  • Tumbleweeds (meatballs)
  • Noodle Lassos & Cheese (mac & cheese)
  • Callie's Gold Nuggets (corn muffins)
  • Clementine's Carrot Salad
  • Tio's Pickles
Drinks
  • Ella's Famous Milkshakes (Horizon milk cartons in various flavors)
  • Cactus Juice (Honest juice drink pouches - I considered getting green juice but having little ones walking around with cups didn't seem like a great idea) 
  • When Life Gives You Lemonade...Drink It! (lemonade)
  • Watering Hole (water)
  • Beer & wine for the grownups!
Dessert
  • Cake - pictures will be posted soon! 
  • Fruit arrangement - If you're in the central Jersey area and need desserts for a party, check out Cakes by Marina! She's done a great job for my parties!
Everyone had a great time and I can't wait to do it again next year!

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