If you're planning your own farm-themed birthday party, here are some food, craft, and decoration ideas (with links) for making it a real barnyard bash.
I made a carrot cake (recipe below) in a 9x13 pan for the base, and covered it in green cream-cheese frosting (recipe here). I also made a chocolate cake (from a box -- shhh) in a pyrex bowl, which I baked for 55 minutes at 350 degrees. I arranged some toy tractors on the hill and little plastic animals around the base, and made a little garden plot with piped rows of veggies.
Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting Recipe:
2 sticks (1 lb.) of butter, room temperature
1 1/2 bars (12 oz.) of cream cheese, room temperature
~ 7 cups of powdered sugar
Directions: Beat butter until fluffy. Add cream cheese, whip until combined. With the mixer on a lower speed, slowly add powdered sugar until it's all combined, then turn the speed up for a minute or two to whip. Since I was making two colors of frosting, I divided it in two, added a few drops of green food coloring to one half and a few tablespoons of cocoa powder the the other half.
Carrot Cake Recipe:
1 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
1 c. white sugar
11/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. vegetable oil
3 large eggs
11/2 c. finely grated peeled carrots (thank you, food processor!)
1 c. finely chopped pecans
1 c. raisins
1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and spices.
2. Add oil and eggs. Mix together at a low speed.
3. Then add carrots, raisins, and pecans. Stir until combined.
4. Spread batter evenly onto a greased and floured 9x13 pan. (It looked pretty flat to me, but it puffed up while baking.)
5. Bake about 30 minutes, until it passes the clean toothpick test.
6. Let it cool for about ten minutes before sliding a knife around the perimeter and inverting it onto a cooling rack.
7. Frost and enjoy.
The dessert table also included Apple Crisp, Chocolate and Mint Macarons (made by a friend of mine in pastry school), and chocolate mini-donut "tractor wheels."
The Lunch and Snack Menu
Tractor Wheels Pasta Salad
Ham and Swiss Pig Rolls (Crescent Roll Sandwiches)
Cockadoodle Chicken Salad
Barnyard Baked Beans
Augur Spiral Mac and Cheese
Veggie Chips and Dip
Assortment of fresh veggies from the garden (grocery store) of Farmer Miles (with Ranch Dip)
|My grandfather got pretty into the theme.|
I printed a happy birthday banner and glued the letters onto brown and tan triangles cut out of cardstock. I found the free downloadable letters at a the Shanty-2-Chic Blog.
I also made this number two sign out of cardboard, wrapping paper, and mod podge. I just drew and cut out the letter, glued on the paper (wrapping it around the back), and added some of my favorite pictures of Miles from the past year.
The goodie bags were red kraft bags with cow stickers that I made on the front. I filled them with animal crackers, chocolates wrapped in foil to look like carrots, and a packet of sunflower seeds.
I bought some little terra cotta pots, which the kids painted during the first half of the party. Once they were dry, they each planted a pansy to take home. As you can see, we had quite a range of ages, but they all really enjoyed this little project.
Some farm-themed coloring books also got quite a bit of use.
The tractor piñata (available on Amazon) was cute, but nearly indestructible. After the kids took crack after crack at it (even breaking the whiffle ball bat), my husband had to smash it for them. So if you're going to buy this one, you might want to use a real baseball bat. Everyone enjoyed chasing after the seed packets and Milky Way bars (get it -- cow farm, har har) that spilled out.
The ring toss, bocce, rubber horseshoes, and corn hole games also got lots of use.
But the best part was a little hike up to the farm and a tour of the dairy barn.
|Glad I could keep everyone entertained.|
Inside the milking barn: they had a robot milker that scanned each cow's ear tag and milked each cow twice a day. The cows went over on their own when they were ready.
Everyone loved petting the baby calves. They ranged from two days old to five months old.
And here are some printables you can use if you're having your own farm party:
|I printed this on sticker paper, and stuck them on the favor bags and on white cups at the chocolate milk bar.|
|I printed these as 4x6 photos, cut out, and glued onto little tin buckets for utensils.|
Also 4x6. I used red text, printed on photo paper, and backed with red construction paper.