Idea No.

3371

Construction Party -6yr- Punch Your Time-Card

Award

Date

February 2002

From

Joanne in Studio City, CA  USA

Special Mention

Construction Party

6 year old Construction Party   This was the party of the year.  I held it at my place of business which is a commercial baking company.  I had to creatively empty two bays of our facility filled with commercial work tables and equipment in order to accommodate 36 children and their parents.  I usually have the parties in my backyard, but it always rains in February.  

The party started with each child entering one of our back doors where they were checked in by the construction boss(that would be me, the birthday mom) and outfitted with their construction gear.  This consisted of a Home Depot cloth tool belt, a yellow construction hat from Hayes.com, toy construction tools from any party store, ie. Party City, a whistle, a time card and dollar bills printed with the birthday boy's face on it-we called this "Alex dollars"(my sister in law is the computer genius)   After being outfitted, each child stood next to a real orange road construction sign (from our local Public Works Department)and had their picture taken with a Polaroid.  From here, the birthday dad took the children to the time clock where they each punched their time card.  Then they went to work.

I set up three work areas with large hanging orange signs above the work tables (signs were created by computer and color printer).  We had an "Electrical Contractor" section with a table of all kinds of old electrical equipment (mostly computer related, electrical tape and simple tools). 

Next to this we had the "Freeway Contractor" section where the children played in a 6 ft x 4 ft plastic lined wood box (made by the birthday mom and dad from materials from Home Depot).  The box was placed on two large rectangular tables.  I filled it with 100 lbs. of chocolate cookie crumbs (it helps to have a commercial bakery),colored candy rocks (made of chocolate), candy black coal (all from Garvey's Nut and Candy), and lot's of gummy worms.  I also purchased many die-cast small construction trucks of all types, shovels and hand rakes and put them in the box.   

The third section was the "Building Contractor" section.  Here the children were able to build anything they wanted out of balsa wood, Popsicle sticks and wood glue purchased at the local art supply store.  After working for about 40 minutes, the children and the parents who stayed (at six years old, the parents like to drop off their kids) went to the lunch truck for lunch.  I coerced my neighbor - Bobby Weisman Catering, into letting us use one of his kitchen truck vehicles (officially used for catering movie sets).  Here we served hot grilled cheese sandwiches and hotdogs.  We had a step platform so our little guests could attempt to reach the food window.  After receiving their food, they took a drink from the ice bin on the side of the vehicle and sat down in our elaborately decorated party room. 

Decorations were purchased from Birthday Ideas.com, Party City, Party America, and other various online party stores.  I purchased caution tape and danger tape from Home Depot and hung it everywhere.  I also borrowed orange and white striped street barriers, road closed sign, detour sign, and orange cones from the public works dept.   

The children's party table was decorated with a black table covering from Smart and Final and a strip of caution tape placed down the middle.  I sprinkled construction confetti all over the table.  I purchased inexpensive trucks from KB Toy store and placed them on the kids table filled with chips and other goodies.  Each chair had either a yellow, black or orange balloon on it.  I had several round tables for adults with either yellow or black covering draped over and a criss cross of caution or danger tape. 

Each of these tables also had small trucks filled with chips, M&M's, or jelly belly's.  Many Balloon's hung from the low part of the ceiling above the adult tables.  The birthday boy got a Tonka Truck Mylar balloon to designate his special place at the birthday table.  Other decorations included machine cut outs, party street signs, and yellow and black streamers purchased from online party stores.  The place looked incredible.   

After lunch, the kids played more until we called them together to play a construction game.  I set up an area where I took street barriers and placed three of them in a circle around a pile on cookie dirt and candy rocks.  I strung caution tape from barrier to barrier to keep the kids out until play time.  I purchased three plastic wheel barrels from Sav-On and we had the kids in three lines wheel the barrel over to the dirt, fill it and dump it into a designated plastic bucket.  The winning team, with the most dirt in the bucket, was the first team to line up to scoop the candy rocks and coal into a goody bag.   

Then it was time for cake.  As a pastry chef, I had to go all out on the cake decoration.  It consisted of a die cast front loader digging up the dirt (actually the cake), and several workers and  worker signs strategically placed around the cake.  I also created a road with white chocolate and green grass. I purchased car candles to place on the road.   It was time to end the party.  Thank G-D!  It was an exciting, but exhausting party. 

The kids kept their construction outfits, received their pictures placed in a cardboard frame, and a goody construction box filled with a colored sparkly soap made with Home Depot nuts and bolts- (soap materials purchased from Michael's Art and Craft), construction stickers, a small tape measure, miscellaneous toys, and of course a bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies (ok, not quite homemade, I had my cookie baker make them for me.  But they are from scratch!) 

After about half the kids left, I took out the front loader pinata used for decoration during the party.  I didn't use the pinata during the party because there was already enough activity and I didn't need to over do it.    I filled the pinata with over sized copper pennies made of chocolate.  The idea was to pay the little workers for their hard work.

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