Nascar Racing Party -4yr- Pit Stop Buffet
Julie in Richmond, VA
For my son's 4th birthday he chose a NASCAR racing Jeff Gordon party. There were 6 kids from ages 4-6 and 3 kids 1-3.
I designed the invitations on the computer to look like large ticket stubs. On one side was a picture of the birthday boy dressed in a Jeff Gordon suit, helmet and all and standing in front of Jeff Gordon's car (taken earlier in the year at a showcar event) and the other side displaying The "Roman 400" event date, event time, event location and at the bottom where all the disclaimers would be I put our RSVP information. We held the party indoors at our house, so I had to get a bit creative with space.
Upon arrival the kids were sent to Roman's bedroom for a special "Driver's Meeting" where they were photographed and issued their driver license - had a basic driver license looking form on the computer and added the uploaded picture along with the child's name and stats and printed out on business cards. As they were waiting for the other kids to arrive and the cards to be printed they were sent to the kitchen to begin "Testing". Here they built and designed wooden race cars (bought at Michael's), easy to assemble and used markers and stickers for decorations, and then got to practice racing them across the kitchen floor.
Once everyone's license was issued and cars built, they moved on to the living room to "Get Ready for the Race". Here we had 2 more Jeff Gordon costumes with helmet and sun glasses and the kids raced to see who could get dressed the fastest. This was quite humorous!
Next was "Qualifying" where my daughters' bedroom was converted into an obstacle using boards, old "tires" (black ring floats), and boxes with pictures of various race cars all around that the kids raced through. Then came the "Pit Crew Challenge". I had cut out 3 basic car shapes out of poster board and taped to the wall, then cut out different colored "wheels" out of construction paper and had velcro on the backs that stuck to the wheels that matched up to the car cutouts. Nothing fancy, this was very simple to do. We raced 3 at a time to see who could change the tires the fastest.
For the older kids, all the colors were mixed up and I would call out a color and the kids had to scramble around and find the color and try to be the first to match the correct color tires to their car.
For the younger kids we left the last set of tires up and gave them their colors, so they just had to remove the old ones and put on the new ones. The kids loved this game!
After that it was time to "Start Your Engines!" where the kids played Nascar racing on the Playstation while I finished setting out the food. When the food was ready, it was time for a "Pit Stop". In buffet style I had set out all the food and printed off corresponding race cars to match their sponsored food. For instance we had Pepsi products and Gatorade for drinks with a Jeff Gordon Pepsi car over the drink section. There was Elliott Sadler M&M Trail Mix with the M&M car over it. Mark Martin Kraft cheese and crackers. And so on.
I printed the cars off the computer and looked like a whole line up down pit road. For the main food I kept it simple with car shaped finger sandwhichs and homemade chicken noodle soup to go along with all the sponsored munchies. The paper products were done very simple with a black and white checked table cloth and solid red, green, yellow, and blue plates, napkins, cups, and utensils (the 4 main colors of Jeff Gordon's car).
When everyone was done eating it was time for the "RACE". Here they raced each other across the kitchen with their wooden cars made earlier to see who's could go the farthest. Finally it was off to "Winner's Circle" where each child was called individually to come up, give the birthday boy his present to open, my son then opened the present and had his picture taken with child (used later for Thank You notes) and then he issued the child a trophy and treat bag to take home.
The trophies were just little plastic ones picked up at Party City, could have probably gotten cheaper at Oriental Trading had I looked into it sooner, and the treat bags were just clear bags with a small NASCAR coloring book (I made these myself from free coloring pages I found out on the web and made 4 to a sheet of paper, so they were roughly 1/4 page in size) a pack of crayons and a pack of NASCAR fruit chews I found at the grocery store. We ended the day with cake and ice cream. I made the cake myself using a 3-D car pan and edible image kit from racecakes.com. It came out amazing and was so easy, looked just like Jeff Gordon's car and my son was thrilled!
The party lasted about 3 hours and despite their young age, not a single kid was bored for even a second. They were still talking about it months later, a huge hit and a lot of fun!
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