It’s that time of year again, when it’s all of our NCT group’s round of birthdays (for the eldest children at least). From December to pretty much February, our weekends are usually taken up with parties N is invited too. Turns out a couple of nursery friends are also this time of year, so it’s definitely busy. The first one in January was themed as a cowgirl party, obviously with cowboys allowed too.
The mum is THE party guru and ideas queen in our group (no offence to the rest of us). She is a cake maker by trade, and really should be doing party organising full stop. They’re always well thought out, immaculate in the decorations and the food. It’s a shame to let children loose on the party really.
N is funny about dressing up. He never used to really do it (takes after me!), but now does have a few dressing up outfits, and gets changed every so often. I wasn’t sure what he’d be like with the cowboy outfit, although he does have one. The invite said that no fancy dress was needed, but he wore jeans and a checked shirt. Of course he refused to wear his cowboy waistcoat and sheriff’s badge though.
When we arrived he handed over the birthday girl’s present then started his wander round before I showed him the hats.
Yes, all the children had their own named hat, bandana and sheriff’s badge. So cute. Although needless to say N refused to wear any of them, so no cool photos of him in them.
Following the theme, the party games were on a circuit with the aim of having different games to try. Each time you played, then you could take a gold coin to put in the little bag they were given and at the end, each could use the gold coins to ‘buy’ the items from the General Store to put in their party bags. Brilliant idea, and the children loved it. Giving preschoolers something to collect and exchange for a reward at the end is brilliant. It means N will actually try everything just to get the coin he needed to collect.
Obviously all the stops were cowboy/girl themed…there were horses to lasso, ring toss and hobby horse racing. N needed a bit of persuade to do the hobby horse riding, but the other children loved it.
There was a WANTED photo booth, where their photo could be taken. N did pop back there, but I wasn’t quick enough with the camera to catch a decent photo.
Then who wouldn’t want to pan for gold. Ingenious idea. N loves sand anyway, but panning for gold, having scoops and ‘sieves’, he was in his element. The children loved finding the gold nuggets buried in the sand. (Seriously messy activity, so be prepared for a big sweep or vacuum up afterwards if indoors)
There was also a horseshoe decorating station. N loved sticking stickers on his blank horseshoe. He stuck to smiley face stickers, but there was glitter, other stickers, ribbons and more to decorate them if the children so wished. He did seem really proud of his horseshoe when it was finished and I was ordered to hold on to it for the rest of the party.
Once they’d charged around riding horses, and in N’s case, trying to pull straw from the bales before I spotted him and stopped him, it was time for their party lunch. I didn’t realise there was so much around in the way of cowboy/cowgirl themed party essentials but the buffet table and the tables the children sat on looked brilliant.
I loved the courgette cactus – pineapple end for the base, cocktail sticks, courgette and a few gherkins. The watermelon was a highlight for N, I had no idea he liked it so much. And look at the cowgirl hat cake. I didn’t get any photos of the inside, but it was pink and vanilla stripes…and was really delicious.
They also had little pots of popcorn and nacho crisps, hotdogs, flapjacks and chocolate crispy cakes (‘cow pies’). The cute little plastic bottles and cow plates finished off the theme table perfectly.
I’m thinking I need one of those drink dispensers. They’re brilliant for parties, and I wish I’d bought one when I saw them. The only problem is storing it.
I love how at these parties, even though N doesn’t really see his NCT friends very often, there’s always one of the others who wants to sit next to him at the table. Methinks V has a bit of a soft spot for him, because she came running round the table to sit next to him. N’s always a bit oblivious, but I think he likes seeing a friendly face when so often nowadays, parties have nursery friends there who he doesn’t know.
Then of course, it was time for clear up. Those hobby horses came in handy when some of the boys wanted to help the sweep up effort on the straw!
The children all spent their coins at the general store to get their party bags. A lovely way to finish off the party. When I asked N afterwards, what was his favourite part, he told me ‘everything’. Always a sign of a good party.