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Cowboy and Indians Party
How to have a "Cowboys and Indians" theme birthday for kids

Bang! Bang! When you host a classic kids party with a Cowboys and Indians theme,
you'll have a "bang" of a time doing it in vintage style. Here's how to set the scene to
host an old fashioned cowboys and indians birthday:

  • Come in peace! The birthday boy or girl could wear an elaborate native American
    headress to greet guests ceremoniously. The birthday kid can take it off and
    reappear with it at cake time.

  • Create a cowboys and indians playtable setting: Naturally, this kids party is one
    where kids will want to enact scenes from the Wild West. Invite kids to play with
    their food by setting out a Cowboy & Indians play table or buffet.

    Here's how to create the scene for a pow-wow that will pow-wow-WOW them:
  • Drape the party table with burlap. Also known as jute or hessian, burlap has a rich
    texture that makes it ideal for craft projects at a very low price. This rugged
    Western material will also look good wrapped around potted plants.
  • Next, lay out enamel camping ware and mugs to give your table that pioneer look.
    You may also find metal pie tins Dollar Tree stores to serve as plates.
  • Use bandannas as napkins and lay out shiny silver sheriff's badges atop them as.
  • Layer the table with horse figurines wrapped in licorice ropes as lassos.
  • Stack cowboy and indian figures atop gold coins on the plates, and have them
    guarding gold nugget bubble gum bags all around the table.
  • Sprinkle gumballs in your party colors like confetti.
  • Create a centerpiece with a large toy, such as the Little Big Horn Indian Village
    above center, or Lincoln logs.
  • Add decorative spurs or a cowboy boot vase, and serve food from an upturned
    cowboy hat lined with a bowl.

  • Add color to dusty brown: With mocassins, cowboy boot and leather influences,
    you'll need to add a bit of birthday cheer to the decor! Take cues from the colorful
    cowboy and indians action figures, which will look great on the buffet table, or the
    colorful feathered headress when decorating for the party. Colorful old fashioned
    stick candies will also add a splash of color to the Wild West theme. The kids will
    love a colorful native American face painting. Or stick to a paisley bandanna motif
    in bright blue or red. Get more cowboy and indians decoration ideas below.

  • Great Parties for Kids: You'll love the pictures, recipes and ideas for a Wild West
    party, including do it yourself decorations and props to enhance your party. The
    book, Great Parties for Kids, is party planning guide beyond a Cowboy & Indians
    party. You'll find a host of ideas for entertaining kids in various classic themes.

Cowboy and Indians Invitations

  • Cowboy and Indian invitations and party wording ideas:
  • Squaws, Braves, Cowgirls and Cowboys are invited to come in peace to
    Brian and Brianna's Birthday Bash!
  • Saturday August 22, at noon
  • Tee pee: 123 main street
  • RSVP: Chief Crazy Horse at 867-5309 (Smoke signals for regrets)

  • On the envlelopes write "Sent by the Pony Express."

Games and activities for a Cowboy and Indians Party
The squaws can make friendship bracelets, and the braves can enact rain dances and
practice their archery. The little outlaws will love tall tales of the wild west, and cowboys
and Indians riding horses.

  • Set up a real tee pee. The six-foot tee pee, pictured right, is made of durable cotton
    canvas and is both water- and fire-resistant. It will provide hours of fun. Decorate
    it with oil or water based paints. Add props like a fake campfire a tomahawk, right,
    or blow up cacti.

  • Cowboys and indians games:
  • Play with bows & arrows: Test the kids skills in Native American archery.
  • Have a shootout: The kids will love a squirt gun practice to try to knock over tin

  • Pose with Cowboy Moustaches: Have a moustache contest. Learn to make a
    moustache on a stickand see our other funny moustache party ideas. Be sure to
    take plenty of pictures of the kids with a moustache on a stick. These will be ideal
    for the thank you cards, as you can send a picture of the birthday kid with the gift
    giver as a keepsake.

  • Panning for gold: Have kids pan for gold in a sandbox. Create gold "nuggets" by
    spray painting ordinary stones. You might even mark each stone with numbers
    using Sharpie pen and award each with a corresponding prize to redeem at the
    "bank."  Allow each kid the opportunity to pan for one random nugget at a time.

  • Get corny. Make Indian Corn Magnets. Kids can proudly take them home to  Mom
    to display their artwork on the refrigerator.

  • Make friendship bracelets. Any beaded activity will do as Native Americans valued
    beads highly in trade.

  • Craft Indian inspired feathered hair clips. As a craft project, have the kids make their
    own feathered hair clips or headbands. This is easy enough to do. Purchase a
    plain snap hair clip, then tie a natural colored string to the loop of the hair clip so
    that two tassels of string hang (one short and one long). Now tie a pony bead to
    the end of the strings and trim. Next, select two feathers for each string. You'll dip
    the quill end of the feathers into glue and poke them through the hole so that the
    feathers hang down. Allow to dry. Kids can pick their beads and feathers and do
    the glue dipping. It's easy, but may require adults to help you with tying knots.

Foods to serve at a Cowboy & Indians Party
When it comes to the food at kids parties, there's no need to get fancy. You can get into
the spirit of the old West with traditional fare, including hamburgers or fried chicken and
potato salad and corn on the cob. Here are some other cowboy food ideas:

  • Frosty brewed rootbeer in a glass mug. See the mini cowboy boot shot glasses
    below, which you can fill with rootbeer candies. The kids will love it if you set up a
    saloon and offer "shots" of root beer or use gingerale as pretend "whiskey."
    Cowboy up! If you can find sasparilla all the better. See if the kids can muster
    gingerbeer (a strong soda) at your alcholo-free saloon.

  • Cowboy and Indian Confetti: Ordinary confetti gets into the food, but you can
    sprinkle a candy corn mix on the buffet table like confetti. Autumn mix candy,
    includes candy corn, caramel apple corn, buttercream pumpkins, and more. A small
    cowboy cauldron will give the candy a pioneer look.

  • Forget the Sioux-Sioux Sushi! Leave the fish fingers behind, Beef Jerky is on the
    menu for this party theme. And bring on the cowboy steaks or burgers

  • Serve an Apache Appetizer: Well, it's probably not Apache approved, but you can
    have a fun native American themed appetizer when you craft a tee-pee from a
    flour tortilla and some large stick pretzels. This display looks fantastic on the
    traditional American layered bean dip (refried beans, cheese, guacomole, and sour
    cream) for tortilla chips.

  • How long with they last? The Native American cookies pictured left, will have them
    performing a cookie dance for more.
    Sweet treats for a Cowboys and Indians party:
  • Cowboy cookies. Any cookies will do if you call them cowboy cookies. Traditionally,
    cowboy cookies are a sort of oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips. Try Martha
    Stewart's version of cowboy cookies or Nestle's chocolate chip cookie recipe.
  • Kettle Korn (it's sweet and savory and you can put it in a kettle)
  • Caramel apples
  • Old fashioned swirled stick candies
  • Gold Mine Gum
  • The Autumn Mix, left, includes candy corn, caramel apple corn, buttercream
    pumpkins, and more! Look for candy corn and Indian corn seasonally, to give your
    party a kid-style Native American emphasis. Indian corn candies includes dark
    brown and omits the yellow in the corn-shaped candies.

Cowboy & Indians Party Favors
Cowboys and Indians figurines that you sprinkle on the tables will also serve as a fun
reminder of the party. Scoop a for each goodie bag as guests leave the party. You can
wrap a bandana around a bag filled with these goodies:

  • harmonicas
  • toy horses
  • sheriff's badges
  • rubber snakes
  • squirt guns
  • gold foil candy coins
  • licorice ropes

  • Indian Charms: The kids will be fascinated with the set of 25 Indian Arrowheads,
    replicas made of agate, lower page. They make terrific party favors.

Cowboy & Indians Party Decorations
You can set a scene with a few hay bales, a bit of gingham and burlap. Throw in a few
cactus decorations and some feathered headbands and bandannas and you're halfway
to the Wild West for your party decor!

Here are ideas for a Cowboy and Indians party to get you started:

  • Feathered Headbands: To get the classic look of a Cowboy and Indians party,
    provide Native American headress. This is a do it yourself project. Just purchase
    felt in your party colors and cut into long strips, measuring the birthday kid's head
    for the right size. Use a few stitches to keep feathers in place: one big feather is
    plenty for each headband. The glue an equal size strip of felt to the other and
    you've got a wonderful home made favor and decoration for the party.

  • Cut and Assemble a Western Frontier Town: You could paint a small cardboard town
    with a saloon, a jailhouse, a hotel, a bank, a blacksmith and such. Or cut and
    assemble smaller version with the Western Frontier Town kit. You'll get ten
    authentic full-color buildings on heavy cardboard stock to cut out and display at
    your party. The book includes Sheriff's Office and Jail, Saloon, Wells Fargo, Opera
    House, others. Exploded diagrams, numbered and labeled pieces for easy

  • Vintage cowboy flair: Deck the party table in red and navy paisley. At the bottom of
    the page, the Howdy Cowboy paisley paper products from Meri Meri provide a
    cowboy look from yesteryear. Right, you'll find Howdy Cowboy provides the
    centerpiece decorations you're looking for

Resources for a Cowboy & Indians Party

Real Cowboy and Indians parties

Long before the term "Native American" came to play, kids played Cowboys and Indians,
so naturally a Cowboys and Indians theme makes for a great birthday party.  The Indian
braves and squaws will love the party you create with tee pees, tomahawks, pintos, and
feathers. So stick a feather in your cap and read up on this back to basics kids party.

  • Need more inspiration for Native American inspired food and decorations? Then head
    like a bow and arrow straight to Pasha's little Indian party. This party features tee
    pee cookies, a tee pee cake and loads of retro Native American graphics to inspire.

We hope you have fun borrowing this cute birthday party idea from yesteryear. As
inspiration for your party, check out these real kids parties all about cowboys and
indians. Now it's your turn. We love cute birthday party ideas!

Tell us about your cowboy and indians party and share party ideas with us on Twitter. We
aim to be your source of party supplies for your birthday party. Look to us for party planning
tips and do yourself inspiration for kids parties.
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