Idea No.

2564

Construction Site -4yr- Musical Trucks

Award

Date

August 2001

From

Krystine in Denville, NJ  (USA)

Runner-Up

Construction Party

CONSTRUCTION SITE PARTY For my son's 4th birthday, we had a construction site theme because he said he wanted to be a "worker man" when he grew up.  It was SOOO much fun!!!  Here's the details: 

DECORATIONS:  I went to the dept of public works in town and borrowed some cones and horses (they even delivered them and picked them up!)  I got a roll of Caution tape that I used haphazardly around the yard.  I also used the caution tape to block off a path into the house directly to the bathroom (you'll understand why when we get to the messy activities!)  I used orange, yellow and black balloons to add some construction colors.  I also added some construction and road signs around the yard (which I got from Birthday Express)  I placed one of the horses on my front walkway and taped a DETOUR arrow sign to it (made out of fluorescent orange poster board), directing party folks to the backyard. 

FOOD: I kept the food simple.  One because the kids never seem to eat much and two because it fit with the overall theme.  I put together peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and some pretzels in brown paper bags and when it was time to eat, I called out, "Lunch break" so it was like they were on lunch break at a construction site.  I also had subs for the adults at the party and potato/macaroni/fruit salads. 

ACTIVITIES (5): This was my favorite aspect of the party.  When kids arrived, my son and I gave them a hard hat (from local party store) and a nail apron (which we called their tool belts).  The nail aprons worked really well because they were light weight for the little kids.  (I used a nail apron myself all day to keep myself organized!) I got the nail aprons from a couple of lumber yards around town.  Next, I told the kids that we had a lot of work/projects to get done today and for every project they complete, they get a tool for their tool belt (I bought small tools from the local party store as well).  There were five tools and five activities: 

1)  SANDBAG TOSS: The first activity involved filling up some dump trucks in the backyard with dirt bags.  These were plastic sandwich bags that I filled with topsoil and tied up. (basically, this worked like a beanbag toss).  When the kids filled up the trucks, they each got one of the tools. 

2)  MUSICAL TRUCKS: I painted some boxes with the bottoms cut out a bright construction yellow and put on black circles for wheels and steering wheel so they looked like construction trucks (well, that was the intent:->).  We played a couple games here one was musical trucks  where the kids ran around and when the music stopped, they would jump into one of the boxes.  Then we also played red light/green light where they stood inside the boxes (with bottoms cut out) and held the boxes and walked around with them, then would have to stop and sit when I called out red light.  At the end of the party, the kids got to take home one of the truck boxes. 

3)  HOUSE PAINTING: I kept our refrigerator box from when we moved into our house, my husband reinforced it so it wouldn't topple over on the kids, we cut out windows and a door.  I told the kids that it was their clubhouse, but it needed a paint job.  Got a bulk pack of paintbrushes from Home Depot, some poster paint from the craft store and the kids were off!  This is where even the most shy child got really involved as well as the toddlers.  It was a great activity (BTW, I warned the moms ahead of time not to have their kids wear anything they cared about because they should plan to get messy)  One kid left with one blue shoe and one red shoe, newly painted!  At the end of this activity, I had a cleanup station outside (soap, paper towels, and the garden hose), setup on the side yard. 

4) FLOWER GARDEN: This activity started out as a wheelbarrow race, but the kids were really into their roles as workers by this point and it took on a new twist (better that way I think!)  I used a shallow, long cardboard box, decorated it to look like a garden.  I told the kids that the house looked great, but it needed a garden, so we needed to fill up the garden box with dirt and then plant some flowers.  We got a pile of topsoil delivered to our yard and the kids were to use it to fill the garden box.  I thought 2 at a time, like a little race, with wheelbarrows.  But everyone grabbed whatever they could and everyone filled that box in no time dump trucks, pails, shovels, wheelbarrows, their hands!  It was a riot to watch them!  After the box was filled, we had the kids plant it with flowers that my son and I made ahead of time out of construction paper and Popsicle sticks.  It really looked awesome. 

5) OBSTACLE COURSE:  Last, but not least, we had an obstacle course.  This was the final challenge/project to get the last tool for their toolbelt and they were really pumped at this point!  They had to go down a slide, under a horse, jump through some tires, weave run around some cones, crawl through a tunnel, and climb the topsoil mountain!  Note:  I borrowed the tires from a tire store in town..they were recalled tires and the store let me return them after the party.  For the tunnel, I painted a large cardboard box black to look like a tunnel (I think it was a furniture box)and threw some caution tape on it.  My husband also reinforced it somewhat so it would stay put and not collapse on anyone. 

The kids had a TREMENDOUS TIME collecting tools and finishing the "projects."  They spent all free moments of the party playing in the dirt pile or playing with the tools.  My husband overheard two of the little boys talking to each other, "wow, there's a lot of work to do here we're gonna be here all night!"  It was so funny! 

CAKE: For the cake, again, simple.  I piled brownies in the back of a dump truck (so it looked like dirt) and used the construction cone shaped candles (birthday express).  I served these with ice cream and let the kids "construct" their own brownie sundae (syrup, sprinkles, etc). 

GIVEAWAYS: The truck boxes from the activity, Bob the Builder coloring pages, the hard hats, nail aprons, and tools were all giveaways.  Afterwards, I got so many compliments on how much the parents and children really enjoyed the party.  You can tell the kids had fun because they went home a MESS!  And my son was talking about the party for a long time.  He said "I love my construction site party!"

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