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Thursday, February 16, 2012

2 is cool!

My son, Owen, is TWO! Can't believe how fast time flies by! He is quite obsessed with John Deere and tractors (hmm wonder where he got that from, husband of mine?!), so of course we knew this year's party would be all about tractors!

I am also expecting baby #2 and my mother wanted to celebrate the baby so we combined the two events into one big "celebrating twos" party, which means 2 IS COOL, of course! Here's my homemade banner below. All I did for that was type up the letters on individual pieces of paper, get some clip art tractors and storks carrying a baby, cut each out individually, tape to yellow and green paper (alternating each letter), punch a hole, string up together. Voila, easy!

When I joined Pinterest a couple of months ago the first thing I started typing in was "toddler birthday parties," seeking anything fun to inspire me to get creative with this party for my son. Since I knew it was going to be combined with the baby shower and lots of people would be attending and because I knew this was Owen's last birthday party without a sibling running around trying to steal the attention, I wanted to make it really special. Pinterest did not disappoint. In fact, two months before my son's birthday I was in non-stop planning mode, writing lists and thinking up ideas, searching for cute things at the Dollar Tree and iParty stores. I became pretty obsessed, I'll admit, but it paid off because it was super fun and tons of people commented on how cute everything was at the party. I have Pinterest to thanks. I carried it out and put my own touches, but really these were not my ideas. So, thanks, moms who came before me!

A spread for a tractor king - the kids' table of food. Chex mix = chicken feed. Rice krispie treats = hay bales. Vegetable platter = Owen's vegetable garden. Oreo cookies = tractor wheels. Forks and spoons = pitch forks and shovels. Cupcakes with Oreo crumbles and worms = dirt cake. Blueberries and strawberries = farm produce. Animal crackers = farm animals. Glass bottles of strawberry, white and chocolate milks = moo cow milk. Mason jars for straws for the milk. Tractor napkins, green table cloth, and throw in some John Deere tractors on the table and there you go, a tractor party is made!

The kids loved this cake! One kid even asked her aunt if the "dirt" was real! She couldn't understand that it was just Oreo cookies crumbled up! So easy to make and they were totally fun. I just made regular vanilla cupcakes, put chocolate frosting on top, crushed Oreo cookies in a food processor and put those on the frosting, and topped each with a gummmi worm. Very easy and fun!

Because it was not just a tractor birthday party but also a baby shower for our second baby, we tried combining the two events with a clothes line and pins with my first son's old John Deere and Carhartt shirts and onesies! It was adorable to see hanging up. We even tossed in a pink one (princess of the farm) that my hopeful mother-in-law gave us the last time we did not find out what we were having.

For activities at the party we had coloring pages and crayons on the kids' tables when they walked in. I printed the coloring pages offline (type in free coloring pages and tons comes up!). They were all farm animals, tractors, and fruits and vegetables to go with our farm/tractor theme. I put crayons (Dollar store!) in mason jars on the table. We also had as a centerpiece on the tables sand buckets and shovels filled with animal crackers, which were the giveaway for each child to take home (along with a Valentine card since the party was 2 days before Valentine's Day).

Last but not least, we had "hay rides" in another big room with two wagons for kids to pull. They LOVED it! It completely kept the kids occupied for two hours straight. Some kids never even left the hay ride room! My son is a big fan of wagons, so we knew he'd love it and a couple of his cousins who are about his age, but we had no idea how much the other kids would love wagon rides. I guess riding in an outdoor wagon inside on a cold February day is just what young kids enjoy!

After wagon rides it was time for opening presents... which Owen made it through about 3 gifts before saying to his dad, "wagon ride, bye dada" and taking off into the next room with the kids. He got so many great gifts, including this amazing hand-knit tractor sweater from his Gramma. We put all of his gifts into a Radio Flyer wagon, again part of the farm/tractor theme!

It was a great party! We were so happy to have everyone there, and this non-creative momma was super proud of how creative I ended up being with all of the tractor themed things. I can't wait to plan next year's party! Pinterest, here I come!

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