Idea No.


Garbage Party 5yr



July 2007


Stephanie in Petaluma, Ca USA

Honorable Mention


For my son Kevin's 5th birthday, I chose a garbage truck theme to go with his obsession. While planning the party I called the local garbage company to ask if they had any pencils, stickers, or whatever. Their public relations person offered to let us have the party there! It was fantastic! On the day of the party 15 kids and their parents arrived at the recycling facility. The children were given safety vests and hard hats to wear, which were provided by the company. A clean garbage truck had been brought up for the kids to climb around in. Blowing the horn was a popular activity! I had set up a nearby picnic table with coloring pages that I had downloaded from the internet. When all of the children had arrived, we took a group photo with the truck. Then we were taken on a tour of the facility. My son was thrilled to carry a stop sign to tell the group when to stop and listen to our guide.  We were shown where the trucks are brought in (just recycling, no garbage so it wasn't smelly!) and the process that is done to separate the recyclables. It was interesting and not too long. Then were taken to a large conference room for the rest of the party. The room had windows on 2 sides which looked out over the conveyor belts, where we could see workers sorting the trash. I had decorated the room with tablecloths in the green and white colors of the garbage company, with gold as an accent color. I decorated the windows with crepe paper and balloons.  I made centerpieces out of baloons filled with sand for a weight, covered with shiny green paper and tied with gold ribbon. I tied balloons to this and stuck pictures of garbage trucks etc. that I had downloaded from the web, colored, and glued to skewers into the weighted balloons. On one wall they had a large map of their service area. I printed photos of their garbage trucks for each child, about 2 x 3 inches, and put their names on the back. We blindfolded the kids and had them try to tape their truck near the the location of their house on the map. As we were cutting and serving the birthday cake, which I had decorated with a large picture of a garbage truck, with Kevin's name and the number 5 on the door, we played a video for the kids to watch called There goes a Gargage Truck". Then we played a relay race that I had set up. We had taped a winding "street" up each side of the long room with 4 or 5 houses on each street using masking tape. We then put some pieces of garbage at each "house". The kids started at one end of the street with their garbage trucks. I had made 2 trucks each one using 2 boxes. The biggest box had the top and bottoms folded in for strength and taped down on the inside. This was spray painted white. A hole saw was used to cut a holes into each side as handles that the kids could use to carry the "truck". The company's logo was copied and stuck onto the "doors" of the truck. A smaller box was attached to the front of the first box using at least 8 long metal fasteners with the ends folded back to secure it. This one had the bottom left on so that it could hold trash. This was painted green to match the color of the company's truck. Headlights and tail lights were applied and it looked REALLY cool! For the relay race a child got into each truck and started at the beginning of each street. They collected the garbage from each house and delivered it to the "recycling facility" at the end of the road. There we had two containers one for garbage and one for recyclables. This helped the kids learn which things can be recycled. This game was a huge hit! The kids played with the trucks until the end of the party. When they went home each child was given a small plastic dumpster containing a pencil made of recycled materials a ruler and some candy. This party was a HUGE success and I heard about it for a long time afterwards. While some of the activities could not have been done without the terrific people at Waste Management the relay race and other activities could be done anywhere."

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