Cowboy party games are ideal for a Wild West-themed children's birthday party

14. April 2018 - Alexander Schmidt

10 Cowboy Party Games for a Child’s Wild West Party


Icon Geburtstag © Abenteuer Freundschaft


You’re looking for games for a children’s party on the theme of the Wild West? Here are 10 cowboy party games for indoors and outdoors.

A cowboy or Wild West party is a popular theme for children’s birthday parties. Here at Abenteuer Freundschaft you can also find cowboy party ideas.

10 Best Cowboy Party Games for Kids

What would a children’s birthday party be without games? Especially on the theme of the Wild West, there are a lot of imaginative cowboy party games. We present 10 of them, some for indoors, some for outdoors and with varying amounts of preparation.

1.Dance Around the Campfire

  • Material: 1 hoolah hoop
  • Place: Outside or in a room with plenty of space
  • Number of players: approx. 5-20

Cowboys are known for their rough way of dealing with each other. A real cowboy has the Colt drawn in a flash, he spies a villain, he is nimble and always fair! The object of this game is to draw the other players into the campfire. Of course, the “campfire” is not a real fire, but a hoolah hoop.

The little cowboys now form a circle around the campfire and hold hands. At a start command, they all try to move the circle by pulling on their hands so that one of the children accidentally steps into the campfire or comes into contact with it. This cowboy is then eliminated.

On “Go” the dangerous dance around the campfire starts again. The game continues until only one cowboy is left as the winner.

2. Cowboy Race

  • Material: Fabric ribbons (approx. 2-2.5 m long, 3-4 cm wide)
  • Place: Outside or in a room with a lot of space
  • Number of players: 4 – 30 (even number if possible)

The children form pairs, with one playing the cowboy and one playing the horse. Each pair of players gets one of the cloth ribbons (see above) as a horse leash. This is knotted at the ends to form a kind of ring.

Then the horses are harnessed, i.e. the players playing the horses now climb into the horse line ring so that it is under their arms. The rider holds the rope from behind and the horse pulls the front end from his chest once over his head so that the rope is now over his shoulders. The cowboy now practices steering, guiding his horse by gently pulling the leash on the left or right side.
Now the cowboy race can begin! The cowboys and their horses line up at a starting line and at a command, they all “ride” to a finishing point and back again.

As a variation, you can also blindfold the horse, in which case the cowboy’s steering becomes all the more important and you can set up one or more obstacles to form a course that has to be overcome.

3. Riding the Rodeo

  • Material: cowboy hat, soft mats, stopwatch
  • Location: indoors or outdoors
  • Number of players: min. 2

This is another one of the cowboy party games that requires 2 children to get together, one to play the cowboy and the other to play a wild horse. The cowboy sits on the horse on a soft surface, e.g. a gym mat, holding a cowboy hat in his hand.

At a start signal, the horse begins to make wild movements and rears up. A stopwatch is used to time how long each cowboy can stay in the saddle.
Each child gets to be a cowboy and a horse. The winner is the cowboy who can stay in the saddle the longest.

4. Capturing the Wild Horses

  • Material: –
  • Location: Outside or in a room with a lot of space
  • Number of players: 4 – 30

Two of the children are the cowboys, everyone else plays wild horses. The cowboys have to catch all the wild horses and bring the caught horses to the stable. The stable can be e.g. a bench or simply one side of the playing field.

5. Cowboys and Indians

  • Material: Marking a centre line (+ possibly other pitch lines), e.g. with chalk, parcel tape, string stretched on the floor etc.
  • Location: Outside or in a room with a lot of space
  • Number of players: 4 – 30

The children are divided into two equal groups, the cowboys and the Indians. In the middle of the playing field, a centre line is marked with chalk or tape.
Along the line, the cowboys now lie down on their stomach on their side. Almost head to head with them, but on the other side of the line lie the Indians. On both sides the playing field is delimited at the same distance from the centre line, whether by a wall or a marker does not matter.

The game begins with the game leader telling a story. As soon as the signal word “cowboys” appears, everyone has to stand up as quickly as possible. The cowboys now try to catch the Indians and run them as fast as possible to the edge of the field where they are safe. All the Indians who have been caught become cowboys.

At the word “Indian” the whole thing happens in reverse. The game ends when all players of a team have been caught.

Cowboy party games for kids birthday

Little boy dressed as cowboye by Personal Creations at CC BY 2.0

6. Gold Rush

  • Material: Small golden spray-painted stones, sand, 1-2 large plastic tubs, 1-2 plastic sieves (for the sandbox)
  • Location: Outside or in a room where it is allowed to get dirty (e.g. laundry room)
  • Number of players: min. 2

As you can see from the material needed, this is one of the cowboy party games for which you need a bit of preparation time. You have to collect many small stones and spray them with gold paint. Depending on the type of game, you also need one or two tubs (e.g. laundry baskets) that you fill with sand. Now bury the “gold” in them.

There are several ways to play gold panning.

a) A certain number of gold stones are buried in a tub of sand. Each child now has a fixed amount of time, e.g. 2 minutes, to try his or her luck at washing gold with a sieve. Whoever has found the most gold stones is the winner. However, the gold stones found are always mixed in so that all the children have the same chance.

b) An equal number of gold stones are hidden in two tubs. The children form two teams and compete against each other in gold panning. Both teams collect their loot in a measuring cup, which is placed about 10 m away from the “gold stream”. The majority of the teams wait there.

One child from each team always runs off with the team sieve, pours gold and brings back their loot as quickly as possible. Then it is the next child’s turn.

The game leader can set a time and call stop after 10 minutes, for example. Then both measuring cups are placed next to each other and a comparison is made to see which group of cowboys has dug up the larger amount of gold.

7- Cowboy Dance

  • Material: Cowboy hat, music system, western music
  • Location: Indoors or outdoors
  • Number of players: approx. 6 – 30

The game leader plays good danceable western or country music. The children dance to it, with one child wearing a hat at the beginning, then putting it on another one, etc. When the music stops, the child who is wearing the hat is eliminated.

8. Milking Cows

  • Material: 2 chairs, 1 pole, 1 rubber glove (which can be thrown away afterwards), string, milk, measuring cup,
  • Location: Outside or in a room where the floor may get dirty
  • Number of players: Any

Poke very small holes in the rubber glove at the fingertips, e.g. with a pin. Now fill the glove with milk and knot it at the top with a string and tie it to the pole. This pole is placed on two chairs.

One after the other, it is now the children’s turn to milk this “cow”. Each child is given a measuring cup and 2 minutes to do this. Who will be the best at milking this cow?

9. Throwing Horseshoes

  • Material: Horseshoes (either real, some plastic or cardboard), wooden peg or hat stand
  • Location: Outside or in a room where there is nothing breakable
  • Spieleranzahl: Beliebig

If you live in a rural area or near a paddock, you might be lucky enough to get some real old horseshoes for this game. All others must either buy plastic horseshoes or make their own from cardboard and aluminium foil.

It is best to play this game outside. A wooden stake is driven into the ground and the children now throw the horseshoes at it from a distance of about 3 to 4 metres. The aim is to throw so that the horseshoe encloses the peg. The winner is the skilful cowboy who manages this most often.

If you play the game indoors, you can also use a hat or clothes rack as a target.

10. Scavenger Hunt for Little Cowboys

  • Materials: note with clues, treasure chest, sweets/reward, other items if needed
  • Location: Outside or inside
  • Number of players: Any

Many stories set in the Wild West involve a special treasure. If you have enough time to prepare, you can plan a thematically appropriate Western scavenger hunt with clues that leads from one station to the next. It is particularly varied if some of the cowboy party games are played at some of the stations, like little tests that the cowboys master together. At the end, a treasure awaits the cowboys in the form of chocolate gold coins or small gifts for the guests.

At Abenteuer Freundschaft you will find a 3-part series with tips for scavenger hunts. This is aimed at adults, but many of the tips can be adapted 1 to 1 for children – here you find great scavenger hunt tasks.

At Abenteuer Freundschaft, you’ll find more than just cowboy party games. Whether it’s other tips for children’s birthday parties, general activities with children, with your partner or with friends – it’s worth browsing! 😉

And if you like our ideas, like us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter to never miss a tip.

Image source Cover photo: Yeeeehaaaww! by Keith McDuffee at CC BY 2.0

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