Construction Party -2yr- Tonka Truck Décor
Lisa in Pittsburgh, PA USA
For my sons 2nd birthday I threw him a construction themed birthday party. This theme went over extremely well especially since his Pap and Uncle are construction workers.
INVITIATIONS: I custom made photo initiations at Sam's Club. I used a photo of my son that I had taken of him on a digger arcade ride at Disney World. The caption said: FOREMAN ELI IS TURNING TWO! Here is what he needs you to do: Assemble your construction crew, And meet him for your shift at the Old Fire House, In North Park, Sunday, May 3rd at 2! Of course you could use any location and date and time in place of what I did.
DECORATIONS: My house was under construction during his birthday, so I opted to have the party at a local park. The park has an old firehouse that can be rented for a very reasonable price. Because my dad and brother are construction workers, we were able to borrow large orange cones and a large Authorized Personnel Only construction sign to use as decorations. We used yellow caution tape to rope off an area outside that was being used for a bounce house (a present from a very generous Grandma ma and Pap-pap, Aunt and Uncle).
I hung many Tonka themed banners and construction signs. I found the Tonka themed construction pattern on clearance at Party City. All the items were .50 each! I decorated each table with construction themed items. Inside there were nine picnic table that we covered with black, yellow, orange and red tablecloths. For centerpieces on the six main eating tables I used inflated street signs that I purchased from Oriental Trading. These were a GREAT alternative to traditional balloons.
ACTIVITIES: On the 3 remaining tables, I used my son's toys as centerpieces, one table had a giant plastic dump truck that I filled with blocks to encourage the kids to build. One table had Tonka themed coloring books and crayons that I found at the dollar store. I also had a table with child size hard hats and traffic stickers and letters that the kids could personalize and take home. The kids really enjoyed these indoor activities. Outside, they had the bounce house to play in, as well as a large field to throw a football, and kick a soccer ball. For the girls, I purchased a large bucket of Crayola chalk to make sidewalk pictures. For the youngest guest I brought bubbles, which I find to provide endless entertainment.
FOOD: I had a full kitchen available to me for the party. This allowed me to make items ahead of time and transport them to the party location. I tried to incorporate the theme in to the food and had guest construct their lunch plates. I wrapped buckets collected from my local pasta joint with orange construction paper, decorated them with stickers and put catchy phrases on the buckets. For example, on the bucket filled with spinach dip, it read Caution: Dip Ahead. Other phrases were Men at Lunch and Stop & Eat.
TABLEWARE: Because I had found the Tonka pattern on sale at Party city for .50 cents, I was able to stock up on lots of cute construction themed items. I had plates and napkins in the pattern, and was able to find a coordinating pattern of construction party tablecloths for the gift and cake tables. I found construction themed Easter baskets on clearance and used those for the napkins and plates, as well as chips and pretzels.
CAKE: I purchased half a sheet cake from our local grocery store. They had recently discontinued the construction pattern, so I had them freehand roads on the top of the cake. From Shindigz, I purchased orange cone candles, as well a miniature construction vehicle candles. They were just the right weight so as not to sink into the cake. On the cake table I displayed rusty Tonka trucks that my brothers had played with as kids. This became quite a conversation point as lots of older guests commented on having the same trucks when they were kids.
PINATA: This was probably my personal favorite part of the party. I found a construction vehicle pinata at a local party store. I loaded it with tons of candy and goodies. I purchased nail pockets from the local Home Depot for .77 each. I tied one onto each child before we broke the pinata and the kids had a great place to stuff the candy in once the pinata broke open.
FAVORS: The treat bags are by far my favorite part of a birthday party. Because I have a wide variety of different aged children at this party, I tried to gear the treat bags toward each age of kids. I purchased the large brightly colored craft bags with handles from Michaels to hold all the loot. I personalized each bag with the child's name using bright foamie letters. I also placed a large Tonka sticker on each bag the stickers almost covered the entire bag. For the older children, I purchased build your own construction truck kits. I also found candy toolboxes at the local target on clearance after Easter. Each child also received a Tonka themed coloring book, favor pack, look and find book, zipper pull (for the boys). For the girls I found candy filled make up bags after Easter. This was a nice diversion from the mainly boy themed treat bags. I also bought the gummy tools available at OTC. The best find of all was Black and Decker tool kits from our local Dollar Store. For the babies and toddlers attending the party their treat bags had treats that were more baby friendly. I found truck themed chucky board books, and truck themed peek a blocks for their bags. All of the treat bags also had home made truck suckers.
TIPS: I found most of my party items at our local party store (Papermart and Partycity). I also ordered items for OTC. I am also a HUGE fan of the dollar store. Most of my craft items I purchased at Michaels and JoAnns, and all of my craft store purchases are made with the 40% coupons I find in the Sunday paper. I try to shop close outs and clearance sections as much s possible and get a head start on the party a year before. I have found that having the children's themes in mind for the year prior to their birthdays I am able to stock up on items throughout the year as I see them on sale. The Dollar store in particular tend to rotate their stock, so what you see one day may not necessarily be there the next time you go. Happy Planning!!!
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