My son Owen is obsessed with tools.
By obsessed I mean literally nothing else makes him happier than WORKING. He wakes up and tells us what he wants to work on that day. He fixes everything in our house. He knows how to put batteries in, drill, screwdrive, etc. (is that a term?! I'm tool illiterate...). He loves it.
It started a year ago when my husband was finishing projects around the house before baby #2 was to arrive. My son was right alongside him every second... and he's been working ever since. So, naturally, his 3rd birthday party was going to be all about tools, working, construction, a Bob the Builder type affair.
Pinterest is my saving grace, let's just put that right out there.
I do not claim most of these ideas as my own (except a few of them, and one related to ice cream). I am not super creative. But I'm fun and want to plan a cool party to make my son smile and I'm organized, those things put together = me pulling off a cute tool party that looks like I'm creative! Thank you, Pinterest.
We sent out an EVite invitation.
Free + Easy = What we do around here! I also like it because it's easy to keep track of who has RSVPd or not. We listed the host as "Owen's Employees" and me, my husband and daughter's names. The location was "Owen's Job Site." The message was : Can We PARTY? Yes we CAN! (based on Bob the Builder). Calling all builders, tool guys and gals, Owen's turning 3! Come join us for some snacks and treats while we work our way through some fun celebrating Owen the Tool Man! There will be tools to use and things to build, so be ready to work when your shift starts at 2:30 p.m. Grab your hard hat and make your way to Owen's construction site! Then we set the options for replying as "Will Join the Work Crew" (yes), "Maybe, Boss" (maybe) and "Sorry, Can't Work Then" (no).
My husband was way too cute putting out this sign and caution tape outside when people walked in!
First on the list was a trip to Home Depot!
We got an orange construction cone for like $10, my son's birthday gift actually, he loooved it. And found this mailbox sticker for the large #3 on my son's work hat. We got Home Depot aprons there also for the kids to use at the party and take home, they were about $1 each.
My husband used his label maker to make some sticker nametags for each kid's work hat.
I got these work hats at the I Party store for less than $2 a piece.
I ordered these construction cone cups online. My son LOVES these. We saw them at a birthday party a few years ago and he's loved it since, so I knew we needed them for this party.
Each child also got a construction worker's brown paperbag lunch when they walked in.
Inside each lunch bag were the following treats for the kids:
I used yellow caution tape around the juice boxes also to add a little construction theme in the lunch bags. The construction tape was found at I Party for a couple dollars.
Also at Home Depot I snagged some of these paint color papers, two for each child. I stapled them and put a napkin and spoon inside, as a napkin holder. Very easy and totally adorable. I wish I came up with this on my own, Pinterest did!
Because I started thinking of this tool party idea early on, I found this sign below "Proceed with Candy" at Target for a dollar after Halloween. It was perfect. It pays to have ideas early!
I also knew I wanted to showcase the hundreds of photos I'd taken this past year of my son "working" with his tools all over the place - the bath tub, the car, outside in the sand box, etc. So I made two collages here of photos from the year. It was a fun touch to the party atmosphere I think.
Color scheme was bright orange (construction cone color!), bright yellow (big dump truck color), and black (caution color!). I put the utensils in black electric tape below, as well as put everything in a mini Craftsman tool box.
In the back there you can see my #3 posterboard with pictures of the birthday boy, too. This was MUCH harder than it looked on Pinterest to make. I'm not good at these things! Oh well, tried it anyway.
I got this Happy Birthday banner at I Party for $5. I almost didn't get it, but it really did tie things together so I'm glad we did.
I had so many compliments on the food table and ideas. Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest.
My husband thought this one below was strange, the cantaloupe and grapes don't look like tape measures he said. Well, whatever. My son loves fruit and he loves tape measures, so that's what they were called. I made this one up, Pinterest didn't have this much creativity!
Hammer cookies! They came out strange looking, but it's the thought that counts. I have awesome tool shape cookie cutters my mother-in-law got off my Amazon wish list ($10!). I tried using the dough for the others and it wasn't coming out right, so just made the hammers.
These below are my FAVORITES from the party. These I adapted for this construction theme. On Pinterest it was for a rainbow or art party, so we made it our own. The paint brush and paint tray were from Home Depot - $2 total. I bought already made Rice Krispie treat squares, stuck a popsicle stick in them (found in the craft section at Wal-Mart, just FYI so you don't walk around for 20 minutes looking for them like I did!). Then we painted them with frosting and sprinkles. Easy.
Buffalo chicken dip, some call it chicken wing dip. So yummy. I was searching for a way to incorporate this into the party because I just love it, so dynamite seemed to work fine (my idea! yay!).
Owen's Godmother had already given him this tool box for Christmas so it was perfect to use for putting food in for the party. Love it!
Yes we washed out this dump truck that was outside just before the party! :)
Little touches like this truck are what make these theme parties even more fun. Of course the birthday boy barely noticed any of it, but that's OK, it's more fun for me to see his eyes light up when he gets to eat the food anyway!
Best of all, and totally MY idea, so there! ... was the B-U-I-L-D your own ice cream sundae bar!Instead of cake this year we did the ice cream sundaes, because it fit perfectly with our building worker theme, but also because as my son was potty training when he'd go poop on the potty my husband would celebrate with ice cream sundaes. So we knew building our own for the party was a must!
Owen thought this was super cool to have his birthday candle in the ice cream!
For activities we had our playroom decked out with a workshop of tools. My son already had a zillion tools so we just gathered them together for the kids to build and work.
We got some tool stickers for the kids to decorate their construction hats.They loved this. Easy and fun!
Best of all was the WORKING!
My husband got some kits from Lowe's for kids to build various wooden items. My niece built a race car. My son and nephew built pirate ships. This was Owen's favorite part of the party.
Overall a super fun party! I had a blast planning this one. It was perfect because it's all the things my son adores. What could be more special than thinking work is fun?! We definitely had to capitalize on that idea and take tons of photos so we can show him when he's a teenager how much he used to work around the house! :)
Here I am below in my bright orange outfit, including orange Converse shoes! (Luckily orange is one of my work place's school colors, so I had all this orange stuff given to me at Christmas time when I asked for it for work attire!).
My husband also just happened to have this (ridiculous!!!) Home Depot orange jacket. Seriously. Not even kidding. And no, he didn't work there. I love this picture of our family below!
My HAPPY worker man birthday boy, THREE years old!
We got this ADORABLE hand-made worker toolbox tools shirt that even says his name on the tool box from my cousin's INCREDIBLE work, Creative Personality By Christy. Check her out on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Creative-Personality-By-Christy/231283503577706
SO FUN! Now on to planning next year's birthday party.
Just kidding, too soon for that.
Except that there are SUCH cute ideas on Pinterest I must get to... :)