Type in "barn party" on Pinterest, and you're sure to find about a million ideas beyond your wildest imagination of cuteness! To be honest, it's almost overwhelming!!! I had the idea to throw a farm-themed party for my little 2 year old because of his love for animals and their noises. I thought, I'll hire a petting zoo! And ponies! I was so excited. UNTIL, the week before his party, the weather forecast showed an epic FIVE DAY long rain/thunderstorm with no break. Huge bummer! I hopped on trusty Pinterest again to find some not-too-messy farm-themed crafts and activities for the kiddos, and was so happy that they really seemed to go over well at the party. We enjoyed them so much that I didn't even miss the animal extravaganza I had planned! ha!!!
We kept the main events of the party in the garage, and I did my best to decorate it like a barn. I got some bales of hay from a local farm, and borrowed the neighbors' saw horses and other vintage barn items.
One of the two garage activities involved filling a trough with unpopped popcorn and little toy farm animals and cars, a milk carton "silo", cups, rakes, and a funnel. The kids were OBSESSED with this sensory play activity! I was so pleasantly surprised! http://frugalfun4boys.com/2014/09/28/farm-sensory-play-activity-preschoolers/
We also had a station in the garage where the kids gave dirty animals a bath! I filled one bucket with dirt and toy animals, and another bucket with water and dish soap and handed them some sponges, scrub brushes and wash cloths and they went to town! This activity was also a big hit! http://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/washing-farm-animal-sensory-bin/
Inside, we did a "sticky sheep" craft which entailed my tracing a sheep with sharpie marker on contact paper, and then taping the paper, sticky side out, so that the kids could stick white pom poms onto the sheep. I found this idea here: http://www.two-daloo.com/sticky-sheep/
Also inside, we had a craft station for decorating barns. I cut out barn shapes out of white construction paper, then glued those onto black construction paper, set out crayons, popsicle sticks and glue, and that's it! https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3729612173978211/
After the kids had done these activities for a while, and had a chance to eat, we all gathered in a circle and used these free flash cards to play a fun barnyard game. http://modernpreschool.com/gross-motor-farm-game/
All these activities really made the party, especially for this age group (2-4 years old).
I kept the food simple: hot dogs, chex mix ("chicken feed"), oreos ("tractor wheels"), celery and carrots ("farm veggies"), rice krispies treats ("hay stacks"). We had water and milk boxes (with cows on the front, duh. lol) to drink. So easy!