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

top ten list

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!

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    Thanks for such fantastic ideas!

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


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