Cowboy Party {Activities and Badges}

With ten little buckaroos to entertain for two hours, some strong daughter-of-an-educator characteristics came out in me.  What started as a marshmallow shoot-out turned into an elaborate and highly orchestrated assortment of games and activities.  The boys started the day as cowpokes and underwent a series of eight training activities, for which badges were earned, to become cowboys at the end of the party.  A cowbell was appropriately used to signal the changing of activities.

Git Yer Gear
We had the boys gather round and Honey went through a short, interactive presentation covering introductions, where to find things at the corral, how to talk like a cowboy and explaining how to become a real cowboy.  After the presentation, the boys were divided up into three groups and outfitted in hats, bandannas and vests.

How To:
– I printed out the four things we wanted to cover on cardstock, backed in kraft stock and pasted to a foam board.  Honey used this as his guide for the “cowboy talk” session.
– All on her own accord, Mother fashioned darling little felt vests, complete with fringe and badges, for the entire lot of buckaroos in attendance.  The total cost for eleven vests was under eight dollars.  I assure you that I am under-exaggerating when I say that they went over splendidly!

Ride Em Cowboy Relay Race
Cowpokes earned their “Horse Riding” badge at this station.

To Play:
We had all three teams participate at once.  A cowbell signaled the start of the race.  Each cowpoke had to ride a stick horse from the start line, around the cones and back before handing over the horse to the next person on their team.

To Make:
– Supplies: Yard stick, craft paper, brown yarn, googly eyes, batting
– On craft paper, draw and cut out two heads for each stick horse.  I free handed mine.

– Use hot glue to glue the ears of the two cut horse heads together.
– For the mane, wrap yarn around some appropriately sized object.  I randomly used a graham cracker box.  I wrapped it about 50 times.  

– For the little tuft on the horse’s forehead, do the same thing but on a smaller scale.  I wrapped it around my hand 10 times.

– Slide the wrapped yarn off of your hand and glue it between the two heads, pressing firmly so that the glue squeezes through to both sides.
– Continue gluing around the rest of the horse’s mouth and to the right side of the neck.  Do not glue the bottom.
– Slide the yarn off of the graham cracker box and glue the mane on in the appropriate place.
– Finish gluing the left side of the head.  Then lightly stuff the ears, top of the head and mouth with batting.

– Before stuffing the rest of the head, generously apply glue to the yard stick and firmly press it down to the bottom inside of the horse head.

– Finish stuffing with batting and glue together the bottom of the head.

– Glue on eyes and cut loops of mane.

Stable Hand Pony Grooming
The cowpokes earned their “Pony Grooming” badge at this station.

To Play:
I pre-cut horse tails and used removable double sided tape for them to adhere their tails to the pony.  Each cowpoke was handed a taped tail, blindfolded with a bandanna, spun around five times and then left to pin their tail on the pony.

To Make:
– Supplies – craft paper, foam board, double stick tape, bandanna
– Free hand horse, without it’s tail, on craft paper.  Cut out and glue to foam board.
– Cut out tails for kids to pin on the pony.

Five Paces Boot Toss
Cowpokes earned their “Boot Toss” badge at this station.

To Play:
We used corn hole game boards for a good, old fashioned bean bag toss.  Cowpokes were instructed to take five paces away from the game, turn around and then toss.

Steer Roping Ring Toss
Cowpokes earned their “Steer Roping” badge at this station.

To Play:
Like the Boot Toss, cowpokes were instructed to take five paces away from the game.  From there, it was just a regular ring toss!

To Make:
– I really, really wanted to use my vintage Coke crate in some capacity.  It just seemed fitting for the fete.  I adore all things Coca-Cola and one night it just hit me to paint 8-oz. glass Coke bottles to look like cows for a steer roping ring toss game.
– Leave the bottles filled, to give them some weight and ensure they don’t tip over.  Use masking tape to cover their caps.  Spray paint white over the course of multiple thin coats.

– Using craft paint, free hand paint black spots to look like cows.

– For the rings, Honey ran a thin wire through rope to help them hold their shape.  He taped the two ends together with red duct tape.  The rings were sized just large enough to where they could not rope two bottles at the same time.

Feelin Lucky Gold Strike
Cowpokes earned their “Strike Gold” badges at this station.

To Play:
Cowpokes panned for gold with a pierced pie tin.

To Make:
– Paint fish tank gravel (because I had a whole lot of it already on hand) gold.  I found the easiest way to do this was to dump a bunch in a cardboard box and spray.  Shake the box and repeat a bunch of times until covered.  I used a stick to stir it up when it started to stick.  Let dry completely.

– In a large bucket, I mixed sand, old (unused) fish tank gravel (blue), gold painted fish tank gravel and round vase filler.
– Pierce holes in pie tins.  I think Honey stacked them all up and did them all at once.  I used one for each participant because they were quite flimsy (and I got three for $1 at the dollar store.)

Crayola Corral Coloring Saloon
Cowpokes earned their “Crayola Corral” badge at this station.

To Play:
Print out wanted posters and have them go to town.

To Make:
Download coloring page!
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No Horsing Around Horseshoes
Cowpokes earned their “Horseshoes” badges at this station.

To Play:
We borrowed the set from Sister.  Since it was real (and real heavy), we only set up one stake to make it very easy to monitor and keep the boys safe.

Marshmallow Shoot Out
Cowpokes earned their “Shoot Out” badge at this station.

To Play:
We brought the whole group together for this grand finale shoot out.  Honey gave a short demo on how to use (and how not to use) the marshmallow shooters.  We then passed out bags of mini marshmallow and let the cowpokes go to town.

To Make:
– Supplies – 21″ of 1/2″ wide PVC pipe, two elbow connectors, one t joint and one end cap for each shooter
– Using PVC pipe cutters, cut one 7″ piece, three 4″ pieces and one 2″ piece for each shooter.  Connect per the diagram below.

– Note, the boys wanted to load multiple marshmallows in at one time and they were getting lodged in the bends.  We advise loading the ammo in the very end of the shooter (far left above) and blowing through the opening at the top right.

– Hats and bandannas – Oriental Trading
– Vests – made by my amazing Mother
– “John” baskets and JWW monogrammed red buckets – Pottery Barn Kids (over six years ago)
– Craft paper, batting, vintage Coke crate, fish tank gravel – had on hand
– Yard sticks, rope, sand, pvc pipes, yard stakes – Home Depot
– Brown yarn, google eyes, red duct tape, gold spray paint – Michael’s
– Foam board and cowbell – Hobby Lobby
– Corn hole game – built by Honey
– Pie tins and vase filler – Dollar Tree
– Horseshoes game – borrowed

More details here:

And that rounds out the party activities.  Whew!  I’m totally taking a break from long blog posts after this week :-)

Participating in the Pure Joy Events party tutorial contest!

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14 thoughts on “Cowboy Party {Activities and Badges}

  1. You seriously AMAZE ME! This party was absolutely incredible! Love everything about it….and love checking out your blog! Thank you for the awesome ideas.

  2. I have loads of help from Honey and my mother so i can't take all the credit. And I didn't sleep much the week of the party…or for the month of October for that matter. But that changed this week. I've don't nothing except write up the details of the party. I usually gear back up with creative-ness in december so don't expect much between now and then. LOL. And thanks for the compliment :-)

  3. Love it!!! So cute. Love the pony, the "get yer gear" sign, everything.

    Becoming a follower to keep up on all your other great ideas.

    If you get a chance sometime, you'll have to stop by my blog.


  4. Oh my goodness, this is the cutest! I have not seen a more well thought out cowboy party than this! Great job! Thanks for linking up @ Show & Share!

  5. I am a new reader of your blog and I must say how blown away I am with all of your mind blowing amazing ideas, I LOVE your blog and it is the first thing I read each morning !! I am hooked !!

    Thank you for sharing this fantastic world with us….. especially those of us who live in Sydney Australia :)

  6. Thanks so much for the great ideas!I am planning a western theme Vacation Bible School this summer. I hope to start now in making the amazing games you set up. The Vacation Bible School is 5 days,long so doing a couple of these activities(a different 2 or 3 a day) will keep things exciting for the children all week. Can't wait to get started! :-)

  7. Oh, I forgot to ask – What pattern did your Mom use to make the Vests?

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