Friday, September 21, 2012

Birthday Blast! Hee Ha! Howdy Cowboy Affair!

When Elisa and I first chatted on her guest post for a Cowboy themed birthday party, I was intrigued. It is certainly not a common theme especially in Singapore due to the differences in culture. When she subsequently emailed me her post and photos, I was simply blown away by the activities and the games! Read on to find out more!

I have been doing theme parties for many years for my three sons. This year, I asked Samuel what theme he wanted for his birthday party. He said "Horse". I explored having a party at the stables, but it was beyond our budget.

I found a toy rental company Toys for Rent, which has mechanical ponies for rent. After thinking through, I decided that doing a party incorporating a mechanical pony could be possible. One thing led to another, and in the end, we had a "Cowboy"-themed party.

My little cowboy!
I got the hat from a party shop. We have the checked shirt.
And thanks to the Royal Rangers vest, the look is complete!

I always design my own invitation card. It helps that there is a huge amount of resources on the internet. I decided that adding a picture of the mechanical pony would entice the children to come. It worked - the children were very excited :)

We integrated games into the overall theme - there were three stations - "Shoot-out", "Animal lasso", and "Pony-ride". The children also had to "hunt down" some "bandits".

This was the "program sheet" which I did up

I also did up a "Wanted" poster. I pasted the words "WANTED" and "REWARD" and pictures of bandits, onto a beige piece of paper. I burnt the paper along the edges, and it turned out beautifully.

The boys are looking at the "WANTED" poster

We did the party outdoors, at two BBQ pits near our place. Each of the pit comes with a Pavilion. We did a recce the day before at the venue and located the suitable areas for the various games stations.

At the "Animal lasso" station, the children had to "catch" at least two (out of three) farm animals in order to earn a token.

We used "Newwater" water bottles to represent the farm animals. Again, I found cute pictures of farm animals from the internet, and pasted them onto the water bottles.

Aren't these animals cute?

Coming out with a workable lasso proved to be quite a challenge. We experimented with many different designs before we settled on this one. Edmund helped me to make the final product. After the children have succeeded in looping the lasso around at least one bottle/animal, they were supposed to return to the starting point, and pull the animal slowly towards themselves.

We pasted three "X" on the floor to mark three levels of difficulty. If the children were unable to catch from the furthest point, they were allowed to move forward to the next X.

My eldest son Elkan helped me man the "Animals Lasso" station.

The children were great. When we first designed the game, we were not sure whether the children will find it too difficult and therefore give up, but they did not. It was indeed quite a challenge for many of them but they persevered on, and many of them played this game again and again.

Elias helped to mann the "Shoot-out" station. We originally wanted to use toilet rolls as targets, but at the recce, we found the place soooooo windy, that we had to use wooden blocks. The moral of the story - always do a recce.

The third station was the "Pony-ride" station. We had a good friend to help. He was so into the role that some people asked whether he came along with the ponies!

We got two ponies so the children could ride alongside each other, or do a tad bit of racing, which some of them did :)

Apart from the three games stations, we also had some art and craft, which we housed in one of the two Pavilions.

The children were supposed to start from there actually. Upon arrival, they would collect a Sheriff's badge (I used double-sided tape so they could to stick it unto their shirt) and a "Sheriff's Licence". The Sheriff's License would have their name and picture, which is actually a cartoon picture of a little cowboy/cowgirl.

We had another good friend who came to help. She was very busy nearly all the time :)

The children could choose from a variety of pictures of cowboy/cowgirls to represent themselves. They could then choose a "building" and a "cactus" picture, which represented the building and "desert area" which they have "jurisdiction" over.

All the pictures the children pasted on the “License” were downloaded from the internet. My helper spent many hours painstakingly cutting them out.

We were unable to print the "license" onto hard coloured paper.
So we printed it onto normal paper, and laminated it instead.

On the other side of the "License", they could paste other pictures e.g. cowboy boots, cowboy hat, horse, etc.

This is Elkan's License. He did it after the party ended.He pasted every single variety of object which we provided.

These pictures had to be redeemed by "tokens" which the children had to earn through participating in the three games stations. We also scattered pictures of bandits all over the event venue for the children to find.

You can run, but you can't hide!
(We placed the bandits early in the morning. We had to stop the cleaner from sweeping them away!)

Some children were very excited and they kept bringing bandits back to me. Since I had hidden a limited number of them (about 25), I had to ask them to put them back!

After the children have "caught" the bandits, they were supposed to "put them in jail". We did it via a little optical illusion - an idea which we stole from a Science Centre activity. We had a picture of prison bars on one side, and the children would paste the bandit on the other side. When you spin the picture forward and backward, quickly, the bandit would look as if it was behind bars! See the picture below!

This is what happens when you spin the card quickly.
The guy looks like he is in jail!

In line with the theme, the goody-bags were in the form of money bags (the goody bag included a pack of mamee noodles, a Kinderjoy, two balloons and a plastic farm animal).


Established since 22 August 2006
Opening hours on 18 August 2012, 10 am to 12 noon

  We had the food in the other Pavillion.

 We had fried Bee Hoon, Egg Tarts, Paus, Fishballs and Watermelon.

Soon it was time to cut the cake. We got a "Farm" themed cake from Prima Deli.

Happy birthday Samuel! We love you so much! :)

I had so much fun. It was wonderful because the weather was good, and being out in the open, with the sun and the wind and watching the children run around, laughing and playing was heavenly.

To add to the atmosphere, we downloaded some music from a Western music radio station (Range Radio), so the party really had a western feel to it.

I was especially proud of my two older boys, who "discharged their duties faithfully". They were busy throughout, and did not get the chance to play at each others' station. Elkan was also too big to sit on the pony, but they did not mind it. They enjoyed themselves too. Elias said that it was the best party we have ever done. What a priceless compliment :)

Elisa is mother to Elkan (12), Elias (11) and Samuel (6). Loving children through helping families is her passion.

She blogs at
(Give them roots and wings).


This is part of a Birthday Blast series where blogger mum friends hop on over to share their birthday party planning tips and ideas. Next up, we have Sarah from The Playful Parents with a theme that more than meets the eye - TRANSFORMERS!


  1. This is a fantastic cowboy themed party that is so achieveable!!! FANTASTICO!!!

  2. hi ladies! glad you like it. it just grew and grew, and the ideas just came along. i had fun planning it.

    Do share with me, if you eventually do something similar! I have a friend who is plng an angry birds party. i am trying to help her think of ideas... if you have any, do share :)


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