Construction Themed Birthday Party Help

Updated on October 13, 2011
J.L. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
14 answers

My son will be 2 on the 24th and we are having a very small family party for him on the 22nd. There will only be 14 adults and 7 children of different ages. Anyway, my son LOVES construction vehicles and so I was going to make his party themed that way. I'll have my favorite bakery make his cake and I'm going to take some trucks for the baker to place onto his truck and I found cute orange cone candles. I was going to order online (because my local party place doesn't have any!!) construction themed plates, napkins and decorations. I thought I would get and orange or yellow poster board to make signs that say PARTY AHEAD, LOADS OF FUN and put them on wooden stakes and put them along the walkway outside. Anyway, the tightwad side of me is thinking why should I spend all this money on cutsie plates for people to throw them away minutes later, BUT my son LOVES the trucks so I thought it would be cute for him. I am not very creative, but I have been impressed by the creative ladies on this site so I thought I could get some help on ways to make it more construction themed but not spend a ton. Thanks a bunch!!!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the help ladies! I love the ideas. I did plan to use some of my sons dump trucks to serve chips and pretzels. I didn't actually plan on doing favors for the kids because it is just family and I usually don't, but the ideas were sooooo cute, SO in the end, I'll probably end up spending more anyway. Oh well, we don't do the big birthday parties with friends and tons of people so it's not that much. Thanks again, I can always count on all of you!!

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answers from Minneapolis on

That sounds fun! I would include hard hats and then put each child's name on one. If some of the kids can read, they usually enjoy seeing their name on stuff! I don't know if this link will work, but you can get a dozen hard hats at Oriental Trading Co. for only $6.50. (search construction hats) They might have other decorating ideas too.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Kansas City on

Love the hard hat idea...too cute! You could write their names on them or you could have it be a craft and they could decorate them and even use foam letters for their name, either way would be great. I'm a theme girl myself and it sounds like you are on the right track! I love your sign idea! Another idea is to take some trucks and use the back of them to hold your food and other party goods. Like fill up a dump truck with chips, put the napkins and forks on top of the car trasporter, whatever! Use what you have to make a table scene but also serve your food. Do you have a plastic pool or even just an empty (shallow) rubbermaid type container? You could fill it with dirt or sand and have the kids dig for cars and other vehicles you plant in there. The shovel and bucket could be their party favor (also check OTC for these, they have them and they are cheap). Other than that I would just pull out all your toys and let the kids play. You could even borrow some cars and other ride-on toys from your friends/neighbors if you need to so you can stretch your theme into the play area.

Tattoos are cheap and easy and since they have every design known to man, you could probably find construction ones, or at least car ones. You could also decorate with orange balloons and send one home with each kid. As far as themed plates and napkins...well, it's hard b/c they do look really cute, but they are expensive for so few. Sometimes I buy only one or two packs of the theme ones and use them for the kids. Then I buy a coordinating color for the adults and just use those. Same with napkins. Napkins come in handy all the time, but when I'm buying solid color I try and go for basics so that I can use them at other holidays. If it's random then I just throw them in my kids' lunchboxes or send them to the preschool for a donation.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I went to a 2 yo construction theme party. The parents had a load of dirt dumped in the yard and instead of games, handed each kid a plastic shovel as they come in, and the kids had playtime in the dirt w/the bday boy's construction vehicles. Instead of a cake, she spread out a blanket and all the kids had ice cream sandwhiches.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

My son's 3rd bday was construction themed. I'm a tightwad too. Your ideas sound very cute though. Here's what I did and where I spent my money:
- made my own cake. Covered it with chcolate cool whip, sprinkled ground up oreos in some spots, used wooden trees from a train set, put 2 construction toys and a construction guy (a new toy) on the cake. Put sand in the back of the dump truck - not sand, but ground up nutter butters. Got pretzels and made a stack of "wood" on the construction site. I could email it to you if you want (pm me if your email). Or google search "construction themed bday cakes" and you will find other ideas. (The look on his face was wonderful! He was so surprised by the cake. He thought it was really dirt. Hilarious).
- got $1 fabric tool-belts at Home Depot and used fabric paint to write kids' names on them days before the party so they'd be dry.
- each tool belt got a $1 measuring tape I got at the craft store and an inflatable hammer ( I also got cheap plastic yellow construction hats from They only fit the kids' heads, but oh well. If you wanted, you could have the kids paint or marker on the hats, but you'd have to use Sharpies as they're a high gloss plastic.
- I did one game not really having anything to do with construction - but the kids had to pop orange and white balloons and find the balloon with the number "3" inside it (b'c that's how old my son was turning, and he and all guests were able to identify numbers and pop balloons, easy enough).
- decor: orange and white balloons, orange and white crepe paper I swirled here and there so it looked like construction zone cones. Some construction stuff you see is black and yellow. Some orange and white. Here in Tx all the construction cones I see are white and orange, so that's why I did those colors.
- oh and my plates - I got orange and white paper plates, napkins, and forks and knives, spoons. Plain white and plain orange worked fine. I also considered buying construction plates but they cost 3x as much.

pm me with any questions you have. I would love to help out any way I can.

It was back in April, but look in my old questions. I asked about construction themed party ideas. I know a lot of people gave party game ideas.

HATS I bought: $2 plus $2 ship&handling!

CONSTRUCTION toy/guy I put on the cake:

HAMMERS i bought:

A very cute cake you could probably make:

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

My son's bday parties are pajama fundraisers for local homeless kids, so we keep our costs way down. One dump truck was filled with grapefruit glazed pound cake and called "Cement". One dump truck was filled with brownies and called "Dirt". We asked the local township to borrow construction cones and used them for bike riding obstacles. We got yellow tape from a relative and taped off random sections or hung it over and down from doorways.

Favors were yellow construction hats (50c each at party store), filled with brown bags (like how the construction workers bring brown bags for lunch). The brown bags had a plastic dump truck or dozer (50c each at party store) and homemade fruit roll-ups. We had glitter markers on hand for each kid to name and decorate their hats.

That was 18mos ago and I know I'm forgetting something. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Someone suggested the ground up nutter butter cookies for sand... brown sugar works wonderfully as sand, also! I used that for my grandson's Thomas cake.... I used brown sugar to form the bed for the railroad track.. we used his Thomas track and cars... had the train run up on the cake, and around the table... so cute!

Here's a couple of links about construction party ideas...

Sounds like fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Erie on

what a "ton" of great ideas! (sorry, i couldn't resist!! lol) love the ideas of blocks & construction toys for holding food, centerpieces, etc. we just did this type of party last year too and i didn't spend a ton on special plates, just bought orange, red & blue plates, silverware & napkins. but i did buy some construction vehicle hang up decorations then after the party i took them down & hung them in his room. he loved them! so i splurged on those figuring he would use them for a long time. have fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

We did this twice for two of our sons. You can ask those who would like to dress up as Bob the Builder with checked shirts and bib overalls. You can buy some construction hats for the kids too and put their names on them. We sometimes had to pull the inside sizer out to fit better for bigger heads. We also used yellow construction tape rather than streamers inside and out. It's plastic so is sturdy. I wouldn't worry about the expense. If you can afford it then go for it cuz their birthday is just once a year. You can fill treat bags with yellow balloons, plastic tiny hammers or other tools. Don't forget the online store Oriental Traders. They may have construction candy and other small things for treat bags which are cheap there.

**I wanted to add that we've done cakes and cupcakes with "dirt" made from Oreos or graham crackers crumbled with tiny bulldozers on top to push the "dirt". Looked great. Larger chunks look like boulders compared to the Hot Wheel sized bulldozers.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

My theme party's consit of this-

The actual theme plates bought from the party supply store/Target ETC

Napkins, plastic forks, tableclothes etc in a matiching solid color. (extras can be saved for future parties - Target has great prices on these)

1 or 2 of the theme in mylar ballons the rest of the balloons (latex) in a matching color.

A regular cake with the themes cake toppers on top. Your idea for trucks is great.

Goodie bags with one theme item in them - rest is filler. You could do a construction vehicle for each kid with a helium balloon tied onto it.

That's pretty much all that I do for decorating. I never spend the time or money on signs (unless it's a Happy Birthday sign).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

get some fat tinkertoys and duplo blocks and make the center pc out of those. then he can have them after his birthday as a gift. we always saved on the plate thing by only getting the cake plates and napkins the rest just bright colored plates from teh party store.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I mix and match. DD wanted balloon plates and we got solid colored cups, plasticware, and extra napkins in coordinating (favorite) colors. I would get some cute plates and add in some square or round orange and yellow ones and/or get the solid colored napkins. FYI, Target around here had some construction hats for $1 so depending on the guest list you might get each kid a hat vs a goodie bag. They'll love it and for $1...who cares if they don't? I usually get DD one party-theme or special birthday mylar she can play with for a while and a dozen latex balloons in party colors. Usually there is 1 balloon per kid, and DD can have the leftovers.

At 2, cute is mostly for you but it doesn't hurt to get a few things to make it special.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I do something similar to AV, below. I buy the theme decorations, but then I get tableclothes, plates, napkins, and cups in solid colors that match the decorations. Saves on at least some $.

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answers from Philadelphia on

We used the caution tape from Home Depot as "streamers". My son loved it! It's not expensive and the roll is pretty big. Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from York on

I wish I had read this sooner since we had a construction themed party for my 3 year old son in July. We did the idea Becky suggestioned with the caution tape. My dad is a foreman for contruction so he was able to bring home construction cones which I lined up in the driveway and tied balloons to. I put my son's chocolate iced (to look like dirt) cupcakes in the bed of a huge dump truck. The truck was one of his gifts from Daddy and me. I save costs on plates and napkins by only getting enough decorated ones for the children. I buy solid plain ones at the Dollar Store in a coordinating color for the adults.

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