Idea No.

17523

Road Signs Car Party -3yr- Traffic Signal Invite

Award

Date

February 2008

From

Jackie in Orange, CA USA

Special Mention

Racing Race Car Party

My son is a huge road signs fanatic.  I know, it's weird, but he goes nuts for any and all street signs.  He also adores traffic signals, cars, and trains.  So for his 3rd Birthday I made up my own theme combining his 4 big loves.  We had about 16 children ranging in ages 6 months to 10 years old and 35 adults. 

INVITATIONS - I designed a custom invitation in the shape of a traffic signal.  I printed a large traffic signal on card stock (11x4.25).  I cut the red, yellow, and green circles just enough to flip open like the cover of a book would.  Each opening revealed different information for the party.  The information was printed on a plain white piece of card stock that lined up perfectly to the traffic signal circles.  Additionally, each section of information was printed on a different road sign shape.  Behind the red light circle it said:  Mickey was fun when I was one.  Elmo was cool when I was two.  But now that I'm three, I'm a big boy, you see.  I like Road Signs & Traffic Signals and things that go Choo Choo!  Beep Beep! This was printed on a red stop sign.  Behind the yellow light circle it said: Daniel's 3rd Birthday  Take a DETOUR on <date> at <time>.  STOP at <address>.  YIELD at the Party!  This was printed on an Interstate Highway shaped sign.  Behind the green light circle it read:  RSVP by <date> <phone>.  This was printed on a RXR yellow sign.  The invitation looked awesome and we received many compliments about it.  For the envelopes I just custom sized a catalog envelope to fit the invitation. 

PARTYWARE - The plates were solid red and the napkins had a train, dump truck, and fire truck design along with some road signs.  I just happened to find them at the .99 store.  The cups were red too.  I had four guest tables and they were a huge hit.  I used black table cloths then cut out narrow white strips of poster board and taped them down the middle of the table as if to resemble the dotted line on a street.  Each table had about 6 white strips.  The food/beverage/gift/party favor tablecloths were yellow and red. 

CENTERPIECES   These were also a big hit.  We made our own traffic signals to place on the center of each table.  My husband took 4 cardboard boxes and cut them down and folded them into a rectangle about 12 x 5.  We then spray painted them black.  We bought 1 wooden dowels and sprayed those black too.  We used cheap plywood to cut into squares for the bottom base and sprayed them black as well.  They were about 4x4.  We attached the box to the top of the dowel and the plywood base to the bottom of the dowel.  I then used red, yellow, and green poster board to cut out circles for the lights of the traffic signals.  Getting the box to stay on the dowel was a little tricky but my husband found a way using some packing tape and Styrofoam pieces on the inside of the box. 

DECORATIONS - I printed large street signs (about 20) on card stock.  They were all of my son's favorites like deer crossing, school crossing, stop, railroad crossing, slow, detour, one way, do not enter, etc.  I sealed off my sliding glass door and draped red table cloths from top to bottom of my slider (a 10 ft slider).  I then attached about 7 of the road signs to it.  The rest of the signs were scattered throughout the backyard on the gazebo poles, hanging on fishing wire in the craft area, on the windows and back kitchen door, on the side gates, etc.  I also used gray duct tape to make railroad tracks on the patio floor. (An idea I got from this site).  A lot of people loved that small touch.  Lastly, I had about 4 or 5 bunches of balloons scattered as well.  The bunches were red, yellow, black, and white. 

CRAFT ACTIVITY  I rented a children's banquet table and children's resin chairs in primary colors for them use for the crafts.  Each child made a traffic signal.  I got the idea from a children's website to use a brown paper bag and glue red, yellow, and green circles that I cut out from construction paper.  I had pre-written each child's name on the bag since this was going to be the bag they'd use for their pinata candy.  The kids had a great time making them. 

DESSERTS  I made sugar cookies in the shape of a train and frosted them in primary colors with multi-colored sprinkles.  The kids really loved them, as well as the adults. 

CAKE  I bought a miniature train set at a cake decorating store as well as picks shaped like road signs (normally used on cupcakes) and took them to Sam's Club.  I chose a mountain and lake scene from their catalog of designs and had them work the train set and the road signs into it.  They did a fantastic job.  GAMES  The kids enjoyed a game of Red Light/Green Light.  They also played the freeze game.  We didn't have winners.  It was just for fun.  Aside from playing games, there was also a bouncy we borrowed from a cousin and we have a large playset (slides, climbing, & tunnels) 

FOOD & BEVERAGE  We served a large variety of foods  hamburgers, hot dogs, chili, 7-layer dip, chips/dips, hummus/crackers, potato salad, and more.  All of the serving dishes, platters, and bowls were either red, yellow, or black too. 

KIDS PARTY FAVORS  I found felt tote bags at Target in the dollar section that were perfect.  They had a car, road signs, and arrows all in felt glued on the front of the bag.  I filled the bags with a variety of goodies  a sheet of road sign stickers from Target, road sign suckers from Oriental Trading, a jar of play-dough, road sign pencil also from Target, a train track bracelet (appropriate for a boy or girl) from Party City, a whistle, and a yo-yo in the shape of a tire.  I displayed the bags in a basket and passed them out at the end of the party.  ADULT'S PARTY FAVORS  I made picture magnets for each family.  I printed a small traffic signal on photo paper with Daniel's face in the center circle instead of the yellow light.  I mounted the traffic signal on a thin piece of plywood and glued a magnet strip to the back.  BIRTHDAY BANNER  We made a large Interstate Highway sign out of red and blue poster board and white sticker letters.  On the top red portion of the sign we laid out Happy Birthday Daniel.  On the blue portion of the sign (where the highway number would appear) we placed a large 3 (for his age).  For this we used white poster board and a number 3 stencil.  PINATA  The only pinata I could find that was along the lines of the theme was shaped like a big blue car.  COSTUME  My son wore a t-shirt we made ourselves with a School crossing sign on the front.  I bought a solid navy blue t-shirt at WalMart and then printed a school crossing sign onto special iron-on paper from Staples.  He was so excited to wear it.  It was a whole lot of fun to see such an unusual party theme come together and look better than I had ever imagined it would.

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