You can send out Invitations with a Rhyme:
“Cowboys and Cowgirls… Mosey on Down! We’ll have the best Stampede in Town!”
With a Cowboy Party, there are 2 basic styles:
1. Either the more domestic type of cowboy (like a farm party).
2. The Wild West type of Cowboy party (complete with Outlaws).
Cowboy and Cowgirl Costumes
- Ask the children to wear their “Cowboy Clothes” (Flannel shirts and jeans), the girls can wear their hair in braids, and the all kids can wear cowboy hats and bandanas and sheriff badges.
- Use face paint to add great flamboyant moustaches on the kids… (add beard stubble too.)
- Make good old-fashioned paper bag vests. (The children can decorate them at the beginning of the party).
Cowboy/Cowgirl Party Decorations
- Signs can be made out of cardboard and painted: “Smith Ranch” also your washroom can be signposted as “The Outhouse” (complete with crescent moon design).
- Make Reward Posters of the Children (give them a funny outlaw name) photocopy onto office paper and stain them brown with old teabags/coffee grounds… Burn the edges for more effect, (be careful!). Mosquito coils are easier to use for burning paper edges as they give a nice steady burn.
- Make wagon wheels out of brown paper and stick to walls with painter’s tape.
- Label the Kitchen with a “Saloon” sign.
- Make “Saloon Doors” from double sheets of cardboard, (doorstop the real doors back) decorate the doors with fake wood grain and draw on louvers. Attach to the door frame with trusty duct tape.
- Hit the appliance store for free/cheap appliance boxes and turn them into a wild west town façade, a trading post (good for redeeming “gold” for treats) and most importantly a “Jail” (good spot to take pictures of each guest).
- Hay bales (can be found at craft stores) or make your own by covering boxes with paper towel then and covering that with yellow tissue paper, shred the last couple layers of tissue to look like hay.
- Red Plastic Tablecloths can be decorated with markers and used on the wall to give the appearance of being in a barn.
- Thrift Stores are a great source for cheap “cowboy” decorations.
- Make a cd of Country songs to play in the background. (The old country songs are especially fun!)
Cowboy and Cowgirl Games and Activities
- “Deputize” the Children when they arrive. (Make it fun!)
- Of course “Pin the Tail on the Donkey (or horse)” is a classic.
- Target practice with Water Guns / Nerf Guns / Rubber-band Guns. Use cans… as targets (can be painted or decorated too!)
- If the kids are game… you can get them square dancing or line dancing!
- For older children… a game of (simplified) poker.
- “Toss Cards into a Cowboy Hat” game, (sounds easier than it is!)
- “Toss the (rubber) Snake into the Cowboy Boot” game.
- Play Horseshoes
- Three legged races and sack races are always a hit.
- Set up an “Old-timer Barber shop”, make up a Barbershop pole from paper towel rolls, cardboard and construction paper… and then shave balloons! (use Old-fashioned shaving brushes if you have them with the shaving cream). Use safety razors (this is an activity for older children) if the “barbers” nick the balloon it will get messy, with shaving cream everywhere (better to do outside).
- Play “Lasso the ______” (Use a hula hoop or a hula hoop tied to a rope). If you have a sawhorse around you can just add a head and a tail to make a rope-able cow/horse.
- Hunt Snakes in the Grass (use rubber snakes).
- Pan for Gold. Use a kiddie pool with sand and water – with small painted gold rocks hidden. Use foil pie pans with tiny holes punched in the bottom (to let out the sandy water.
- Pitch Pennies (penny closest to the wall wins).
- Make a campfire (brown kraft paper covered paper towel rolls with black marker “wood grain” attached together to form a teepee shape (add red/orange/yellow tissue paper underneath for the “fire”). You can play quiet games around the campfire like wink murder.
- Wink Murder: The outlaw winks at someone to kill them… if winked at you must “die”. The Cowboy must figure out which cowpoke is the murderous outlaw (guesses should be limited).
Cowboy and Cowgirl Party Food Ideas
- Use a Red Gingham Tablecloth if you have one.
- Make and eat trail mix.
- Have a BBQ with Cowboy Burgers… use charcoal briquettes for the flavour
- Serve Biscuits, Bacon and Baked Beans (Nice done in a Crockpot)
- Serve Sarsaparilla / Root Beer
- Texas Chili and Corn dogs can be Good
- Get out your smoker and serve up something deliciously smoky.
- Make S’Mores (from the left-over charcoal in the BBQ).