Let's Party: BARNYARD BASH!

Fun and festive ideas to make your child's Big Day extra special.

Barnyard Bash! - Ages 2 to 4

Your little one and her friends will party 'til the cows come home! The sweet lamb invite lets kids know they're going to have a baaa-last. The barn cake is roofed with cereal and "painted" in red fruit leather. Wrap animal-themed stickers and plastic toys in bright bandannas to give out as favors.

    2yr

    The Invite: Print or write out party details on cardstock. Trace an animal template over information (we used a cookie cutter); cut out. Embellish with trims such as buttons, ribbons, or a bell.

      2yr2

      The Goodie Bag: To make tags for favors, print or write out each guest's name on cardstock. Cut into tag shape; punch a hole at one end. Thread loose end of a bandanna through tag.

        2yr3

        The Activity: Play "Pin the Tail on the Pig." To make: Draw a pig on felt; cut out. For tails, curl a chenille stem around a pencil. Glue toothy half of a Velcro coin onto ends. Attach fuzzy coin half to pig where tail should be.

          2yr1

          The Cake: Raising the roof on this clever farmyard cake is remarkably simple.

            Ingredients:

            • 2 boxes (18.25 oz. each) classic yellow cake mix
            • 2 cans (16 oz. each) vanilla frosting
            • 3 boxes (4.5 oz. each) red fruit-leather strips (such as Fruit by the Foot)
            • Yellow food coloring
            • Flat breakfast cereal

              Directions:

              1. Using pound-cake variation on side of box (add instant pudding and 1 extra egg), prepare cake mixes according to package directions, and bake in four 8-inch square pans. Let cakes cool completely.
              2. Spoon 1/3 cup frosting into a resealable plastic bag and set aside. Tint remaining frosting pale yellow. Stack two cakes, with yellow frosting in between and on top. Measure in 1 inch from edge of third layer, and cut wedges off layer to create lower slope of roof (see photos below). Place trimmed third layer on top of stacked cakes. From the last layer, cut 1 inch off opposite sides of cake, leaving a 6-inch wide piece of cake. From center, cut a wedge off each side to bottom edge, creating the upper slope of the pointed roof. Stack last trimmed layer on top, using yellow frosting to secure.
              3. Frost entire cake with yellow frosting. Starting at one corner, place fruit-leather strips vertically over sides of cake to create siding. Gently press into frosting, overlapping slightly. Starting at bottom edge of roof, place breakfast cereal in overlapping rows to create shingles. Snip small corner from plastic bag with white frosting. Pipe doors and window on barn. Makes 20 servings.

                2yr4

                  2yr5

                    2yr6

                      Party Plan: 1hr. 30 min.

                        ICEBREAKER:

                        To keep kids busy as they wait for everyone to arrive, leave out a few farm-inspired puzzles and coloring books for them to play with.

                          AN OINK, OINK HERE

                          Play "Pin the Tail on the Pig." To make: Draw a pig on felt; cut out. For tails, curl a chenille stem around a pencil. Glue toothy half of a Velcro coin onto ends. Attach fuzzy coin half to pig where tail should be.

                            HAYRIDE:

                            Fill a wagon with hay or straw, and take guests for a ride. Scatter barnyard-themed stuffed toys, such as cows and chickens, around the yard. Let kids roam for a little free play. Then it's time for cake!

                              E I E I O:

                              As the day winds down, gather kids for a sing-along of the classic "Old McDonald Had a Farm." Hold up drawings of the animals and write out the sounds for each verse: cow/moo; pig/oink.