Barnyard Theme Party for Kids

Planning a Downhome Barnyard Party

If you're looking for a simple, fun theme for your child's next birthday party, a barnyard or farm party may be just what you're looking for. You don't need to live on a farm or even rent a farm to have fun, but this is definitely a party that works best outdoors.

Invitations

Fashioning personalized invitations using plaid, denim and straw accents help provide a hint to your guests of the fun that they can expect at your party. Be sure that you encourage the kids to dress for active fun, wearing their favorite denim jeans and jackets.

Party Favors

Kids really get into the theme if the environment you set up is authentic. Decorating with haybales, scarecrows, and cornstalks and placing red and white checkered table cloths over picnic tables, make it feel more like you're on the farm.

Provide cowboy hats to each child. You can get inexpensive hats through Oriental Trading Company for about $14.99 per dozen. I've ordered other great thematic favors through this company as well. These include denim coin purses, small stuffed farm animals, cowboy boot keychains, western pattern silly bands, cowboy bandana print slap bands, and a wide assortment of other inexpensive and fun items. You can also order bandana print napkins and paper plates.

TREATS

One of the best thing about a genuine farm theme party is the food. These parties provide a fantastic opportunity for a BBQ. Grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, hosting a corn roast, and serving ice cold bottles of soda pop create a menu your guests are sure to love. If you're looking for other great ideas, add pork and beans, potato salad, cole slaw and onion straws or haystack fries to your menu. Pigs in a Blanket (hotdogs rolled in crescent rolls) or corn dogs are also relatively easy to eat and make a minimal mess.

Kids also love popcorn and most farms serve it up by the bagful during the harvest season. Consider renting a popcorn cart and having freshly popped bags available for guests. Fresh apple cider makes a nice alternative to soda pop and is another common farm beverage.

If you aren't afraid of a little sticky fun, caramel apples make fun alternatives to the traditional birthday cake. You might also consider a variety of cupcakes with plastic farm animal decorations or creative icing.

GAMES

Candy Balloon Relays

Set up between two and four haybales on one side of the yard. Fill one to two bags of equal numbers of balloons for each haybale. Inside of each inflated balloon, place one piece of chocolate candy.

Divide the children into teams of equal numbers about 25 yards from each haybale. When you say, "GO," the first child in line runs to the haybale, grabs a balloon from the bag, bounces on top of it on the haybale until it pops, retrieves their candy, and runs to the back of the line. The next child in line does the same, and so on, until each balloon in the bag has been popped. The team to pop each balloon first, wins.

Duck, Duck Goose

This game is a time-honored favorite for elementary school age children. Given the connection between animals and the farm, it will fit in with your theme, and give the kids a great opportunity to run around and burn off energy.

Bobbing for Apples

Who doesn't love a bit of good, wet fun? This game is a fall favorite for children everywhere. Be sure to have plenty of towels available afterward! To help kids keep dry, we cut small holes in the bottom of plastic trash bags and have the kids slip their heads through, wearing the bags like pull-over aprons. Divide the kids into teams. Have one large tub of water for each team, with one apple floating in it for each child. When you say, "GO," the first child from each team uses only their mouths to retrieve an apple from the tub. Once they've gotten their apple, they remove it and the next child takes their turn, until each child has retrieved their apple. The first team to finish wins.

Burlap Bag Relays

Once again, divide the children into teams of equal numbers. Provide each team with one burlap bag. These are simple sack races. The idea is for the first kid in line to step into their bag, hop across the yard to the designated turnaround point and then hop back. The next child in line takes the bag and does the same, until each child has completed the route once. If the teams are small, you may ask each child to make the hop twice. The first team to complete the relay wins.

Haystack Scavenger Hunt

Unleash those haybales, it's time for the scavenger hunt! Creating a huge haystack in which to hide a variety of prizes makes a fun alternative to the traditional scavenger hunt. Items such as coloring books, crayon boxes, small animal figurines or stuffed animals, and other fun prizes make great ideas. Just tell the kids that they're hunting for prizes that they can keep and let them have at it. But don't make it too easy. Hide the prizes deep in the hay and let them make a fun, mess. To make things fair, provide each child with a brown paper grocery bag. On the outside of each bag, write the items that they are searching for. Let each child know that they can only find one of each item and once they've found them all, they are done, though they may choose to help their friends find their prizes.

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© 2011 Jaynie2000

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