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My oldest son’s first birthday (back in spring of 2010) was the first child’s birthday party I had planned. My goal was to throw it for about $100.
What People Ate
We used clean planting pots to hold plastic utensils. Our food (there was too much, by the way, but better than too little, right?) included haystack cookies, cow-pie cookies, colorful tortilla chips and salsa, watermelon, strawberries, carrots with ranch dip, cheese and cracker platters, and pretzels.
What People Drank
We borrowed a wheelbarrow from a family member to hold soda, water, and juice on ice.
My husband and I worked on the cake together, based on instructions from BettyCrocker.com. Obviously, we are nowhere near professional cake decorators, but it was a fun project and very doable. We just had to use a whole lot of (gel) food coloring for the red barn. The cake sat on an old white board, covered in blue tissue paper and then wax paper.
Activities / Games
To set the party scene in our yard, I purchased a few straw bales (I found out this is less expensive than hay) from the local feed store and scattered signs (printed cardstock attached to a paint stir stick) around to indicate different game activity areas. Hay Field: Kids rode around in the red wagon J got for his birthday. Fish Pond: Little guests were given a dowel with a clothes pin attached and my sweet sister-in-law attached small plastic bags of gummy fish from behind the candle screen covered in blue fabric (both recycled from my wedding). Chicken Coop : Children searched for candy-filled eggs among various containers. Petting Zoo: This area had animal and farm toys, plus a pin-the-tail on the donkey game; I tried to take a photo of every kid by J’s Fisher-Price Farm toy, too. Craft Barn: We made paper-bag farm animal puppets from free printables I found online.
Each little guest took home a white paper bag tied with red-checkered ribbon. Inside were pieces of candy, duck-bill whistles, and assorted other trinkets.