So, you didn’t make it to Burwell?  Or to the Durham for Wild West Day?  I also didn’t make it to either one.   But I do have some ideas of how you can bring the rodeo to your house.  Okay – not the events, but maybe the feel?

When my oldest turned seven, we had a cowboy party for him.  This was before I had heard of Pintrest, so I simply did old-fashioned searching through books and a bit on the internet to find fun ideas.  I am not the best at decorating or planning parties – I usually concentrate more on the menu because I enjoy the cooking part.  But I have to say that throwing our own rodeo was fairly simple and quite enjoyable. Dollar Tree happened to have cowboy hats and bandanas at the time, so the party favors were easy!  But so were the events that I planned.

Here are some of the activities that we did.  So pick one if you need a distraction or all of them if you are looking to make an afternoon of it!

1) Stick horses races around an obstacle course or circle drive.  (If you don’t own any stick horses, go to Spoonful Homemade Hobby Horse to learn how.  I am not that crafty either, but I think I could tackle this project!)  Or in a pinch – have the kids use broom handles and their imaginations.  (Thankfully my Mom had kept our old stick horse from my childhood – that was the simplest of all!)

2) Jump over the rattler.  We took a long piece of rope and attached film canisters (filled with beans).  When you move the rope along the ground, the beans rattle.  (I would highly recommend using duct tape to attach the canisters!)  This is a fun game for any age.  If older kids are around, have people hold both ends of the rope and have the kids jump over it (kind of like a lower limbo game but going over instead of under!)  Spoonful Rattlesnake Ideas  You could also add a bit of Nebraska flair and use popcorn to fill the canisters instead of beans.  (Not have any film canisters?  Ask a film developer to save some for you.  Not everyone has moved to digital photos 🙂  )

3) Paper Bag Vests.  Thankfully many parents stayed to help with the party – making a vest for every child would have been quite the chore!  These also turned into craft projects as every child had fun decorating their vest before putting them on.  (Not have any paper bags?  Most grocery stores are glad to donate to the cause, especially if you tell them that you are creating crafts with kids!)

Best example that I found was the Crayola Cowboy Vest.

4) Rubber band shooters: My sweet husband decided to volunteer to make all of the guests rubber band guns to take home.  They were a HUGE hit, (both literally and figuratively 🙂 .)  Of course so far, I cannot find the link with how to make them.  And I wanted to post of a picture of the hidden project, but my 4 year old hid the gun that has been sitting on the dresser for days.  He is sleeping and waking him would not be such a good idea.  So, I will post it later.

Mini Rubber Band Gun

5) Root beer using dry ice.  This part was the coolest for me.  I took our big three gallon jug, added the ingredients and a block of dry ice.   Our kitchen suddenly looked steamy.  The recipe that I used was found in a book, but I found a similar one online.  I am not sure why I have not made this again – it was that cool.  I think it probably helped that my Dad stuck around and helped with the dry ice part – probably safer for me, the accident-prone one, too!

Homemade Root Beer

Overall our party was hit.  Thanks to lots of people helping (the parents of kids and my Mom who also helped me get organized at the beginning!)  The only downfall – snow.  To be expected in Nebraska in winter, but not the 2nd week-end of October.  The kids stuck it out and played outside for quite awhile but did decide to bring the party indoors.

Cold Cowboys group picture

At least we were smart and put aside the rubber band guns inside.  Or else the party might not have had such a happy ending!

Well, I had hoped to include some more great party ideas, but I am tired.  Then I remembered that is what Pinterest is for!  And I also realize that you probably are not into the thought of a cowboy party at 10:30 on a Saturday night.  But … I had written most of this post earlier in the week and wanted to make sure to share it.  On Monday, I plan on “taking” you to the spot where I celebrated my favorite birthday ever.  And since that really has little to do with cowboys, I decided that I had better post this tonight.  So, sweet dreams! I am definitely ready to hit the hay! 🙂

Author: neodyssey