Our wild west-themed crate arrived from Koala this week, coincidentally on the very day that I bought Travis his first set of Lincoln Logs! I love it when the world syncs up that way. It was the perfect chance to delve further into who lived in log cabins and what the wild west was all about.
As with all Koala crates, you can replicate most of these activities with craft store finds, although the hobby horse will be the hardest.
First up was decorating our bandana, since every cowboy (or cowgirl) needs a bandana. The kit comes with a horseshoe stamp and a “spouncer” to dab on gold paint.
To my surprise, Travis lost interest after making a few horseshoe marks, so I filled in a few extras before we set it aside to dry.
We added a few dots with the spouncer too.
The little canvas sacks for a game of preschool “horseshoe toss” needed to be decorated in the same way, and left to dry. Here is the “spouncer” in action.
Once dry, we filled the bags with wooden beads and took turns tossing onto the bandana.
This game is a great opportunity for counting, too, seeing how many bags each player can get on the bandana. Come up with fun ways to make the game more challenging, i.e. moving further back or throwing with your non-dominant hand.
The hobby horse was very complicated to put together, likely even for a child on Koala’s upper-end of four years old, so aside from the fluffy roving to stuff the horse head, Travis wasn’t interested.
I used two cardboard tubes, a zip tie, the cloth horse head, and the provided felt stickers to make our horse.
The final touch is brown yarn for the reins. Despite his lack of participation, Travis proudly told his father “we made this!” after, and climbed on for a ride or two!
Overall, this crate was a little lost on Travis. We’ve never read about the wild west or seen any shows on the subject matter of cowboys and horses, so he didn’t have much frame of reference. I will keep the toys and crafts around for when he is older!