If you’ve kept up with me over the last year, you’ll know that we have fallen in love with Little House on the Prairie. I introduced the books to Big Brother and Big Sis last spring and they were an instant hit. We have traveled from the Big Woods of Wisconsin to the prairie in Kansas, to Plum Creek and to Silver Lake in the Dakota territory. We have huddled close while the wolves howled outside the cabin. We have laughed at Pa’s stories and been heart broken when the grasshoppers, blackbirds and other pests have ruined the crops. We were sad when Mary went blind and on the edge of our seats during the Long Winter, wondering if the blizzards would ever stop coming. We have two books left to go in the series. I don’t know who is enjoying it more… me or the kids!
Big sis was thrilled when I suggested a Prairie Party for her sixth birthday. We began to plan together the various activities we could have at the party. We looked to Pinterest for inspiration as well. Big Sis’s birthday is in January which pretty much counts an outside birthday party out of the mix and our house just isn’t big enough to accommodate lots of children running around. Thankfully, a hotel nearby gave us a great deal to use one of their conference rooms. They even set up the tables and chairs for us! We normally don’t go to such lengths for a birthday party… but every now and then, I think it’s ok. The memories made are totally worth it.
The kids and I recently discovered some Play Mobil toys from my childhood in my parents basement. I thought this wagon was a great decoration for the party!
I have been making sun bonnets to sell in my etsy shop and happened to have a surplus hanging around in my stash. We grabbed some bandanas for the boys. Each child got to pick their head/ neck wear when they arrived. We had quilts (not pictured) set up for the kids to play/ eat on.
I picked up these little pails at the dollar section at Target. Laura Ingalls refers to her lunch pail throughout the books. The kids each got to pick a pail for snack time. The snacks included apples, pretzels, a maple sugar stick and a roll with homemade butter (see below):
I told the kids that they were going to have a snack, but that they were going to have to work for it! We talked about how in the prairie days, people couldn’t just head to Wal Mart or Ingles to pick up food at any time. I told them about how they churned butter (I’m such a homeschool mom). I really wanted an authentic butter churn to use for the day, but no one had one to borrow and I just couldn’t justify spending the money to buy one. Instead, each child got a baby food jar, filled 3/4 way with heavy whipping cream and a little bit of salt. They had to shake, shake, shake until the cream turned into butter (about 15 minutes). If you want whipped butter, you stop when it starts to change from liquid to solid… but if you want the real stuff, just hang in there a little longer! The kids got to put their own butter on a roll to enjoy. They packed their jars into their pails to take home with them when the party ended.
In addition to the pails and butter, the kids got to pick a piece of stick candy. My own kids and I went to the Mast General Store in town to pick out “old fashioned” candy for the party. It was quite a treat.
For entertainment, we had some horse races!
We let the big boys ride their horses backwards to make the playing field a little more even for the little girls.
We also had a lincoln log corner where the kids could build cabins and such. We had a contest to see who could build the tallest tower.
I also set up a craft corner where the kids could assemble and color a prairie boy or girl.
I wasn’t sure what to do for the cake. I had seen covered wagon shaped cakes, cabin cakes, etc. I decided to just draw the cover picture from the Little House on the Prairie book.
So much could be done with a prairie party! We adapted to be inside. I think it was a huge success. Big Sis was so excited and that’s really all that matters to me.
Had we been able to do the party outside, we may have had some other activities like washing clothes in a washtub, musical tree stumps, covered wagon rides, etc.
I gathered lots of inspiration through several other blogs. Please visit my Pinterest Little House Party Board to see where I drew ideas.
Thanks for stopping by. What kind of fun parties have you had or been to?