Diggers & Dumpers -2yr- Work Truck Party
Charis in Rochester, UK
INVITATIONS: We copped out a little here as all our friends are on facebook, so we simply created an event page, but kept the wording in keeping with our theme: Foreman *childs name* is turning 2, which means there's lots of work to do. Rumble on over and join our crew, your shift begins at half past two! RSVP to project manager.
DECORATIONS: We held the party in a community centre and didn't have massively long to set up, so as we knew we couldn't spend hours stringing up banners etc we found a set of wall stickers on amazon, they were £12 and are reusable (now up in my sons bedroom at Granny's house, so have been a good buy). The stickers were big diggers, bulldozers, dumpers, cones etc, so we positioned these around the hall, and brought in lots of big balloons in dumper etc shape, plus a massive number 2 the kids had loads of fun playing with these during the party (found off amazon again). Our colour theme was bright yellow and black, in keeping with JCB colours.
We divided the room into areas, which we labelled by sticking printed signs onto real traffic cones (borrowed from my mums work) with hazard tape (again off amazon, and very reasonable, £3.99 for a massive roll which has since come in handy for sending parcels etc)- there was the foremans office, where we put toy laptops, books belonging to our son that related to diggers/ construction, contruction themed puzzles, stencils of construction vehicles and printed out colouring sheets from various sources, plus lots of crayons and plain paper.
Then we had the work site- this is where all the toys were. The main attractions were a free standing toddler swing which we labeled the wrecking ball" a small toddler slide ("the dump chute") and my sons bright yellow paddling pool filled with sand into which we put loads of small construction vehicle toys plus we had one of those baby activity table type things with balls (basically you drop the balls into various tunnels and holes and it has a hammer to bang the balls into the slots so it fitted our theme nicely). We also had a small hammer bench toy a wheelbarrow megabloks and various larger construction themed vehicles including some magnetic ones which attach to each other.
The final area was the staff room this was basically chairs and tables for the adults plus the food table. We covered this in a yellow cover and put a printed sheet of paper saying "dig in!" on it. We served a lot of the food in various (cleaned) construction toys and tried to keep everything themed so anything which looked like rocks or dirt (brownies rice crispie cakes scotch eggs falafels) or anything we could give a fun name to for example crisps and dips fit nicely with the theme of diggers the crisp being the digger to dig into the dip with!
We have a small construction set made by "mighty world" and decoratively placed the pieces from that around the table for example mini barriers cones men with spades and hard hats etc etc (we would have had them out as toys but we had several very young children and were worried about how small the pieces are). We also had a table labeled the "pay station" which is where the party bags were.
ACTIVITIES/GAMES: Since the oldest child present was 2.5 and the youngest was 6 months we strongly felt structured party games/ crafts/ activities wouldn't work for this age group so the entire party was just free play which worked really well. The parents ate and chatted whilst the kids ran riot! The sandpit was by far the most popular activity I nearly didn't include this as the logistics of emptying out the sand at the end of the party within the 1/2 hour we had to completely clear the hall worried me a bit but I'm so glad we went for it.
I had been a little concerned the girls wouldn't find much to do at such a traditional boy-themed party but they threw themselves right into playing with the vehicles to the extent that some of their mothers bought them vehicles of their own for christmas as they were surprised how much they had enjoyed it.
CAKE: This was the centre of our food table and looked great it was a digger shaped cake with malteaser type sweets in the scoop and "Happy 2nd birthday *child's name*" written in icing on the platter. A friend who is a cake maker made this for us and my son was thrilled with it it was a lovely bright cheerful joe jcb type perfect for a 2 year old.
PARTY BAGS: We had been picking up odd bits and pieces on ebay and in £1 shops for about 6 months prior to the party. Each bag had a small bob the builder book bob the builder jigsaw small construction vehicle stickers and a kitkat with a personalised wrapper that had a picture of a builder and a digger saying "thanks for coming to my party love *child's name*" (found on ebay at a very reasonable price). We actually began planning a long time in advance but really it was a very easy party to put together since we had so many construction toys in our house anyway and since the children were too young to need to be occupied with structured activity.
We had a lot of fun and were getting messages from parents for days letting us know how much they and their child had enjoyed the party. There were some great ideas on this site too thanks!"
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