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Tossing A Lasso Around A Birthday Roundup

Aug 17, 2007
When you're in a situation where girls have outgrown having tea-parties on their birthdays, you have to get creative. Recently, it was brought to Susie's mother's attention that Susie and her crowd had outgrown the tea-party stage. They had no time for dolls and were not yet interested in boys. Like many others of her age Susie was "cowgirl crazy." All she wanted for her birthday was a "Complete cowgirl outfit, and a party."

This posed a stumper but her clever mother found a solution. Susie's house became a ranch house and Susie invited all her crowd to a roundup. Costumes which called for jeans, boots and a sombrero brought pleasure to these young fillies who were at the moment very opposed to "dressing up."

As soon as the girls arrived at Susie's, they sensed the atmosphere of ranch life. A fire roared in the fireplace. Beside it lay a huge birch log with an ax driven into it. On the other side of the fire boots were drying.

On the newel post of the stairway stood a tin bucket of water with its accompanying dipper. Paper cups were hidden back of the bucket so no one actually drank out of the dipper.

For an opener Susie passed her cowgirl hat in which she had put a number of slips each bearing the name of a horse, such as Trigger, Silver, Knight, and others. Each guest drew one, pinned it to her dress, and became owner of that particular horse.

The first game was "Ring Pan" toss. Susie put an angel-food cake tin on a bare table, the dining table can be used, and shoved it against the wall. With small pieces of adhesive tape she marked the outer ring of the pan five points and the inner ring twenty-five points. The girls used five ping-pong balls for the game. Standing at the opposite end of the table from the cake tin, the girls took turns bouncing the balls into the pan, of course always trying to bounce into the center ring. Susie acted as scorekeeper and announced the winners.

Next the cowgirls tried their skill with a rope. A small clothesline was used as a lasso. Susie's cowgirl hat was hung on the back of a dining-room chair and the girls, standing ten feet away, tried to lasso the hat off the chair back. Each girl had three tries and was awarded another try for a successful throw.

For the third game the girls clasped hands and formed a circle. Susie's hat was placed in the center on its crown. Then the girls, keeping their hands clasped, tried to pull and push each other so as to make someone knock the hat over. Each girl who bumped the hat over dropped out of the circle. The hat was righted and the game went on, until a single winner remained.

By this time the girls were ready for a quiet game. The winner of the last game started the new one. She said, "My horse is active." The next girl in the circle to her right used the same sentence adding an adjective beginning with "b." For instance, "My horse is active and bony." The third said, "My horse is active, bony, and clever." And so on around the circle. Anyone not able to think of an adjective beginning with the next letter of the alphabet dropped out of the circle.

The girls simply loved the party ideas that Susie's mom had come up with and the games, which all included cowgirl skills, didn't make them feel like little kids at all.
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