Planning a birthday party for a two-year old is a whole different ball game than baby's first birthday. Why? Because toddlers are full of opinions! And nothing delights my son more than the sight of a bulldozer, so I thought a truck themed party would be a home-run to celebrate his turning two.
The construction truck theme presented something of a design challenge for me, given my tastes tend towards the feminine and ethereal, but I knew I could find a way to do it with aesthetic integrity.
I started by designing a color story that could elevate Tonka Truck yellow. I layered in shades of marigold, citron, coral, gold, white, and gray and added as many organic textures possible like mud cloth, linen, and natural wood.
I organized the party into six different areas. I used our entrance to set the mood of the party. Guests were greeted by balloons and a stand-up cardboard bulldozer flanked by felt animals clad in yellow construction hats. Kids and adults were invited to pick up hats and glasses of their own as they made their way to our backyard for the main event.
Balloons were a key element in creating the atmosphere. I had a few helium bouquets delivered to the house that morning and I used my trusty balloon inflator to blow up a few dozen more to scatter across our grounds which was great fun for the newly upright to chase and in some cases, pop. The "SIMON" balloons were the crowning statement of the backyard.
I turned our driveway into an obstacle course using orange cones and blow-up tires. I lined up every wheel toy we own and let the kids have at them. This was a huge success with the toddler crowd. By the end of the party the tires had been turned into crawl tunnels and mosh pits to the great amusement of all.
I created an arts and crafts area using a charming yellow children's picnic table (a happy craigslist find) which I covered it in kraft paper and stenciled with white hearts. In keeping with our theme, we printed illustrations of construction trucks and provided crayons, markers, and stickers in little galvanized steel pales.
I served a buffet style lunch on our patio, but decided to put the dessert buffet on the lawn to help draw guests into different areas of the backyard. I baked all the desserts myself (I'll share my gluten-free, vegan cake recipe in my next post) and topped the cake with little wooden truck cut-outs and rosemary sprigs clipped from herb garden.
In addition to a slew of two-year olds, I knew we would have several babies in the mix so I created a baby lounge area plush with pillows and baby toys in easy to reach baskets. This was enjoyed by babies and moms alike who appreciated having a safe and relaxing space away from the relative mania of the tire pit.
All in all, I'd say the party was a great success. My son and his friends had a blast and the adults were able to enjoy themselves as well. If you care to know more details, I'm sharing my resource list below.
Toy sized construction hats (so cute to accessorize stuffed animals with)
Photos by Katie Jones @katiedaisyla