Farmyard Party Guide

FREE party tips, activity suggestions & recipe ideas

In this fast paced world we live, parties can sometimes seem overwhelming and, in some cases, have become almost a nuisance as we find ourselves too busy or lacking in the imagination and creativity.  As a result most miss out on making the memories we all deserve.
Are you ready to start preparing for your party?  Okay, let’s get started with some suggestions to help relieve the stress.
Handy Hints
There are a few important decisions to be made before you send out your invitations - Date, Time and Location.
Date - It’s a good idea to check the proposed date and time with “key” friends before committing.

Time - It is important to state starting and finishing times on invitations. Generally 2 to 3 hours is ample.  A morning party may be good for littlies as you will generally find younger children tend to get tired in the afternoon/evening.

Location - You have a couple of basic choices with the most popular being “home” where you’ll have plenty of time to set-up and have all your supplies close at hand.  The obvious disadvantage with this choice is, having to clean the house before and after the party, possible damage to your house and space limitations.  Nearby parks are nice because they’re usually free, with plenty of space to run around and usually have a play structure to entertain the kids.  The downside is, having to haul the supplies to and from the park plus lack of privacy and overcrowding.  Local indoor play centres are becoming more popular for little children and the best part is there’s no cleaning up afterwards.

When sending out invitations, allow plenty of time for guest’s parents to change their plans if necessary.

The golden rule for the party host is, don’t try and do everything on your own.  Many parents invite another parent or relative to help them with the food as well as supervision once the party begins.

Once the party begins you will generally find that younger children need constant supervision.  Older children usually like to be left in peace at least some of the time during the party, only needing to be checked from time to time to make sure everything is all right.

Be vigilant around balloons.  If they pop the rubber bits could be a danger to young children.  If they put them in their mouth, they could choke.

Party Game & Activity Idea’s
Party games are a great way to teach children about winning, losing, fairness and luck.  Keep each game relatively short to keep the children’s interested and if they begin to appear irritable, move on to a new game.  You should always be prepared for problems.  There may be squabbles about who won or who got what prize so be sure to explain the rules before the games begin.
The best way to create a farmyard theme is to hire Old McDonalds Farm Animals to attend your party.  They set everything up, and best of all clean everything up before they leave.  In this day and age with many children growing up within a city or metropolitan surrounding, a lot of them haven’t even touched a lot of farm animals and therefore this activity will be a real treat for all the guests.
Chook Chook!    
Great party activity all your guests can participate in.  For a crazy novelty at your fair, try these cackling chooks – people find them irresistible.  Knot a longish piece of string firmly through the bottom of any disposable cup and tie a small piece of kitchen cleaning sponge to the other end of the string, which should hang down through the cup.  When the sponge is dampened, wrapped around the string and jerked downwards, the cup emits a sound that is extraordinarily like a cackling hen.  Add joggle eyes and appropriate features cut from thin coloured cardboard and all day your fair will sound like a poultry yard!
Decorating Tips  
The best way to create a farmyard theme is by turning your backyard into your very own little farm.  Spread some hay bales around, you could even build a little hay stack.  Another great touch would be your very own scarecrow.  A white picket fence can easily be created using small stakes and white cardboard.  Using a large old white sheet you could even paint your own red barn façade to pin up on the side of the house as a feature.
Recipe suggestions
For small children, make sure to remove toothpicks, skewers and any other sharp objects from food before you serve it.  Make sure an adult is in the room at all times in case a child chokes.

Freeze choc drops and then place a few in the bottom of each glass before filling with sparkling drink.  Do not overfill the children with fizzy drinks however as they have a nasty habit of erupting later leaving you a nasty mess to clear up.

Plan to include food and drinks for grown ups in case anxious parents stay or come to pick their child up early.

Try to serve at least a few types of healthy food.  Make sure it looks colourful and appetising and you’ll probably find it will disappear in time.  Try not to be over adventurous though when planning the food, as many children are picky eaters.

The party food shouldn’t be too hot as just- cooked food such as cheerio’s or sausage rolls can burn little mouths.

Cut the party cake into thin slices, as most children will have had enough to eat by the time the cake comes around.    You could wrap up the left over slices for children to take home in their loot bags.

Farm Animal Party Patty Cakes - Ingredients makes 24     
Cakes - 125g butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, ¾ cup (165g) caster sugar, 2 eggs, 1½ cup self-raising flour, ½ cup milk, an assortment of lollies, liquorice straps, chocolate sprinkles, desiccated coconut and food colourings for decoration. 
Vanilla butter frosting – 30g butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, 2 cups icing sugar mixture, 2 tablespoons milk, food colouring of your choice
Grease two 12-hole deep patty pans; line with paper patty cases. Beat butter, essence and sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Transfer mixture to large bowl; stir in flour and milk.  Spoon the mixture into patty cases.  Bake in moderate oven 15 minutes.  Turn onto wire rack to cool.  Spread cold cakes with vanilla butter frosting and then decorate with the lollies, liquorice straps, chocolate sprinkles and coloured coconut.  Vanilla butter frosting – combine the butter, essence, half the icing sugar and half the milk into a medium bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Add remaining icing sugar and milk; beat until smooth.  Divide the icing among small bowls and colour each with a few drops of the food colouring of your choice.  To make coloured coconut, put some coconut into a small plastic bag then add a few drops of the food colouring of your choice.  Seal the bag then shake it and rub the bag in your hands until the coconut is coloured.
**Recipe as printed in The Australian Women’s Weekly Kids’ Party Food

Final Checklist
1. Plan a menu and go grocery shopping so that you can make as much food as you can before the day and freeze   

2. Write out a final schedule of activities and games, then arrange for help on the party day   

3. Get exact guest numbers then order the cake   

4. Buy remaining party food, film, batteries, candles and matches for cake, plus other incidentals   

5. Child proof the party area   

6. Take plenty of pictures to commemorate the special day   

10. Plan an after party nap for yourself   
Please remember, if you want the children to have a good party, plan it and keep it short and simple.  Mishaps may occur so keep your sense of humour, even if not every aspect of the party goes off as planned.  The most important part is to enjoy the day as you celebrate the life of your child.  Lastly, we’d love to receive a photo of your child’s “themed party” in action, to place on our website.  Thank you for including parties in packages in your special day and we wish you the best of luck with your themed party pack.