Wild, Wild, West Theme!

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Songs & Fingerplays

The Little Cowboy Song - sung to "I'm a Little Teapot"

I'm a little cowboy. Here is my hat (point to self, then to hat)
Here are my spurs (point to your heels)
And here are my chaps (pat legs)
As soon as I get up, (stretch, pretend to wake up)
I work all day (pretend to lasso a cow)
I get on my horse (pretend to get on a horse)
And ride away. (Pretend to gallop on a horse)

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Original Song - sung to "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain"

She'll be fryin' eggs for breakfast when she comes (sizzle, sizzle)
She'll be fryin' eggs for breakfast when she comes (sizzle, sizzle)
She'll be fryin' eggs for breakfast
She'll be fryin' eggs for breakfast
She'll be fryin' eggs for breakfast
When she comes.

Additional verses:

She'll be washin' clothes on a washboard when she comes....(rub, rub)
She'll be choppin' wood for a fire when she comes.....(chop, chop)
She'll be swimminin' the fish pond when she comes.....(splash, splash)

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Theme Related Songs

"Oh, Susanna"
"Sweet Betsy From Pike's"

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Little Cowpoke

I'm a little cowpoke dressed in blue
These are the things I like to do

Put on my hat, and put on my vest.
Buckle my belt, So I look my best.

Ride my pony, rope my steer.
Sleep in my bunk, When night is near.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Arts & Crafts

Wild, Wild West Idea

Draw around child's body on a very large sheet of paper. Have the kids dress the drawing in western clothing. Use a paper napkin for a scarf, use grocery bag to make chaps, vest etc. Nice group activity where we all learn to work together on one project.

Make western boots for matching on the flannel board.

~Submitted by Ruth

Cowboy Hats

Take a styrofoam bowl and staple it on a paper plate. Add string to tie it on a decorate it.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Making Horses

Make horses out of cardboard boxes: Cut the bottom out of a box Cut handles on each side. Cut a head from more cardboard (side view) and glue on front. Paint them with house paint before hand or have kids glue on big sheets of construction paper. Decorate with ribbons or stickers and yarn for mane, construction paper ears, buy big eyes from a craft store or make them from black and white paper or felt. Then have kids hold horse at the side and walk/run around while music plays or jump over simple jumps (the library might have some tapes - or use William Tell's overture).

Make little horse body-head shapes out of paper beforehand and have children add use wooden clothes pegs for legs. They can decorate their mane and tail with yarn or felt.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Western Bandannas

The bandannas are personalized by each child and heat set. We chose them to feature for their simplicity and for their value in building a child's self-esteem. They are durable and will last them quite a while.

Project Overview: This project is quick and easy. It utilizes plain fabric and regular crayons to create a whimsical prop for hours of make-believe.


*Unbleached muslin (cut into triangles)
*Regular Crayons (not washable)
*Waxed Paper

estimated cost: $1.50 makes 4
estimated time: 20 Minutes
level of difficulty: Easy
adult assistance required: Cutting fabric and ironing project.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Potato Branding Irons

Project Overview:

This project is a creative slant to the long-time favorite, potato printing. Potatoes are given a handle and, with a little imagination, become honest-to-goodness branding irons. 3-dimensionally illustrates the tools used to create each ranch's own unique combinations of symbols. Prints can be used to adorn your child's bedroom wall, be displayed on the family refrigerator, or serve as a rustic wrapping paper for Dad's Father's Day gift. If you get really inspired, you could even use fabric paints on the potatoes and decorate a western shirt!


*A brown grocery store bag
*2 or 3 potatoes
*Small salad forks
*2 or 3 colors tempera paint
*Knife for carving

estimated cost: $2.00 if you already have the paint, $6.00 for all
estimated time: 45 Minutes
level of difficulty: Easy
adult assistance required: Carving the potatoes (aka "smithing the branding irons")

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Western Vest

Using Brown Paper bag cut out vests, and allow each to decorate with markers, crayons, stencils, etc.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Gold Rush Wall Hangings

Make gold rush wall hangings from paper plates. Paint paper plates yellow and sprinkle with gold glitter. When the plate is dry, glue a gold nugget in the center of the plate. Label the plate with the current date and the name of the Gold Rush prospector.

Language: Read books and talk about the California Gold Rush in 1848, current mining for gold, how and where gold is found, ways gold is used.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


I went to a resale shop & bought a sheet for $3.00. I cut it into a square the size of a regular bandanna.I cut out some stars & tear drop shapes from sponges. I then did one child at a time because I was using fabric paint that stains. I let the child dip the sponge into the paint & press onto the fabric. When dry fold in half & tie around the neck.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


Cut out a boot shape from brown paper & let the children glue on sequins & other interesting items.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


Cut out a long triangle like a folded bandanna out of red paper. Let the children glue on black & white shaped dots that are tear drop shapes. They can also draw on some more designs w/white chalk. I always hang up the bandannas with this sign:
Bandannas created by: The Cowpokes at _____________________.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


Make horses by using an old sock stuffed with newspaper and adding felt facial features and yarn for a mane. Attach to a yardstick and pretend to ride the wild bronco.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Covered Wagon

To make one you will need:

1/2 sheet of construction paper
1 whole sheet of brown const paper
2 circles cut from construction paper

Let the kids decorate the full sheet with brands or whatever.....when they are dry you fold over the full sheet but do not crease it...then staple or glue it to the 1/2 sheet.....glue the circles (wheels) to the bottom and there ya go!!

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Stick Horses

Use a brown paper lunch sack, lots of empty plastic grocery bags, a wooden dowel (1/3" or larger) yarn scraps and markers/crayons (and hot glue). Stuff the lunch bag with plastic grocery bags and then put it on the end of the dowel-which has been squished it at the base of the sack. Tie it on with a piece of yarn and then slide it back a little, add hot glue and slide it back onto the glue. The kids can decorate their horses with yarn, markers, buttons, fabric scraps, etc.- when you are finished, you can all go for a pony ride! or have your parents save the cardboard rolls that wrapping paper comes on - one for each child, add an oval shape (with one end flat) face - we just tape it to the top of the tube. They decorate it before it gets taped on, and I give them wiggle eyes. Then add a piece of material that the kids can shread or cut into fringe-like pieces for the " horse's mane. This can also be taped to the tube using black or brown electrical tape or colored masking tape.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Horseshoe Prints

Make horseshoe stamps by cutting sponges into horseshoe shapes. For paint pads, fold paper towels in half, place them in shallow containers and add small amounts of tempera paint. Give the children large pieces of paper. Let them press the horseshoe stamps on the paint pads and then on their papers to make horseshoe prints. Encourage them to make prints as if they were horses galloping or trotting along.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Straw Painting

Have the children use pieces of straw for paintbrushes. Have them use different colors and see how they can paint with it and make it look different. When the paintings are finished, have them add the pieces of straw to their work for a different look.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


Use corn, wheat, hay, oats, barley, and other grains that rodeo animals eat to sort and/or make a collage.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Rope Tricks Collage

Have the children dip short lengths of clothing line into a bowl of glue. The children can curl and loop their ropes onto a piece of construction paper and let them dry that way.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Covered Wagon

Give each child one-half sheet of construction paper and one whole sheet. They can choose the colors. Also, give 2 cut out circles (wagon wheels). Let the children decorate the large sheet of paper. Use marker mini stampers; they worked great. Then let them decorate their name on the half sheet. When finished, they glue or staple the whole sheet folded over to one wide edge of the half sheet of paper. The half sheet is the bottom of the wagon and the folded over (but not creased) whole sheet is the cover part of the wagon. Then let them glue the wheels onto the bottom of the half sheet.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Starry Sky

Give the kids a precut out of a star...then let them tear foil and glue it all over the star...hang them from the ceiling and sleep under the stars!!!

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Cowboy Boots

Give each child a pre-cut out of a cowboy boot and lots of collage materials.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Painting Activity

Paint with a mixture of sawdust...glue....water and a drop of brown paint....great texture!

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

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