Yes, yes, it seems as if the blog has become the neglected second child but my excuse is–I had a second child. With that said, I have a post loaded with visual goodies for you. Motherhood has been extremely busy but another great part of it, you get to throw your kids fun birthday parties and see their happy faces when they see the final result. This year, we were originally supposed to be in Maui for a wedding but plans fell through and we decided to host a small birthday party for my son’s third birthday. I asked my son if he preferred a construction themed party or a fire truck party. (He loves all things transportation so I had to narrow it down for him). We decided to go with the construction party because he has tons of construction trucks already. I wanted to keep it low budget and an easy DIY construction theme party mainly because on the limited amount of planning time and my home isn’t that big. For the party itself, while there are some really cool black and yellow theme construction parties out there, I wanted to change it up with some color.
Construction Party Invitations
For the invitations, I’ve always found blueprints to be just so cool and I thought it would be a fun way to incorporate into the party invitation and mail it off in a shipping tube. The kids had a blast receiving it in the mail. A little on the pricey side to ship, but with a small guest list of ten, it was manageable. Because the intent was for the invitation to be “blueprint”esque–large and thin paper. I ended up just printing them on my laser printer which also reduced cost.
Construction Party Invitaton
Construction Party Decorations
I had a lot of leftover yellow tissue paper from a previous project that I used to make some tissue garlands around the house. I found an easy tutorial from Martha Stewart that I used.
The backdrop was created from blue paint chips from the local hardware store. Over it, I had cut out a cardboard L and lined it with yellow tissue paper tassel. By the way, a leveler is your best friend for this particular task. Don’t mind the last few greenish paint chips, my husband grabbed the wrong colors 😛
My son loves egg tarts so rather than cupcakes, we decided to go with some egg tarts and the yellow color of the tart matched so well. Also with younger kids, I’m just hesitant to turn the party into a sugar fest. We can save that for my birthday 🙂 The translucent acrylic cake topper is something in the works in our store so if you’re interested, feel free to contact me. Moving on…
My son loves to turn anything he can into a road for his cars and trucks to travel on. I thought it would be fun to make him some XL roads–or as my son calls them, “woads” for the party. I lined the tables with some black paper and using some bright yellow duct tape, added the yellow lines and dashes. I’m in awe of the color duct tape selection nowadays! For the table settings, I also cut some slits into yellow paint chips and stuck in the utensils. Also included, obligatory striped paper straws.
Construction Party Activities
This was one of the more fun parts of the party planning. Now if you’ve ever had more than three kids over playing at your house, you know it can turn into quite a mess with the toys everywhere and then the wonderful “sharing” going on. I find sometimes with toddlers, they play better with each other when there isn’t anything to fight over. Since my son’s birthday is in the winter, it’s a crapshoot to do it at a party where the kids can burn off energy running around so I wanted set up construction related activities or stations for the kids to participate in. I also happen to have a handy button maker my husband gifted me a few years back so the idea came about have the kids each complete a station and “achieve” a skill button to pin onto their tool belt that they would all receive at the beginning of the party along with a construction party hat.
One of my favorite stations was the hammer and nails station. I found this great activity idea off Pinterest. You basically mimic hammering a nail but you use golf tees and styrofoam blocks. The kids loved this! A little noisy, but safer than a real hammer and nail! Now, I don’t know about you but I searched far and wide for some kid toy hammer favors to use but all I could find were the ones sold in sets and inflatable ones. I mentioned my hammer distress one day to a family friend and being the handy guy that he is, he volunteered to make some mini-sized mallets for the party! He had an old wooden closet rod that he cut up, drilled a hole into and glued a small dowel into. It was the PERFECT size for the kids and had such a natural look and feel to it. I told him he should start selling these himself!
Another favorite activity was the bulldozer stations. My toddler loves loves loves to bulldoze anything–like most little boys his age. He will take puzzle pieces, legos, blocks and just doze and dump all day long. This sparked the idea of the bulldozer yard. I set up three large trays and filled them with beans and dry macaroni. I just couldn’t deal with sand and dirt in the house 😛 although I am still finding pinto beans on the ground. Inside each child’s toolbox, they received a small construction truck to take to the construction yard to dig around. I also threw in some “lumber” for good measure.
My son was at this station for about four hours (with a lunch break of course) and the kids all played at this station the longest. Later on, I did notice that my brilliant idea wasn’t so brilliant and was done many times on Pinterest already. HA! Oh well, here’s to sensory play!
Construction Party Toolbox
Each child received a little toolbox with some goodies with a little DIY flair.
Initially, I was going to purchase a few small construction books but being the graphic designer that I was, IT DIDN’T MATCH! So utilizing some stock art and my handy dandy Xacto knife, I put together some custom construction coloring books.
I mentioned my son’s love of “woads” right? Whenever we go out to a restaurant, he will grab whatever he can to make a track or a “woad”: chopsticks, napkins, whatever. I saw the idea of DIY felt roads awhile back and thought it would be a fun addition to the toolbox. I dubbed them, “Ride-Along-Roads”. I basically cut up strips of black and felt and once again utilized my yellow duct tape for the dashes. Each set of roads came in a little muslin bag to take with you when you are out. A great way to occupy the kids at restaurants when waiting for the food.
I also found some awesome inkjet tattoo paper on Amazon! You can print out any design you want.
The adults also got a sweet treat to take home. I made some not so appropriately named for a kid party “Better than Sex” Chex Mix for each family. Apparently everyone couldn’t stop eating and finished within minutes.
All month long he watched as his sleep deprived mother labor over his party assets, he would ask “Is that for my construction party?” In the end my son loved the party and the look on his face was priceless. I would do it all over again 🙂 Hope you guys enjoyed it as much as he did!