Whether your kid has Old MacDonald aspirations or wants a big red barn to call her own, a farm party could be just what the tractor ordered. To get you started, we’ve harvested a select crop of activities to enjoy pre- or post-birthday cake. These games, crafts, and pretend play projects will get everybody outside and in the farm spirit.
1. Farmer, May I
Along the same lines as Mother, May I, the farmer will call out big steps, little steps, duck waddles or bunny hops. Each player then has to ask "farmer, may I?" in order to move forward. If players forget to ask, they're sent to the starting line. The first player to reach the farmer becomes the new farmer!
2. Bob for Apples
A classic game that includes fall's favorite orchard fruit, bobbing for apples is something even the tiniest farmer can try. Fill a bucket full of water, drop in the apples and let loose your hungry party people! You can opt to see who gets the apple first for a prize or just let the kids have fun.
3. Duck, Duck, Goose!
This classic game is perfect for a farm-themed party. Set the kids in a circle, have one start by placing her hand on top of each player, saying "Duck, duck, duck," and when she's ready, say "Goose!" The person whose head she touched will get up and chase her. If she makes it back to the empty spot, she's safe. If not, she's in the mush pot. Continue on. See our other favorite classic birthday games by clicking here.
4. Snorting Contest
Gather all your guests and have each one take a turn making their best pig snort. Then, the panel of judges (mom and dad!) can hand out awards in all sorts of different categories: silliest snort, loudest snort, sweetest snort, funniest snort, loudest, least like a pig and more.
5. Read Farm Books
If you need to take the energy level down a notch or two, gather your party guests around for story time! Whether it's The Little Red Hen or Clack, Clack Moo: Cows That Type there are plenty of farm-themed books to choose from.
6. Animal Round-Up
Here's where all those plastic farm animals you're constantly stepping over will come in handy. Spread hay on an old sheet, or in a wagon or even in the yard. Give each party guest a container and tell them the farm stock has gotten lose and needs to be "corralled." Then let them sort, search and gather to their heart's content.
7. Milk the Cow
You could say this idea from Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Dreams is udderly unique. All you need to teach the littles how to milk a cow is cardboard, some bovine-drawing skills, and a latex glove. Find out more here.
8. Construct a Tractor
Who knew getting a kid-sized John Deere was as easy as hoarding cardboard? We love the creativity of this idea from The Party Wall—and that you can turn this into a group art project for the whole barnyard gang. See more here.
9. Make Your Own Small Farm World
Have cereal boxes and popsicle sticks stashed away somewhere? Good, because Crayon Box Chronicles is ready to tell you how to use them to create a farm world that's just the right size for curious kids. It's the perfect entertainment for sensory and imaginative play. Get all the info you need here.
10. Muddy Pig Painting
A farm-themed day wouldn't be complete without some muddy piggies, which is why we love this cute twist on fingerpainting. The kids will get a kick out of getting "muddy" too. Thanks to Kiddie Crafts 365 Blog for the idea!
11. Cow Ring Toss
It's easy to customize the classic ring toss game for a farm-themed affair. Made with soda bottles and felt (which you can opt to glue instead of sewing), this is a great activity for small spaces and younger kids. See more at Adventures in Craftiness.
12. Paint Filled Egg Art
If you're okay with the party getting messy, consider making a few paint-filled eggs. Just fill up eggshells with paint and let 'em fly. Get the full instructions over at Vanessa Crafts.
13. Simple Sheep Craft
14. Farm Animal Game with Free Printable
The preschooler crowd will have a blast with this DIY farm animal game from Life Over C's. It's educational, customizable, and even comes with a free printable. Check it out here.
15. Farmers Market Stand
It's another clever cardboard idea, this time from ikat bag. If you've ever visited your local farmers market with the family, you've probably talked about where all the delicious food comes from. For a farm party full of imagination, why not build your own market stand and watch the pretend play unfold? Find out more here.
16. Tractor Pull
Tractors on your mark, get set, go! When it comes to a farm-themed extravaganza, here's how to add a little something for the little speedster in your life. Just think of it as racing, tractor-style. Head to Life with the Clines for more.
17. Harvest Game
Thanks to The Little Sewing Shop, there's an easy and fun way to let your little farmers use up some energy. The idea is to run around and gather scattered eggs, veggies and fruit (bonus points if you already have toy food!) and then sort them into baskets. Learn more here.
Feature photo: Rob Swystun via Flickr