Boys birthday party ideas: construction

Your little boy wants a construction birthday party. Where do you start?Here are some ideas to create a dream party for your little builder.

Boys Construction Party

My son's first grade class was asked what they would be doing at 100 years old. Many of them wrote that they would be "wrinkly" or "sit in a rocker." My son wrote, "When I am 100 years old, I will go to Home Depoe (sic) and make some friends." There you have it. After years of unscientific research, we have discovered that building and construction are inherent in the male psyche.

So, your little boy wants a construction themed birthday party. Where do you start?

Here are a few tips and ideas to make his dreams of dump trucks and dirt piles come true.

First, you'll want to create an original invitation. You can make a cutout of a saw or hammer on which you can write all the party details. Or, you can purchase small plastic tools and use a permanent marker to write the information on the handles or saw blade. You can use a scrap piece of lumber and a carpenter's pencil to scribble out party information and hand out the lumber to the lucky guests. Another idea is to cut out road sign shapes and write down a phrase like, "Yield Ahead for Connor's Construction Party"¦Be a part of Connor's crew to build a 5th Birthday Celebration he'll always remember. Shift begins at 11:00 a.m. Site: 123 Builders Parkway"¦" If it's winter, you can ask the little guests to wear jeans and a flannel shirt.

Next on your list are the guts of the party"¦ the decorations. Be sure to get a roll or two of caution tape to use as streamers and borders. Some teachers stores sell bulletin board borders that look like construction zone (yellow and black lines) or even working trucks which you can use to transform even the most colonial living room into something worthy of the likes of Bob Vila (or Bob the Builder, for that matter.) Line up different "zones" in your party area with orange safety cones (can be purchased at discount stores or sporting goods stores) and label each with a road sign like "Boys at Work," or "Food Zone". Machinery/truck posters and road signs add a great touch to any construction décor. For the main table, purchase a black vinyl tablecloth (you can also use large heavy duty garbage bags) and cover the table. Using bright yellow tape (electrical or masking) you can tape lines in the center to make it look like a road.

Once the tiny builders arrive, greet them with a plastic hard hat (can be purchased at party supply stores) and a personalized nail apron (from your local hardware store - use fabric paint to paint on the names). There should be plenty of activities to keep them occupied. Set up a workbench in the "Work Zone". Maybe ask friends and family to borrow some plastic tools, so that you have a large box from which to choose. Depending on their ages, you may even want to have an adult supervise and they can pound nails into wood to create little masterpieces. Have another "Planning Zone" where little future architects and engineers can put together models with building blocks, Tinkertoys, Lincoln logs, or Legos. In the "Craft Zone" young builders take craft boxes and glue little spare bolts, screws, toggles, etc. on the top and they can have a keepsake box for little treasures. These little brown craft boxes can be purchased at a fairly low price at many craft stores or discount stores. You'll probably want to use a strong glue, or have an adult helper ready with a glue gun. You may want to find a large refrigerator or TV box and lay some dropcloths down for a "Painting Zone". Using small buckets of paint, they can add their artistic touch to the box and, at the end of the party, the kids can play with it or demolish it - whichever is more fun. A little game to play is to have jars of nails, nuts & bolts, etc. and have each child guess how many are in each jar.

Just like their adult counterparts, little boys get hungry. Be prepared with a table full of goodies. Put chips in the back of a clean dump truck toy. Have an inverted hard hat with a dip or apples. If you can get a couple of silver or black metal "construction worker" lunchboxes, you can cut up small sandwiches and place them in the open lunchboxes. Have tin camping cups of Gatorade to drink. Use a hammer or other tool-shaped cookie cutter to cut out thin pizza or even the sandwiches. Make a great construction cake using a chocolate cake mix. Bake in a couple bags of gummy worms. When you serve the cake, the worms will look like they're crawling in the dirt. The boys will LOVE the whole "Fear-Factor" inspired dessert. The cake should be frosted with a construction scene. You can buy little trucks, safety cones, road signs, etc to place on top. There should be a pile of whipped frosting coming out of the end of a cement truck and maybe even a pile of crushed Oreos being dumped from a dump truck. If the cake thing is not a big thing for you, you can always bake brownies, cut them up very roughly, and place them in the back of a plastic toy truck, like dirt.

When at last the little builders hear the end-of-the-day whistle, they can pack their aprons with little favors like Hotwheels trucks, truck stickers, toy cell phones, candy, or maybe a tool-shaped board book. With their hardhat on, they can continue building more fun at home!

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