Idea No.

21213

Fire Truck & Water Play -4yr- Sidwalk Chalk

Award

Date

March 2010

From

Kelly in Fresno, CA

Special Mention

Fireman-Fire Truck Party

My son turned four and loves anything with a siren (really anything that goes) so it was the perfect year to have a fire truck birthday party.   

The INVITATIONS.  I printed them on our home computer with some fire truck clipart.  They read:  Sound the alarms, its time for (name)'s 4th Birthday.  On Monday, March 1 there will be a Four Alarm Party in progress at (address). Sound your siren and roar on over from 12:30 till about 2:30. It is sure to be a blazing good time!   Hot dogs and cake will be served.  Please reply to Fire Chief (last name)s office at (phone) by February 15.  The envelopes were addressed to each guest as a firefighter.  For example, Firefighter Andy.  Most of my sons friends have stay at home moms which allowed us to hold the party at 12:30 on a Monday afternoon and still have nearly everyone accept.  We had a total of 22 kids. 

DECORATIONS were pretty basic.  When the kids arrived they found a giant chalk drawing of a burning house drawn on the driveway along with some large buckets of water.  Also, some arrows pointing them to the backyard gate.  There were red, orange and yellow balloons in the front and back yard.  We have a covered patio off the back of the house.  I got some cheap plastic table covering (again red, orange and yellow) and taped them to completely cover the walls of the patio and then used the same color streamers that went from the walls to the light in the middle of the patio ceiling.  The effect was impressive for a very low budget 

PARTY SNACKS.  As soon as the children arrived we started with lunch.  Knowing that not everyone would arrive a the same time and that not all the kids would want to eat with so much excitement we wanted to get this part out of the way first.  The kids all dined on HOT dogs, chips and WATERmelon.  The cups, plates, napkins and forks were in either red, orange or yellow.  I only got the cute fire truck plates for the cake to save money but by having a variety of colors it still looked like they were part of the theme.  My dad prepared the plates so that all the parents had to do was add condiments and sit down to eat. 

COSTUMES.  The only person in full costume was my son.  I made him a firefighter jacket out of a cheap navy blue sweatshirt.  I cut a regular, but too large, sweatshirt up the middle and then glued the edges back to create a hem.  I cut the sleeves off and glued a hem in them as well.  Then I used Yellow and Grey Duct Tape to make the stripes of the firefighter jacket and wrote FIRE in large yellow letters on the back also using the duct tape.  All the children were given fire hats (from Oriental Trading) and badges (from Party City).  

GAMES.  Once the kids were done with lunch we organized a game of Pin the Hat on the Firedog.  It was a prepared game that I got from PartyCity.  It was fun but the blindfold that came with the game was terrible and we had to improvise half way through.  There was no winner, just having fun! 

ACTIVITIES.  After the game was over the kids played in the backyard for just a few minutes before the real fire truck pulled up in front of the house and blew the horn.  None of the kids knew the fire truck was on its way.  This was on purpose since there was a chance they wouldn't be able to come if there was an emergency.  Our local fire department agreed to bring the truck by and give the kids a little lesson on fire safety.  Then they got to see all the equipment on the truck and climb inside if they wanted to.  It was so amazing and they didn't charge us a thing to do it - in fact said they are glad to have the chance to talk to kids in a non-emergency situation so that they aren't as afraid if there is a real emergency. 

The fire department got an emergency call while they were here and had to leave but they got through their whole talk and while some of the kids didn't get to go in the truck no one seemed too upset.  It was very exciting to see them pull away with lights and sirens blaring.  After the fire truck left we talked about the chalk picture of the burning house on the driveway and asked the new junior firefighters to help put it out.  My husband produced a large bucket full of water shooters that we purchased from the dollar store.  Even the smallest kids were able to quickly figure out how to suck up water and spray it onto the house.  They had a blast with this and it went on for quite some time. 

After the chalk drawing was washed away they continued to spray the garage door till all the water was gone.  The kids were really well behaved with their water shooters and, while some kids did get a little wet, none of it was done intentionally.  I was very impressed with how well they handled this.  After the water shooting was finished we ushered the kids back into the back yard to run through a firefighter training course.  (My husband and father set this up while the kids were playing in the water).  They had to swing on a rope, walk across a 2x4, climb under a barricade, run around an obstacle a few times and whatever else would keep them moving for a while.  The kids loved this too and went through it several times.  Some kids didn't want to and that's OK too.   

The CAKE was so much fun to make.  I used the fire truck cake tips from familyfun.com which seemed very easy and I like the fact that it used candy for the decorations since my skills are limited and this seemed really easy.  I did a few things differently.  When I put the cake together I spread a thick layer of softened ice cream between the layers of cake and refroze it.  Making it an ice cream cake seemed like an easy way of serving ice cream without having to scoop it.  We used red velvet cake mix to add to the color theme of the party.  I added a ladder from one of my son's toy fire trucks to the top of the cake and it looked so cool. 

The best part of all is that my husband cut a piece of wood the right size for the cake to sit on and then attached wheels that would roll.  The wheels were cut from thin wood to be the size of an Oreo and painted black.   When I was done frosting the cake we screwed the wheels in and used white frosting to stick ½ Oreo cookies onto the black wooden wheel.  The effect looked like the cake was rolling on Oreos.  It was very cool and well received.  .  After the cake we took a group picture and then my son opened his gifts.   

For FAVORS, each child took home his or her fire hat, badge and water shooter.

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