First on my list when planning a child's birthday party, decide on a theme. Don't be afraid of that word "theme". It can be anything really! For my daughter we've done a theme based on a season (spring, for her 1st birthday), a color (for her 2nd birthday), and based on a story (The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, for her 3rd birthday). This year, for her 4th birthday, she decided on cowgirls & ponies. And from there we were off!
I poured through Pinterest boards and came up with some great pinspiration. I started with these pin ideas for fun and games! Its really nice that she's old enough now to give real input on her party planning. She was giddy at the thought of the kids getting to wear tails! And she'd never had a pinata before.
And here's how it turned out...my birthday girl was decked out in a custom Bandana Bell cowgirl dress made by her grandma! And fitted with her own stick pony and tail! She referred to herself as a "Princess Pony Cowgirl". The dress was inspired by the photo above, but really I just told Grandma the only requirements were that it included bandanas and the colors light pink and purple. So I picked up a couple bandanas at Jo-Ann Fabric, Grandma's sister had a super cute pattern, and Grandma made it happen! You can check out her blog too (http://maryonlakepulaski.blogspot.com/2014/04/cowgirl.html).
|Mid pony ride with pink popcorn in her mouth & balloon in one hand.|
While at Jo-Ann Fabric, I also picked up the felt for the stick ponies, and the yarn for the tails. Grandma made those too, with the exception of the stick portion which my husband made. The original stick pony pin has thorough instructions for making your own. Though I'd recommend using something heavy duty (and applying it liberally) to adhere the fabric pony heads to the wood sticks. The first time a child, or adult, grabs one by the head instead of the stick it will simply pop off! They do slide right back on though.
It was fun to hand out a hat, stick pony and tail to each little cowboy and cowgirl. I even saw a couple of the youngest cowgirls brushing their tails.
All 10 of them were able to get their wiggles out by riding their ponies and breaking open the pinata!
We also did face painting! I found face painting crayons at Michaels (you can also get ones with stencils). Having never tried the crayons before, I was surprised how nicely they worked.
The kids kept busy and had a blast. I've never been so happy to hear so much (excited) screaming. And we really lucked out with the weather (it had been cold all week, and rained the morning of the party)! She was a very happy birthday girl.
In the upcoming part 2 of this post I'll fill you in on all the party food!