Magical Pony Party

by Pamela Horner and Tobye Cook
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Little girls won't be able to resist the charm of this birthday celebration. The props and decorations are sparkly, the games are sweet and inviting, and the cake and lemonade are deliciously pink.

Invitation

You're in Luck! That's what it means when the tips of a horseshoe are pointing up--and your child's friends will feel lucky indeed when they receive one of these invitations. To make each card, simply fold in half a
5 1/2- by 8 1/2-inch piece of white card stock. Then cut out a horseshoe from pink craft foam or construction paper and glue it to the front of the card. Apply gold glitter dots for horseshoe nails. Use colored markers to add the message and any decorative details you wish, then print the party details inside.

Pony Props

Heads and Tails Party guests will get a real kick out of donning these pony headbands and tails when they arrive. Fashioned from felt and yarn, they make perfect props for prancing through the pony games.

The headband: For each ear, fold a 9- by 2 1/2-inch piece of white felt in half so that the shorter edges match up. Trim the sides and top (but not the fold) of the doubled felt to resemble a pointed ear. Sandwich the cutout around a child's headband, using double-sided tape to stick the inside surfaces together (A). Then cut out pink felt ear linings and tape them to the fronts of the ears. For a forelock, arrange eight 12-inch strands of yarn in a bunch and tie it (as if it were a single strand) around a 10-inch length of yarn. Tie five more bunches to the 10-inch length. Drape the ensemble around the base of an ear, tying the ends snugly behind it (B). Make a matching ensemble for the other ear.

The tail: To fashion a pony tail, arrange six dozen or so 2-foot strands of yarn into a bunch. Tie a 3-foot string or doubled length of yarn around the center of the bunch (C) and tie the ends around your child's waist.

Party Craft

Magic Pony Wands These glittery wands add a touch of enchantment to the festivities. Before the party, paint foot-long wooden dowels with pink or lavender acrylic paint. You'll also need an assortment of inexpensive silk flowers (sold at most craft stores) with the stems trimmed to about 1 1/2 inches long, curly ribbon, and glitter glue. At the party, let each girl choose a flower she likes. Tape the stem to the upper dowel, then wrap ribbon over the tape. Once the flowers are attached, the girls can use glitter glue and more ribbon to finish decorating their wands. After all, Magic Pony Wands are unique--just like their owners!

Pony Playtime

Horse, Horse, Pony Have everybody sit on the floor in a circle with their wands for this equine spinoff of duck, duck, goose. One girl plays the part of the Pony, trotting around the outside of the circle and using her wand to lightly tap her friends on the back, saying "horse, horse, horse ..." as she goes. When she taps someone and says "pony," that girl jumps up and trots behind her around the circle and back to the empty space. Then the first girl sits in the empty spot and the second girl becomes the Pony.

Prancing Ponies Divide the girls into pairs and explain that each team will be a pony: One girl will be the front (she should wear her headband) and the other girl will be the back (she should wear her tail and place her hands on the waist of the girl in front). Line up the ponies along a pink-ribbon starting line. When the music starts, the ponies must prance to the finish line. Once the race is over, the girls in each pair can swap roles and prance back to the starting line.

Magical Merry-go-round You don't have to grab the ring to win a prize in this pony game--everyone who participates gets one. Before the party, package a party favor for each guest in a small decorative box or gift bag. When the party winds down, have the girls form a circle and turn on some music. Hand each person a package and ask the girls to pass them around and around the circle until the music stops. Then everyone gets to open the one they're holding and take home the trinkets inside.

Magical Menu

Just like ponies, party guests will love nibbling on peeled baby carrots. Serve them with a light lunch of sandwiches cut into star shapes and glasses of pink lemonade. And don't forget the mane attraction: a Pink Pony Cake!

Magical Pony Party Pointers

• A day or two before the party, make the pony headbands and tails (see above). Paint the dowels for the pony wands (above) so they'll be ready for the girls to decorate at the party.
• Turn your home into a beautiful pony palace! Decorate with pink and lavender balloons and streamers and strings of white twinkling lights.
• Remove the top of a big box and cover the sides with pink wrapping paper and bows. Set it in a central location so guests can put their party gifts into it.
• During the party, play some spirited classical music for your pony guests to prance to.
• Pony favors: Party guests will love taking home ponytail holders, pony stickers, and miniature toy ponies (sold at many craft stores or dollar stores).

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