A Little House on the Prairie Party: Top Ten {Tuesday}

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I have to admit, I was a little worried about Lydia’s 6th birthday party. Little House on the Prairie parties work well outside, in a barn or at a farm. But inside my house? I just hoped it wouldn’t be boring. Well, with 18 kids and even more adults than that, we had an absolute blast!

Here’s some of the highlights in no particular order and with probably more words than necessary…

laura ingalls

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Top Ten Ideas for a  Little House on the Prairie Party for Kids

 1. Costumes

laura ingalls costume

It’s fair to say that I passed my love of costumes to my children. And oh my. Lydia was the cutest thing I’ve ever SEEN in her Laura-and-Mary costume. My mom made the dress and apron to go with her bonnet. Asa wore his coon skin cap, Woody and Buzz light-up boots and toted his shot gun around.

But the best part is my parents dressed up, too:

prairie family

Oh, I wish Lydia had her boots on in this picture! Anyway, that’s my mom and dad. When Daddy walked in the house with his costume he said, “I look like PawPaw!” (His grandfather!) He looked awesome. They went to Goodwill and got their costumes for $4 total. Not bad. Plus, as Daddy said when he left, “I was a good decoration!”

2. Gifts

handmade bonnets

And just in case someone didn’t come in costume, we had bonnets and bandanas for all the kids. My mom made those, too. (Isn’t that awesome?!) It was so cute to see all the girls wear them during the party. And they loved taking them home, too! We also sent them home with a teeny tiny loaf of bread that Lydia baked herself. (I found mini loaf pans at Michael’s for 30 cents each!)

3. Lydia’s Mercantile

old fashioned mercantile

I love pretend play at parties. So, I set up a little Mercantile for the kids to play in. We had a few jars of old fashioned candy (or at least as old fashioned as I could get at Wal-Mart), scraps of material and spools of yarn (which was really just a clothespin with yarn wrapped around it) with labels.

laura ingalls wilder

Then we gave every kid a little bag (left over from Asa’s ACE Party!) with 10 pennies inside. And they went shopping!

{HEY. What’s baby Woody doing there?! Asa must have snuck him in. It was supposed to be American Girl’s Kirsten holding down the Mercantile!}

4. The Food

I ordered the The Little House Cookbook from my library. So, I didn’t really think about the food until I got the cookbook. I assumed I’d just pick a few things and make them. However. The food in the cookbook was authentic frontier food: chicken and dumplings, ribs, sun-dried blackberry pie and venison stew. Not exactly party food.

old fashioned food

So, at the last minute I decided to do ham. I called Les at work and said, “Will you please stop and buy a Honey Baked Ham?!” And from there, it got EASY. We had ham, cheese, bread, pickles, apples and applesauce. Then everyone could choose between ham, cheese, ham-cheese sandwich, cheese sandwich, ham sandwich or bread with jam!

Oh yeah, I also had those fat pretzel sticks because they look like logs for a cabin. Kinda. And don’t you like the quilt as a tablecloth?


In Farmer Boy, Almanzo’s family would sit around the fire in the evenings eating popcorn and apples. We are big popcorn fans in our house so it was a perfect food for us. I stole this AWESOME idea from Pen N’Paper Flowers’ Rustic Popcorn Bar. We had a big container of popcorn, some paper cones & paper bags, then a few different popcorn seasonings to add to it. I don’t know about anyone else, but I loved it.

popcorn party food

6. The Cake

covered wagon cake

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: THE CAKE. A few weeks before the party, I was on Skype and bemoaning that I didn’t have Lydia’s party planned yet. Staci was there and I said, “So, you wanna make a covered wagon cake?” I was, of course, joking because who makes a COVERED WAGON CAKE?

Well, Staci does apparently. Look how ADORABLE this thing is! She even made those wagon wheels. I’m tellin’ you, she outdoes herself every year!

7. Clothes Washing

After scouring Pinterest for Little House parties, the one activity that stuck Lydia more than anything: clothes washing. I don’t know if it was the bucket, the washboard, the clothes or the clothesline or what. But this was THE best part of the whole party. I cut out little shapes of clothes from left-over bonnet fabric and let the kids have at it.

It was so crowded out there, I finally had to take all the clothes down so they could wash them again!

8. Games

We had 2 other games. One was the old clothespin-milkbottle game. Basically you just stand with a milk bottle at your feet and try to drop a clothespin into it. Harder than it looks.

The second game I will not be able to explain but let’s try it anyway. You take a big aluminum can with one end open and the other end with a hole punched in the top. Then attach a string to the hole so you can lift the can up off the ground. While you are holding onto the string and the can is on the ground, place 3 balls around the can. Then lift it up and try to get the 3 balls into the can.


can ball game

And fun. Here’s my brother and Mandi‘s husband trying to play. Not sure if they succeeded.

9. Crafts

button necklaces

I thought there’d be lots of crafts at a Little House party. But everything was just a bit too crafty for us. So, we did button necklaces like the one Laura and Mary made for Carrie in On the Banks of Plum Creek. I just bought a bag of buttons from Michael’s (with a 40% off coupon, of course) and cut lengths of embroidery thread.

10. Butter

make your own butter kids

About halfway through the party I rang a bell (ok, it was a spoon on a tin can) and called all the kids into the kitchen. I gave them each a small baby food jar and filled it halfway with heavy cream. It was time to make butter!

After all the lids had been securely fastened, we began to shake. Not just a timid little shake. But a full-don’t-get-near-me-or-I-might-poke-your-eye-out shaking. I read online it takes about 20 minutes to make butter. I was hoping it was less.

When it got to 3 minutes and the kids looked like they were wondering if it was a joke, I called upon my likes-to-be-the-center-of-attention brother. He led the kids around the house in a butter-shaking march. Which they loved. And by the end of it, almost all of them had a little ball of butter in their jar. It kinda felt like a miracle!

*Bonus* 11. Asa

Asa had so much fun. I don’t think I saw him the entire party. Here he is chasing my brother (who is apparently a bandit) around the back yard. Later on, Asa had on the bandana and kept saying to me, “Fix my beard, Mommy.”

*Bonus* 12. Laura and Ma

laura and ma

Happy Birthday, sweet girl! I love you!

:: :: ::

Link up your Top Ten list and join in the Top Ten {Tuesday} fun! All you have to do is WRITE a top ten list, PASTE it  below, LINK back to me in your post & then start LOVIN’ on the rest of the participants with facebook likes, stumbles, comments, pins and tweets (#toptentues)! For better and more succinct guidelines see my Top Ten {Tuesday} page!


  1. Oh my word….I am so thrilled that you did this because A- it is super cute and fun and b- because my daughter who is only six days older than your daughter wants got the first two seasons of little house and is now addicted to them so I can start planning NOW for next year’s party.

    Wow, that was a long sentence.

    I love the clothes-washing and the Lyddie’s Mercantile.
    Love it!

  2. That is like…SERIOUSLY ambitious! I’m quite impressed, but you’ll never in a million years find me doing something like that :)

  3. Wow, so, so cute, and so creative. And most of all, fun *together!* Thanks for sharing!

  4. If I don’t have a daughter by the time I’m 30, I am so doing this for my own party!

  5. So fun and creative. Kudos Mommy. You rock!

  6. Great job mummy.. Great pics about the party.. I’m sure your little girl must have been absolutely thrilled.. Happy Belated birthday to he.

  7. Sooo amazingly awesome…WOW! Thank you so much for sharing! We have every season of Little House and are currently watching season three. So thrilled for you that it was such a wonderful time! Blessings to you!

  8. Wow! You did an awesome job! I love all the pretend play that you planned. The games really sound like fun!

  9. This is fantastic. I was a “prairie girl” one Halloween and wore my great-grandmother’s bonnet. I remember like it was yesterday, as I was obsessed with all things “Little House” for a long time. Thanks for sharing all your great ideas here!

  10. I love all of this!! It’s such a magical stage with our little girls, isn’t it? I love the cake, too. We went to see the Little House Broadway musical a couple of years ago. All the girls dressed up in matching dresses and bonnets and even got to meet Melissa Gilbert afterwards. We’ll never forget our Little House days, and neither will your beautiful daughter!

    • We saw it, too and were in the middle of listening to the audio books so I think my daughter thought it WAS Laura and Mary. SO awesome you got to meet Melissa Gilbert!


  11. This reminds me of the year my parents threw a surprise birthday party for my 7th birthday. It was a Holly Hobby theme. Mom made a bonnet and skirt from red calico material, and she also made bonnets for the girls who attended.

    You are so creative, Amanda. I like the candy jars for the mercantile, especially.

  12. I’ve been following your Pinterest boards with much delight …. the pins about the Little House party were awesome.

    The party looks FANTASTIC, and I adore the picture of you and Lydia together, She looks so much like you — just beautiful!

  13. This is by far the cutest birthday party idea I have seen in years!
    LOVED the pictures!!!

  14. And again, THIS is a reason that I want a girl. sigh… we’re doing monster trucks for Elias’s 6th. I have NO idea what INDOOR monster truck games I can come up with for 10 6 yo boys to do without wrecking my house. I so wish Elias had gone with my lego-theme idea….

  15. WOW! That’s a amazing party! I love the cake, and all the rest!

  16. OMG this is the cutest! I may lift this idea in the future since, as you might remember, Laurel is a huge Little House fan! :-)

  17. That’s by far the most amazing birthday party I’ve ever SEEN! WOW!!!!!!!!! Looks like so much fun…I think I need to push for this next year – we are doing Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 this year. God help me.

  18. That looks like such fun! I love the wagon on the cake…and the costumes. Very cool :)

    • Oh, I love this idea. Yes, Hatch Day should most detinifely count … it was one of my now 8YO’s first favorite, and what a great way to celebrate than with something beloved. We have a box of Christmas books, but I’d never thought of birthdays. I think I’ll start going through the shelves tomorrow! If you want to go beyond PBs, then you might like Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle! and A Birthday Present for Mama.I’m so glad to have found your blog … I’ve added you to my reader.

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  19. Super cute and creative! We bought the box set for our four-year-old daughter for Christmas, so maybe we’ll have a “Little House” party in our future. :)

  20. as always, you outdid yourself. :) The bonnets hanging and the clothes washing were my favorite parts. And that lemonade was pretty good too. Love this so much, I’m glad you were quick to post pictures!

  21. I think it was my favorite out of all the parties! So so cute :)

  22. What a fun, creative party! I loved Little House on the Prairie when I was young.

  23. Oh my AMAZING! That would have defiantly been my dream birthday party as a child- wow! What a great mama!

  24. I love this! My family went through a serious Little House On The Prairie obsession this past fall. Except we didn’t have parties about it, we just got about 4 seasons on DVD from the library and laid around in our sweatpants watching them back to back.

    We are way too lazy to be pioneers.

  25. This is the cutest party idea EVER. :) Your parents are so cute, btw. The clothes washing is SO CUTE, too! CUTE, CUTE, CUTE! And that cake is awesome!!! (Sorry bout all the exclamation points)! Looks like you guys (the birthday girl especially) had a lot of fun. :)

    I really want to start participating in TTT again–I just love it. :)

  26. Well that is about the cutest party that I’ve ever seen!

  27. This was simply adorable and so creative. Fabulous idea!

  28. ADOPT ME! Hehehe…

  29. Amanda, when I saw you pinning I just KNEW it was going to be blow you out of the water amazing. You’ve done it again, Missy!

    Wanna come do the quads 5th bday for me? Please!

  30. I am so beyond impressed with your creativity. I wish I had an ounce of that! What an ADORABLE party!

  31. I LOVE this! This would have made my little girl heart completely burst back-in-the-day! Definitely pinning this…

  32. wow, i am so excited to find your post… i was just searching on google for prairie party ideas and came accross yours. thank you for posting all the great ideas! my oldest daughter is turning 7 in a couple weeks and we are planning her a Mary and Laura party. we normally do very simple parties so this is the first “theme” party i’ve had to plan! i love the mercantile idea and the button necklaces and your ideas for food! Thanks again for the great photos and ideas! i’m very grateful!

  33. love the mason jars filled with candy!

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  43. rho delahunty says:

    I love what you did. I have two girls one is 4 and the other is 8 and they are both crazy about Little House On The Prairie. So far they are at season 8. Does your Mom still sew those bonnets cause I would love to buy some for my girls. Let me know if she could sell some .My 4 year old wants to have her birthday this year the same


  44. Soooooooooo, I’m getting ready to write a post on Pioneer gift ideas and was searching around when your pinterest board popped up in my search. Hey, I know you! :) I’m pinning this so I can do one when my little girl is older!

    Thanks for such fantastic ideas!

  46. Oh my! I just adore this party!!! I was a hugw LHOTP fan as a girl!!


  1. […] up to Oh Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday … always good things to find […]

  2. […] This post is part of Oh Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesdays. […]

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  5. […] setting up a mercantile for pretend play that will work in some math at the same time?? Thanks to Oh Amanda for this idea, she has lots of cute ideas from her daughter’s Little House […]

  6. […] one who thinks this would be a super fun idea.  My friend, OhAmanda, threw her daughter a fabulous Little House birthday party and said that washing with a washboard was one of the highlights of the […]

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