Updated May, 2013
(Great 'Decorating Ideas' and 'Themed Jokes' are below Food Ideas)
• Beans & Franks
• Pork & beans--made from dried beans and chunks of salt pork
• Hot Dogs & Chips
• Chili laddled over/in a bag of Fritos (Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese)
• Beef stew (Cooked in a crock pot all day with potatoes, carrots & onion, etc)
• Sloppy Joes......Macaroni & Cheese
• Barbequed Beef, Ribs, or Chicken
• Corn on the Cob, Watermelon
TRAIL MIX TIPS...
Are you serving a group of kids that all like something different? Put out several ingredients from the below list:
• Goldfish crackers, plain or cheese
• Chex cereal
• Life cereal
• Square pretzels or pretzel sticks
• Nuts (only if no children in your group are allergic to nuts)
• Raisins or Yogurt covered raisins, sunflower seeds, etc.
• Your choice of M&M's, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, small chewy candies, etc.
1. Put the variety of ingredients out in bowls.
2. After children wash their hands--give them each a baggie. (To keep track of whose is whose - have them write their name on it) The ingredients will then go into each child's baggie with their choice of mixes.
TIP: Let children know how much 'measurement-wise' they can take of offered foods; also how many choices they can have. Example: Eash child can take 1/2 cup of 4 food choices offered.
TRAIL MIX RECIPES...
A GENERAL GUIDE TO TRAIL MIX
1. In a large bowl, add any type of cereals (Cheerios, Kix, Rice Krispies, etc.)
2. Mix in pretzel sticks, fish crackers, small snack crackers, raisins, oyster crackers, M&M's, etc. Almost anything that is left-over in the pantry.
3. Mix well, and place in individual sandwich baggies or paper cups.
This is a great "take-along field trip snack" or "take it outdoors snack"... It will also help you clean out those "little leftovers" in your food storage.
ANIMAL MIX FOR HUMANS
2 cups animal shaped graham crackers
1 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup M&M’s
1/2 cup raisins
Mix together. Store in sandwich bags or covered container.
FROOT LOOPS TRAIL MIX
1 (15 ounce) box Fruit Loops cereal
1 15 ounce) bag mini pretzel twists
1 (1 pound) bag M&M's
1 box raisins
1 can salted peanuts
Mix all together and store in airtight container.
GOOBERS TRAIL MIX
2 cups 'NESTLE GOOBERS' Milk Chocolate-Covered Peanuts
2 cups small pretzel twists
1 cup raisins
1 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
1 cup coarsely chopped dried apples
Combine Goobers, pretzels, marshmallows, raisins, apricots and apples in large bowl.
Makes 10 servings.
Recipe Source: Nestle & Meals.com
SERVE GRAIN MIX!
Mix pretzels, Corn Pops, Rice Chex, etc.
Pre-make or put ingredients out---and have children mix what they like...
RANCH YARD SLOP SNACK
Put out chocolate pudding.
In separate bowls put out M&M's, nuts, raisins, coconut, cereal, candy sprinkles, chopped apples and bananas!
Have children add and mix in what they like! Enjoy!
Visit the'Snack Mix' recipe page for other ideas
OTHER FOOD IDEAS...
MAKE HOMEMADE BUTTER just like the pioneers!
Baby food jars
A bowl of ice
Small bowl to put the butter in the ice
Spoon to press butter on the bowl
1. Put 2 tablespoons whipping cream in each baby food jar.
2. Put lid on tightly and shake as long as can.
3. Remove lid and pour off excess liquid.
4. Spoon butter into the smaller bowl and set this bowl in the bowl of ice.
5. As butter chills, continue to press it again the side of the bowl to get rid of any remaining liquid.
6. When ready…enjoy on some good bread or rolls!
Tip: To speed up the process you can add a marble to the jar when shaking
'NO BAKE' HAYSTACK COOKIES
2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups butterscotch chips (or peanut butter if no allergies)
½ tsp. vanilla
3 cups chow mien noodles
Optional: May add 1 cup chopped walnuts or peanuts.
Melt chips; mix in noodles until coated well.
By teaspoon onto was paper. Put in refrigerator to set.
COW CHOW...Make the always popular 'Puppy Chow' but call it Cow Chow!
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
12 ounces chocolate chips
1 large box Crispix
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1. Melt peanut butter, margarine and chocolate chips.
2. Pour mixture over large box Crispix; coat well.
3. In a paper bag or very large bowl... put 2 1/2 cups confectioner sugar.
4. Add coated cereal and gently coat cereal. Cover well...
Note: The mixture actually tastes better after a day or two. The cereal absorbs the chocolate mixture! Yummy!
HAYSTACK COOKIES #2 (NO BAKE)
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup salted peanuts
4 cups chow mein noodles
Melt chips and peanut butter in microwave. Blend together.
Stir in peanuts and noodles gently in the peanut butter mixture.
Drop dough by forkfuls onto wax paper. Cool until set. Yummy
MAKE HAYSTACKS of potato sticks and pretzels
This is a great variation to the rice cereal treat recipe.
Using traditional 'Rice Krispies recipe'...replace the rice cereal with corn flake cereal.
Follow the instructions combining the cereal, melted marshmallow and butter mixture. Mold the cereal mixture into the shape of haystacks.
DON'T FORGET TO MAKE S'MORES!
Is there anything food-wise that conjures up more 'gooey fun'?! Check out the S'Mores page with ideas for versions of... bonfire, microwave, oven, freezer, brownies, fudge and more! You'll soon be saying, "Give me some more!"
1 cup milk
1 sliced banana
¼ cup unsweetened grape juice
Mix all ingredients together in a blender.
Makes 4-6 small servings
BLACK COW (recipe makes 1)
Root Beer, vanilla ice-cream, chocolate syrup
Place 2 tablespoons of syrup in bottom of large glass. Add root beer, stirring until liquid is within 2 inches of top of glass. Add a huge scoop of ice cream.
MAKE CACTUS JUICE
You can adapt any favorite 'punch' recipe and call it Cactus Juice! A couple ideas...
1. Pour cold lemon lime soda into a punch bowl. Add lime sherbet.
2. Make green Kool-Aid and add lemon lime soda. Lime sherbet could also be added to this.
ROOR BEER/SASPARILLA (Sasparilla is 'Old fashioned' root beer in brown bottles)
LEMONADE or Sweet Tea...
SERVING FOOD...IT'S ALL ABOUT PRESENTATION!
→ Make a sign saying "SALOON' for the area where drinks are served.
→ Hang a sign that says 'CHUCK WAGON or GRUB' over the buffet table/serving area.
SETTING THE TABLE...
→ Use Bandanas for place mats or napkins.
→ Use red check tablecloths or bandana print table cloths. Red and white roll paper (butcher paper) would also work.
→ Use a cowboy hat for a centerpiece and fill it with candy or a vase of field-like flowers...
→ Mason jars would make nice vases for field or wild flowers. An old cowboy boot fitted with an interior vase would also be great holding wild flowers!
→ Do you have an 'old' toy train set? If so --place it on the table with an appropriate center piece or cake in the center.
SERVE FOOD OUT OF...
• MAKE SNACK FEED BAGS
On small burlap bags write the word "Feed" with a black sharpie pen.
Fill the bags with any snack mix.
Tie the top with twine.
• STRAW COWBOY HATS
Line the hats with napkins and a bandana or two. Fill with snack type food such as chips, candy, snack mix, pretzels, etc.
• Serve food in PIE TINS...or aluminum or tin PAILS/BUCKETS of various sizes. Use tin pie tins as plates!
• Serve root beer, lemonade or sweet tea in MASON JARS and/or beer mugs.
DECORATING & SETTING THE MOOD
LIVEN UP YOUR "WESTERN" TOWN or RANCH WITH SIGNS SUCH AS...
• Welcome all Cowboys and Cowgirls (or Buckaroos or Cowpokes) Place sign at main entrance.
• OUTHOUSE (Place by bathroom door)
• No Bandits or Outlaws Allowed in this Town!
• How about...No Spittin, Drinken or Chewin allowed on the premises!
• Grub (Placed over food table) • Saloon (Placed by beverages)
DECORATE WITH CUT-OUT 'WESTERN TOWN' SHAPES
Purchase cut-out shapes/decorations of Cactus, Cowboys/Cowgirls, Horses, etc. These can be purchased at any local party store or on line at places such as Oriental Trading, Shindigz, Birthday Express, etc.
Although they are expensive, large cut-outs of "old west buildings" are also available from many on-line party sources!
MAKE A JAIL or SHERIFF'S OFFICE!
A great photo op and decoration in one!
1. Using a large refrigerator box carton--paint the outside a stone color or brick design.
2. Carefully cut out a large square or rectangle shape window. Either cut the window leaving cardboard 'bars' or later add the bars by taping on 'jail bars'.
The 'jail' can be made where the children can enter and look through the bars...or flat where it leans against a wall as a decoration.
3. If room, add 'Wanted" posters to the outside of the jail. (Image source of refrigerator jail is from RubyLemons blog site)
Idea: if you are making the 'jail' as a flat decoration, consider making other building exteriors such as saloon, bank, general store, etc. You may be able to find large boxes at nearby furniture or appliance stores.
HAVE A WHEEL BARROW?
Fill it with soft toy ranch/farm animals.
BALES OF HAY plus more...
YEE HAW...Welcome party or theme participants with a fun entrance! Stick a "Welcome Buckaroos" or "Cowpokes" sign into a bale of hay. If the event is being held outdoors, place other bales around for atmosphere. For outdoor parties, bales of hay also make great seating...either around the eating table or here and there!
• Logs/wood placed in strategic spots can also make a dramatic statement.
• Horshoes, Old wagon-wheels, bandanas, lanterns, oil lamps, cowboy boots, a saddle, ropes, Wanted Posters, balloons, and streamers also add to the western festivities!
BALLOONS WITH BLACK PATCHES
Either purchase ballons already colored in black and white cow patches/spots-- or paint black patches onto white balloons.
Balloon Ideas: Tie onto each guests chair; group around the party area; place at front entrance with bale of hay; use on tables as centerpieces or on the 'grub' table; hang a very large bunch from the ceiling over a main table or center of the room. It will not be filled with hellium, so if grouped together tightly, will resemble a chandelier.
HAVE SOME FUN WITH JOKES!
JOKES TO TELL ON THE RANCH...
Besides sharing the following jokes, what can you do with them?
Use this JOKE AND PUNCH LINE Activity... Great for connecting and for an ice-breaker!
• Write a joke on one card and a punch line on another. Be sure to mix the cards up. The number of different jokes depends on the size of the group.
• Give each person a card. Explain that they may have a joke or a punch line on the card. On a given signal, they are to walk around the group trying to find the other part of their joke/punch line.
• When they find their other half, you may ask them to get to know their new partner by asking things like favorite ice cream or dream vacation etc...
• When this is done, everyone can return to a circle and with their partner, tell their joke.
What do you say to a cow that crosses in front of your car?
Why do cows have bells?
Because their horns don't work.
What do you get when you cross a cow with a duck?
Milk and quackers.
What do you get when you cross a cow with a rabbit?
Hare in your milk!
Why do cows use the doorbell?
Because their horns don't work!
What happened when the cow jumped over the barbed wire fence?
It was an udder catastrophe!
Where do cows go on Friday night?
To the moo-vies.
Why did the rancher buy a brown cow?
Because he wanted chocolate milk.
What do you get if you cross a sheep and a porcupine?
An animal that knits its own sweaters.
What runs around a ranch but doesn't move?
This is Page 2; return to Page 1: Western Theme Art and Crafts (And TONS of games!)