Invite your favorite cowboys and cowgirls to your party with invitations featuring designs that convey a Wild West theme: cowboy hats, cowboy boots with star clips, bandannas, lassos, sheriff’s badges, cacti, teepees, wagons, and horses. Ask partygoers to come dressed in their favorite Wild West garb.
Turn your party room into an old Western town with a large paper mural taped along one or more walls. Draw an old hotel, bank, jail, post office, saloon, blacksmith, doctor’s office, and any other buildings you’d find along a Wild West Main Street. Fill old cowboy boots with eucalyptus for an interesting table centerpiece. Keep helium-filled balloon bouquets grounded by lassoing them to toy horses. If space permits, bring in a small tent for guests to play in.
Put smocks on partygoers and seat them at a well-covered table, then have them dip plastic horseshoes into paint and press the horseshoes onto paper to create unique, abstract Western designs. You can also have partygoers create their own sheriff’s badges by cutting out a star and gluing sparkles on it (use double-sided tape to attach the badge to clothing). For team-oriented activities, split groups into cowboys and Indians. Outdoors, games can include hide-and-go-seek, dodgeball, and volleyball. Indoors, stick to games such as Twister, duck-duck-goose, and musical chairs.
Serve up plenty of trail mix in baskets lined with bandannas. Offer guests barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, cornbread, and other items that can be eaten without utensils (just be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand!).
Shape a rectangular cake into a cowboy hat with a little clever slicing around the edges. Decorate the cake with white frosting, place licorice laces above the brim, and add a sheriff’s badge made from icing and silver candy confetti.
Instead of sending guests home with the traditional goody bags, fill up inexpensive felt cowboy hats with an assortment of candies and small toys, to create a take-home gift little cowpokes will remember.
Match your thank-you notes to your invitation, or choose a complementary design. Teach your child good manners by allowing him or her to sign their name to each note. Add a silver star sticker to represent a sheriff’s badge next to your child’s name. Remember to mention what the gift was that you’re thanking the person for -- and how much your child enjoyed it!