Fireman Party -4yr- Helmet & Balloon Centerpieces
Kari in Becker, Minnesota
For my son's 4th birthday I decided on a fireman / fire truck theme.
INVITATIONS: For the invitations I printed Sound the alarms it's time for _____'s birthday party!" in a cool font below that I added a picture of a real fire truck I found on the internet then below that I wrote "Get fired up for some birthday fun!" after that was all the party information. This was all printed onto vellum. I then used flame patterned paper which I cut just a little larger than the vellum and attached that to red cardstock. I layered all three sheets together and then used red eyelets to hold them together at the top. These looked really cool. You could easily read the information on the vellum but your were still able to see the flames underneath it. For the envelopes I used a set of fire related stamps then painted them and stamped them onto the fronts and backs of the envelopes.
DECORATIONS: I rented our church fellowship hall to hold the party in which allows for a lot of room and a very neutral area to decorate.
I first bought a bunch of red yellow and orange posterboard from a dollar store. From these I cut out varying sizes of flames the largest ones being the entire length of the posterboard. I taped these in all twelve windows around the room. This gave the look of the room being on fire and added lots of color.
From a large cardboard furniture box I cut out four large squares and four triangles. I painted the squares using four different colors of paint that was left over from painting rooms in my house. Then I used black paint and the painted the four triangles. After the squares were dry I painted windows and a door on all of them. After drying again I cut slits in some of the windows and in various spots on the triangles. I assembles these together to make houses. I used red yellow and orange tissue paper and also some red shiny cellophane in the window and roof slits to make it look like the houses were one fire. I placed these around the party room.
I made a poster from black posterboard which said "Happy Birthday _____!" The words were cut out from white posterboard and then I used red orange and yellow paint to make each letter look like it was on fire. These were placed toward the left side of the poster. On the right side I made a fireman using a coloring sheet copied onto white cardstock. I then colored the fireman and cut him out. From his fire hose I added blue shiny metallic strips this looked like water was coming from the fire hose.
I found a picture of a coloring page of a fire hydrant on the internet. I enlarged this so the fire hydrant was about 2 feet tall. I cut it out and used it as a template. I then traced it onto red posterboard and cut it out. I used a large black permanent marker to outline all of the details. I made two of these and put these up on the walls.
Using the same fireman coloring page as above as a guideline I made a three foot tall fireman from various colors of posterboard. He was very detailed and turned out super cute. This served as a decoration and was also used in a party game.
The tables were all covered in either red yellow or orange tablecloths. In the middle of each table was a fire helmet that had balloons coming through the top. (I had my husband pre-drill small holes in the tops of the helmets so that I was able to push the ribbon attached to the balloons through and tape underneath.) The balloons were red yellow orange and black. I also bought two fire truck helium balloons. Scattered around the tables was confetti I made from red yellow orange and black cardstock. I cut the paper into very thin strips and then cut the strips into tiny rectangles.
Other decorations I used were real fire extinguishers play fire extinguishers fake axes stuffed dalmatian ladders real fireman outfit 3 foot long fire truck (used as centerpiece on food table).
FOOD: For food I served spaghetti salad and a variety of bread. The breads and salad were served out of red containers. The silverware was red and yellow and was put into red tin buckets that had little chalkboards on them. On the chalkboards we wrote "Fire Dept" & "911". For plates and cups we used red and yellow. For napkins we used a fire themed napkin and also orange ones.
GAMES & ACTIVITIES:
When the children arrived they were able to play with several different things. I bought an inflatable fire truck (that came with balls but I didn't use these) from Toy's R Us that the kids enjoyed playing in.
They were also able to try on a real fireman's outfit. I took each child's photo wearing it.
There was also a lot of fire trucks of various sizes of my sons that they could drive around.
At the activity table there were several coloring sheets and activity pages for them to work on.
At another table there were fire related books they could read.
There was also I game I made. I was five laminated white dalmatians (no spots) that had the numbers 1-5 on the. Then in a little tin bucket were small black pom-poms. The children added the correct number of spots to each dalmatian.
I also cut out fire related objects and words from sand paper and used double stick tape to attach them to the table. Next to these I place white paper and crayons (without the paper wrappers). The kids were then able to do crayon rubbings by placing their paper over the sandpaper shapes and rubbing a crayon over it.
Another thing I also do at my kid's parties in bring in a TV/VCR and have related videos for the kids to watch at any time during the party. (We have family parties not just kid parties so there is lots of time for them to do as they please.) At this party though the videos were hardly watched because they were so many other activities that kept them busy.
The first group activity we did was listen to the song "Firetruck" that also has a book that goes along with it. They all loved dancing to the music and looking at the pictures in the book. They asked to listen to it a second time.
The first game we played was using the large posterboard fireman that I mentioned earlier. I had made helmets from red posterboard for each child. I passed these out and the kids wrote their name on their helmets. I then blindfolded each child and they then tried to place their hat on the fireman's head.
The next activity was an obstacle course. Each child took a turn by starting at the beginning where my mom would say (in a very dramatic voice) that her kitten was stuck in a tree. I then used a book that has telephone number buttons on it and when you dial 911 the siren blares and it says "Emergency Emergency"> The child then put on a extinguisher pack (toy from discovery toys) and a fireman helmet. Then the pushed a toy fire truck a few feet until the reached a ladder (laying down flat on the floor). They ran / walked through the ladder rungs and then crawled through a long cardboard box (red yellow and orange crepe paper flames hanging on both ends). Then it was up a step ladder (an adult was always standing near for safety) and rescuing a stuffed kitten that was in an artificial tree. Once they got the kitten they had to make their way back through the obstacle course. When they returned the kitten to its owner they received a sticker badge. The kids all loved this and wanted to do it over and over again.
The final activity for the kids was an art project. I found a fireman paper doll project on makingfriends.com. I printed the fireman onto cream paper and then cut them all out ahead of time. The kids colored their sheet of clothing and accessories with crayons and colored pencils. Then they cut them out and glued them to their fire doll.
At my kid's parties I always like to come up with a game for the adults. For this party I made a fire related word scramble. I included common fire words but also put in a few harder words (like apparatus). No one was able to get every word. The winner received a black lunch bag that had red tissue paper coming out the top that had "firey cheetos Hot Tamales & Red Hot Cinnamon Gum.
CAKE: I had researched fire truck cake ideas on the internet and found a few I thought were cute. I showed them to my son and he got his heart set on a 3-D hook and ladder truck. I made the truck using a 9 X 13 cake. I cut the cake into thirds and was able to assemble a 3-D truck. I bought red frosting from the bakery (red is very hard to tint to a true red). I frosted it thinly first (crumb coat) and let it dry. I then frosted it again. I used the candy coating decorating tubes to make windows headlights hoses and other details.
I outlined the whole truck using black frosting (bought chocolate frosting and used black tint). I added a chocolate ladder to the back of the truck using a candy mold I bought online. I used oreos for wheels (separate them and use only one half of the cookie). On top of the cab I added my son's name and on the back end of the truck I added the number 4. I used a 9 X 13 cake base to set the cake on. When I was done decorating the truck I used the rest of the black frosting on the base. I then added yellow hash marks down the middle to make it look the the fire truck was heading down the road. For candles I bought a set of four fire related items (boots dalmatian hydrant & helmet). Since I only made a small cake I also made several different bars and desserts to serve.
FAVORS: For the children's favors I bought a variety pack of colored lunch size bags from oriental trading. I used the orange yellow and black bags. After filling the bags I added red tissue paper in the top so it looked like flames were coming out of the bags. The kids each received a flame beach ball (oriental trading) plastic firemen badge stickers two fire related coloring/activity books and they also received a fireman helmet.
For the two babies in attendance I gave them each different toy / rattle phone. On the top of the package I put a label that said "In case of a fire call 911!" along with a fire truck clip art on each side of the wording.
For the adults and children they each received a small bag of fire related chocolates (hydrant ladder fire engine helmet & badge). The bag were tied with black curling ribbon and had a tag attached that said "Thanks for coming to my birthday party. I hope you had a smokin' good time! Love ___". There was also a fireman spraying a hose (clip art) towards the words.
Also for the party my son wore a fireman coat & hat (dress-up set) and a button I made him that said "It's my 4th birthday!" with a picture of a fire truck below it."
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