Monday, June 27, 2011

{Horse Birthday Party}

My big girl turned 7 today (!), and I have no idea how the time has gone by so quickly. No one tells you that it will go so fast, and regardless how much you try to treasure or capture every moment, it still flies by.  On a 7th birthday you're left in a gasp, trying to remember that tiny baby you held in your arms during what seems like such a short time ago. Around here, I try to cherish every birthday by making it as special as possible. She has much more detailed parties than I certainly ever had, and I'm thankful for that. It's not that they are expensive or over-the-top (in my opinion), but simply planned. Thought out. Special. :)
She's wildly in love with horses, so that was her theme choice this year. I love doing things in themes! She had her first real "friends" birthday party one Saturday, and our annual "family" party get-together the day before her actual birthday. It was SO much fun planning for her classmate party!
We started our brainstorming with ideas for games and  favors. She loves having races, relays...something physical, so I decided to make stick horses for each girl as a party favor, and to use during the party as well. They were a HUGE hit and I was so happy with that!
I came up with the pattern and assembly after looking at the construction on a few other handmade stick horses. You can see my full tutorial here to make your own. They are very simple and I used clearance fabric for all of them.
I originally made nametags for each horse, but then we decided that each girl could just select a pony when she arrived. It worked out well that way.
Guests were greeted by our longtime pal "Chip".
I made this banner using my die-cut machine and chipboard letters from Target's Dollar Spot.
 As everyone arrived and settled in, the girls had free play time with a basket of horse-themed stories from our bookshelf and my daughter's horse corral and horses. They LOVED that more than I would have imagined. :)
Next, the girls each decorated a sparkly foam horseshoe to hang in their bedrooms. We were originally going to use wooden horseshoes, but they were very small and just not what we wanted. I traced these from a horseshoe pattern I found somewhere online, punched holes with my crop-a-dile, and laced some ribbon through. The girls decorated them with a huge bag of sequins I had on hand.
 They loved it!
We hid 23 small ponies (thank you Oriental Trading Co.!) around the yard, based on a story we made up about finding the lost magical ponies. The girls LOVED hunting these down! The last one was tricky to find, and they were soooooo into the imagination of it all. They were a joy to watch! Each girl got a pink Starburst for their efforts, as well as horse sticker as a "badge".
Here they are counting the lost ponies they had collected thus far:
We had fun relay races with our stick horses next. The girls teamed up in 3's, and they raced on their stick horses to deliver an apple to a stuffed horse on the other side. They had obstacles like fun noodles to jump over (from the $1 Store), pylons to navigate, and tricks like running backwards, skipping, etc. So much fun!
Our party was in the afternoon, so we served cupcakes and ice cream cups, as well as snacks well-suited to real horses. :) Apples, carrots, and "oats" (aka: Chex Mix).

We made the cupcakes ourselves, as well as the toppers. I used the stickers from a large roll of miscellaneous horse stickers I ordered from Oriental Trading Co., and my trusty circle and scallop circle punches. I adhered them to toothpicks and voila.
This is the cake we had for our large family party:

I had it iced and titled, then we added Schleich horses as an extra gift for her growing collection.

We finished off the fun for her "friend" party with my daughter's first pinata. Doesn't it seem a bit ironic that we ended a horse party by actually destroying a horse? :) At any rate, the girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves, my special girl most of all.
Now that all the birthday festivities are over, it's time to go shopping with all that birthday money! :)
Have a wonderful week,

Linking up to these fun parties:


  1. what a cute idea so super fun I can just imagine the memories that you help create with the awesome party come see me at

  2. I so loved the pony stuff toys, loving this party theme.


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