If tractors and cows send your little one into a wide-eyed frenzy, make his next party a farm-theme event. In addition to country decor, build a menu that will make him feel like he's dining down on the farm. To make the meal even more authentic, set up rectangular hay bales in the backyard to serve as kid-sized dining tables.
Get out of the kitchen and fire up the grill. Prepare an assortment of kid-favorite hot dogs and miniature hamburgers. While the meat grills, have an adult assist the children with picking out toppings in the garden. Set up a buffet of torn lettuce leaves, diced tomato, chopped pickles and other veggies served in small plastic wrap-lined terra cotta garden pots. If the pots are labeled for food use, the linings won't be necessary. Let the children use a clean plastic toy gardening trowel to dish out the veggies. Set out some ranch dressing for kids who'd rather dip their veggies than layer them on a burger.
Explain to the kids how corn grows and let them shuck fresh ears of corn in the yard. Once cleaned, have an adult slice the ears into 2-inch-wide chunks and boil. Serve the corn with soft butter or ranch dip to get kids to gobble up the fresh vegetable. Tie on festive red bandannas as bibs before the party begins.
Build a pick-your-own-apple tree in the yard. Use an existing small tree or shrub. Wedge the apples between the branches and allow the children to "pick" their own apples. Older children can eat the apple right away, while an adult can slice the apple for toddlers. Offer caramel or yogurt dip for picky eaters.
Finish the party with a farm animal-inspired dessert. Individual cupcakes make serving the little ones easy. Decorate the cupcakes with pink frosting and candy pieces to create tiny pig faces. Or make haystack cookies using chow mein noodles, peanut butter and almond bark. Serve the sweet treats on a flat-bed trailer hauled by a toy tractor.
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