Idea No.

8827

Firehouse Party - Fireman Demonstrates Gear

Award

Date

May 2004

From

Su in Edgewood, WA  USA

Runner-Up

Fireman-Fire Truck Party

Well, it all started back almost a year ago when our local fire department had their annual open house.  We took the kids and enjoyed the whole fire department to ourselves (we live in a small community, and no one else was there yet).  After doing a wide range of activities and viewing all the fire trucks and the ambulance, we went through a small scale two story building that was on loan from another fire department to show children how to get out of a house that was on fire.  To make a long story short, my then two year old leaned on the screen of the top story window and fell head over heals onto the concrete below.  We had the whole department there in seconds and amazingly, after being rushed to the hospital in the ambulance that we had just finished looking at, he was released with not more than a scratch.   Since that moment, he has talked of nothing else but fire stations and ambulances.  So, when he turned three this month, that was the theme of choice! With the theme in mind, I set off to prepare the best fire birthday I could.  With the help of my amazing birthday planner girlfriend, we came up with some great things for the birthday. 

I started off with the invitations.  They were in the shape of fire hydrants (yellow card stock folded in half, printed with a clipart picture of a hydrant on one side, then cut out to form the hydrant).  The middle circle on the fire hydrant was cut out (using a circle cutter) so it opened, and inside it read Ryan is 3ö in a three tone, chiller font which looked like flames.  I had printed these on white card stock and taped them on the back of the top folded side of the card.  The inside message was written in red along with clip art pictures so the preschool guests could help read their own invitation.

The night before the party, my husband and I decorated the house.  We cut out flames in yellow and red tissue paper and put them on the windows. Yellow flames first, and red ones a bit smaller in the inside.  This way you could see them from both the inside and outside of the house.  The rest of the tissue went inside the chandelier which looks like a flame, oddly enough, and in the crystal bowls and glasses etc. that sit on top of my cabinets in our kitchen/great room.  The tissue made them look as if they were on fire.  

Next we put cut red and black streamers, about 12 inches long in and taped them in clumps all over the ceiling.  It then had the effect that fire and soot were coming down from above.  A computer printed happy birthday banner with a flame border was put on the window behind the birthday boy's chair.  We also cut out clip art ambulances, fire trucks, Dalmatian dogs with fire hats on etc. out of card stock and placed them around the room along with poster board (cheap at the dollar store) cut outs of fire trucks, ambulances and a big fire hydrant done in the same venue as his invitation to stick behind him on the window (You can enlarge pictures using an overhead we borrowed it from the church).  We got a red table cloth to cover the adult's table and decorated it with fire trucks. 

The boy's and girl's each had a table, decorated in the same fashion.  The cost was only a few dollars at this point.  Red cups and plates for the adults and fire truck plates and cups for the kids were set out, as well as, red and black sooty napkins.  When the guests pulled up, they saw a Welcome to the Firehouse banner on our garage, as well as, 12-24 inch wooden flames, that we used for a game later on that night, which were arranged below the sign.  We also had put orange cones around the first half of the driveway serving two purposes: barricading an area for the flame out game and adding to the atmosphere of an emergency.  We were finally ready for the party. 

We met at 4:30 and as each guest arrived we gave them a fireman's hat (we got these free from a neighboring fire station because ours did not have any in stock) and a vest made out of red felt, yellow duct tape and a permanent marker (I bought the felt by the bolt from a fabric store watch out for those 40% off coupons!  You cut out rectangles, cut in the arm holes and a v neck with a continued cut to the bottom, then sew up the sides.  Two stitches up the sides on each vest, not too difficult! You adhere the yellow duct tape on the outfit like a real fireman's vest and then write FIRE on the tape in permanent marker.  On the back, with black puffy paint, I wrote the last name of each child, like on real firefighter's jacket.  I made 7 vests for $6).  Once all the guests arrived and put on their gear, it was off to the fire station. The fire station, which we cleared in advance, had all 21 of us (7 children), sit in their education room as they discussed fire safety.  Listen to a fire alarm; check a door to see if it was hot, rap on windows for help and to remember how to call 911. 

After that, a firefighter put on his gear to show the children that they are still a firefighter with all their gear on and not to be afraid.  Then off for a tour of the building, as well as, the tour through the trucks and ambulances.  We were so lucky to have had an hour tour!  We left with some VERY happy children and extremely happy fathers!  I think the firefighters enjoyed the box of macadamia nut cover chocolate that were wrapped in fire truck wrapping paper as well! When we got back to OUR fire house, we had two games to play. 

The first was the flame out game.  We had made some flames out of old plywood.  We cut it with a friend's jigsaw and painted them yellow first, orange and then red to emulate real flames.  We set them up and each child got to put out the flames with the garden hose.  They loved it!

Next, we had an obstacle course set up in the garage.  They started with sliding down a toddler play slide, riding a red tricycle to a ladder while ringing the bell.  Once at the ladder, they climbed it (a parent was stationed there) to save a doll from a burning building.  Once down safely, they followed the sidewalk chalk on the ground to an old baby bath that had a squirt nozzle attached.  There was a flame in the water and they had to put it out with the nozzle so that they could get into the burning house (Clifford tent) which was next. 

All of our Clifford's were inside (three of them, appropriately named by my daughter as mother Clifford, sister and brother CliffordàDaddy Clifford must have been at work).  They had to go inside, and help all the Cliffords out the window and put into a wagon (their family meeting spot).  Lastly, they had to push a little fire truck back to the firehouse, made of plywood and sawhorses.  

After everyone had a chance to do the games and cheer each other on, we went inside where the parents had been preparing their child's dinner plate.  At the main table, we did our craft.  Each child chose a red, black or orange paper, then received a picture of their fire station (I asked those who did not live in our area to bring one.  I printed some digitally for everyone else of our local fire station), their house or family (either I had printed a picture I had or I asked them to bring one), their address (already printed in big print on white card stock) along with their phone number and parents names, as well as their own names.  I also printed out 911. 

Each child put the picture of their house with all their information on it.  Then the fire station with 911 below it.  Then they put it inside a clear sheet protector so it would not get wet or easily damaged.  We did this so that they could put it near their phone in case of an emergency.  Some of the kids had been learning their letters and numbers.  Our thought was that if there was an emergency, and they need to call for help, they had the important information they would need to call.  My daughter made one earlier in the year with my parent's number on it as well and she uses it to call them.  She now knows and understands what our address is and to call 911 only when we need help.   We then prayed and ate. 

The food was in the colors of red, orange and yellow û or fire related.  We had sandwiches with different yellow colored cheese.  Yellow and orange peppers for veggies.  Pasta salad with orange and yellow colored pasta, BBQ chips and even five alarm chili.  After eating we opened presents. After presents and thank yous, we did the cake.   On the cake was a house, folded out of card stock, with three straight b-day candles sticking out of the house (making it look like flames) as well as matchbox fire trucks and ambulances on the grass (made with that green color spray for cakes).  A girlfriend of mine had done an actual fire truck cake, as seen in Family Fun's cake idea book, but it was a bit costly to purchase all the candy needed for it. Not only that, the red frosting was a little too much for the adults to take, BUT VERY cool for the kids. 

After cake and ice cream, we let the kids play and enjoy a fire video from the library.  The There Goes series are very good for this age group.  When the guests were leaving, a gift bag was given out.  The bags had cut out flames on top colored in red and orange.  Each bag had a match box fire truck inside (you can get these on sale at any store), a pad of paper in the shape of a fire truck (dollar store), a fire hydrant puzzle (a friend of mine had extra wood and cut out the fire hydrants and I painted them if we had more time and the kids were older, I would have had them paint them), and they also got to take home a wooden flame from the flame out game so they could practice at home.   All in all, everyone had a fantastic time.  The kids were well behaved and enjoyed themselves, as well as the adults.  We had a great third birthday my son is already planning for his fourth.  And my daughter wants a fire birthday as wellàalong with a pink car, butterfly and ladybug party!  Enjoying the day and making it special no matter how much or little effort it takes, is what it is all about.  Thank you for reading about our great day. Digital photos also available.

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