Messy Construction Party -2yr- Paint & Design
Kimberly in Apopka, Florida United States
For my son's 2nd birthday I wanted to do a messy party, but converted the idea a little to include something I could create a real theme for. So I incorporated the construction theme. Thank you for all the wonderful ideas here!
For the invitations I used yellow cardstock and stamped in black ink various construction signs, arrows and words (do not enter, one way, etc.). I printed out our last name in black on orange cardstock and the word Excavating to imitate a company name. I then stamped on a smaller piece of white cardstock a speed limit sign and the number 2. I used 3-D foam adhesive so the speed limit sign stood off the cardstock a little. On the inside the invitation read: Nathan is turning two come join the work crew. Report to the (name) jobsite at (address) and clock in at (time). Company paid lunch provided. It's going to be messy so please wear clothes that can be soiled or bathing suits. RSVP to the supervisor at (number).
For DECORATIONS: I cut rectangular shapes out of cardboard and painted them yellow then sprayed the edges in black and stapled them to wood sticks. I stamped the words Dirt Zone Wash Zone etc. corresponding to each of the activity areas. Black and orange tablecloths for the food table with name confetti scattered around. We had just finished laying some new sod in the yard and had roped off the unfinished area with sticks and black streamers. There were tracks (from using a bobcat) in our yard from recent work done so it added to the theme perfectly. I used a toolbox to hold the plastic silverware and plates. I used yellow and black plates and had canned drinks and fruit juice boxes in coolers for guests to self serve.
FOOD: For the kids brown bagged lunches I prepared early - prepackaged frozen PB&J sandwiches I thawed that morning a bag of fruit snacks and a cookie. For adults I got a meat and cheese tray with rolls a dip cheese and cracker tray mini sandwich rolls (frozen just defrost and serve) fruit and vege tray pretzel sticks I dipped in chocolate and rolled in sprinkles cheetos and fishy crackers.
ACTIVITIES: This was the BEST part. My husband placed a construction cone at the end of the driveway and used sidewalk chalk with arrows directing guests to the backyard. I made a sign that said "Speed Limit 2" to match the invitation theme. Once entering the backyard guests met their 1st activity. The sign read "Hard Hat Required" where my husband put his 2 sawhorses and a large piece of wood with the supplies laid out. Here the kids put their names on yellow construction hats (OT) using foam letters. I had the letters for each kids name already sorted in a small plastic bag to keep the parents from having to dig for each letter. I had aprons that Lowe's donated to me (I had to drive to several locations to get enough). I don't think this is common practice for them I was just lucky. Home Depot was not as helpful in this.
Another station was called "Worm Pit" where I boiled about 6 lbs of spaghetti and put it in a small baby pool for the kids to play in.
Another station was named "Paint & Design" where I had 3 large refrigerator boxes next to each other a set of washable paints and about 20 paint brushes. I had a parent volunteer help with this station. We used small paper plates as paint palettes and had a cup of water for rinsing brushes. The kids loved this.
Added some of the Crayola colored purple sand to our sandbox and called that station the "Dirt Zone". I knew the kids would get messy I bought some kids pump foam soap and put it with a roll of paper towels and laid it inside a plastic wheelbarrow (Lowe's) and called that station the "Wash Zone". I found a nice sprinkler with a gentle flow that had an on/off valve so I just left the hose at the wheelbarrow and everyone could wash as needed.
GAMES: Find the M&M - I used small paper plates and put 1 M&M on each plate then covered it with canned whip cream. I made them not use their hands and find the M&M. Once they found the M&M they were directed to my husband who had a prize for each of them. Balloon popping game: I filled balloons with confetti then blew them up. A balloon was given to each child to sit on and pop. The balloons ended up popping before they could sit on them but the confetti flew everywhere as the balloon popped the kids loved it. PRIZES: Foam number puzzle (found these on clearance for .25 cents each) And finally a construction truck shaped pinata. Brown paper bags were given to collect the candy.
For CAKE: I made the dirt cake with pudding/crushed oreos and gummy worms in individual sand buckets I purchased from OT. For my son's cake I bought a small Tonka dump truck and put his cake in it. For the adults I made mudpies - cake balls formed into hamburger patty shapes dipped in chocolate. They were delicious and looked exactly like a mudpie. They were a little difficult to dip but I managed. I planned on serving ice cream cups with it but totally forgot to pull them out.
COSTUMES: I dressed him in a black t-shirt and used fabric paint to write "last name Excavating" on his shirt and my daughter's. I wore a half apron to add to the theme.
FAVORS: Used the left over brown paper bags and put plastic tools/stencils/mini flashlights (Target 3/$1) blow outs and chinese yo-yo's. For the bigger kids I had some firetruck model kits Lowe's gave me. (I know they don't give these out). I called many stores looking for support and got lucky.
It was a great party and I received many compliments and comments on all the details. It was the most inexpensive party I have ever thrown. Most of it was handmade. Enjoy!"
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