Maybe I'm generalizing too much, but I think all little girls go through a horse phase. My oldest was no exception. By the time Natalie turned five, it was all equestrian, all the time, at our house. So that year, we threw her a horse-themed birthday party.
Pony party decor is surprisingly easy to find. We order paper products similar to these and based our color scheme on what was already found in the napkins. For us, that meant blue, green and yellow balloons and streamers. It made for a sunny, bright party.
Do I even need to say that these photos were taken in the days before Instagram? So nothing is staged. This is real life, y'all. Look away if poorly composed pictures offend you.
Because we were only a few years out from California at this stage, we also ordered a horse piñata. (I love decor that can double as entertainment.) (And apparently, as my husband's head.)
I invited Natalie's entire play group to this party, so we kept the games fairly simple. I printed horse coloring pictures to keep the kids occupied as guests arrived, and we planned a game of Pin the Tail on the Horse. Otherwise, the hope was that the gang would play outside for most of the time.
What I didn't factor in was the crazy late-July weather. It was 100+ degrees on the party day with equally atrocious humidity. I made the kids eat lunch outside anyway, because 10 kids eating in my house? Ain't nobody got time for that. But it was all fine. I think so often, kids at this age just want to play together. They didn't need me to plan a full schedule. (Universal birthday party time: Kids love simple. Too much structure actually inhibits fun.)
I was struggling to figure out what to serve when I came across these cookie cutters on eBay.
They became the centerpiece of my menu theme. I cut PB&J sandwiches with the horse heads, served them with pretzel sticks ("straw") and horse-friendly carrots and apples. For dessert, I made horse cookies (I used the full horse profile for these) and set them standing onto the tops of cupcakes iced with green frosting. (No photos of the cupcakes! Can you believe that? Instagram is my motivator.)
We also had a family party for Natalie with the same theme. For that gathering, I made a full cake and decorated it with these easy instructions from Spoonful.
Thankfully, this cake turned out much better than the cow cake that wasn't.
And you know what? For as simple as the theme was, it apparently stuck. Look at my girl now.
So tell me: Do you have an opinion about goody bags? Do you think they are adorable favors to give to party guests or bags of crap that should be banned? I'd love to hear your thoughts and stories over on my Facebook page (or email me by using the envelope button on the far right, just above my profile picture). I'll incorporate them into an upcoming 31 Days of Birthdays post.