Monday, April 9, 2012

Construction Birthday Party

Over a week ago now, my Little Dude had his 3rd birthday party.
I procrastinated too much on a few things, but overall, it was a pretty awesome party.

I originally was thinking of a Bob the Builder themed party, but ended up generalizing it to a construction type party.

I'll break down the party into multiple posts so that I don't run on forever in one. This post is about the day in general. One of the biggest questions for the day was entertainment. I was going to have a lot of toddlers running around for about 4 hours, and they needed to be kept busy.

The biggest purchase I made was a bounce house. I got the idea from a neighbor of mine who owns one. She whips it out randomly when the kids wanted to play. It is a great way to get them moving and burning some energy. I managed to find one on Amazon for less than the price of 2 rentals. I know they make the rounds on Craigslist too, so if you're in the market for one, keep your eyes peeled. I think it will make our place extra popular for playdates!
Little Tykes bounce house

The other purchase we made for the party was a sandbox. I loved the idea that I got from the Kara's Party Ideas website for a construction party:

I ended up buying a $30 4' x 4' raised bed garden kit from Home Depot to use as a sand box. In my opinion, it looks a lot nicer than the plastic sandboxes on the market. It is made of cedar wood so it is nice and sturdy, it is larger than many of the plastic sandboxes, and it is considerably cheaper than most. We used weed barrier fabric on the bottom, and a $2 plastic tarp staked down to use as a cover. Add $30 worth of play sand and voila; instant sandbox! This is turning out to be a great long-term investment too since the kids play with it pretty much daily.

Since we had a lot of small children at the party, both the bounce house and sandbox were huge hits. We borrowed some old school metal Tonka trucks from my in laws for the sandbox.
Sandbox with trucks

It was heavily used pretty much the whole time.

Our packed back yard. We had an awesome turnout!

The kids enjoying the bounce house.

I chose not to do any official party games since most of the kids at the party were between the ages of 1 and 3. They played to their heart's content, and the parents didn't have to deal with  making toddlers cooperate with specific activities.

We even had a puppy at the party courtesy of my sister-in-law!
Noooo she isn't ours!

We really lucked out with some unseasonably gorgeous weather. Without it, we couldn't have had everything outside. Plan B would have been to set up the bounce house in the basement, but it worked out way better this way. Good thing we had the outdoor space because we ended up having at least 25 adults and 15 children there. I wish we could always count on this kind of weather for our birthday parties, but alas, this will likely be a rarity here in Minnesota in early April.

Despite our "no gifts necessary" invites, our Little Dude was spoiled as usual. All the kids had fun helping him with the gift opening:

The birthday boy was very excited to have all eyes on him when the time came to sing Happy Birthday!
My little boy is such a ham!

He needed a little help from his momma to blow out all the candles.

By the end of the day, I was completely wiped out. I could barely get up from the recliner, but it was well worth it. Little Dude had asked me for a big birthday party with all his friends, and I was so happy to have delivered on that.

Oh, and mommy wasn't the only one that was completely pooped out:
Happy birthday my love!

Other posts about this party:

  • Unexpected 3rd Birthday Party
  • Make Your Own Pizza Party
  • Construction Party Cake & Decor
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