Sebastian is into typical boy stuff: cars, trucks, trains, balls, and the like. I decided to go with a car theme (not to be mistaken with Disney Cars). So over the weekend we had a party for him for friends and family. It was outside at a park, and thankfully (Thank you, Lord!), it was a beautiful day to be outdoors.
Here's some of the things I did to make the party fully car-themed. (I didn't do such a good job of making sure I got pictures, but hopefully you'll get the idea):
Since I was going car themed, I thought that a traffic light invitation would be appropriate. I made these on my computer and printed them out three to a page of cardstock.
I like to get Sebastian a birthday party shirt that goes with the theme of the party but is still one he can wear other times. I found this one at Carter's.
I made this cake using my favorite chocolate cake recipe and this chocolate buttercream recipe. I covered it in homemade marshmallow fondant, and I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I hope you can notice that I modeled it after his shirt.
Decorate a Wooden Car
I found these unfinished wooden cars at Oriental Trading, and I had the kids decorate them with washable markers and crayons. The kids seemed to really like this craft, so I call that a success. To make it a little more fun while they were decorating, I drew a black road on the table covering for them to drive their cars on.
Race Your Car
Then, I had the kids take their decorated wooden cars and race them down a little homemade race track. I made it really simple, just a straight ramp, using some plywood and trim pieces that I hot glued down. I would have liked to paint it, to make it more pretty and fun, but I just ran out of time. Each kid got a ribbon at the end based on their placement.
I made these following this tutorial out of old Trader Joe's paper bags. This was probably a totally unnecessary thing to spend my time on, but I enjoyed making them. I don't have a finished picture of the ribbons, but you can get the idea. I put a circle with the number 1, 2, or 3 in the middle of the accordianed circle.
I first saw this idea on Pinterest, but the pin didn't have any instructions on how to make it. So I just made it up as I went. I used two Kix boxes and turned them into these side by side traffic lights. I took pictures of the process I took to make them, so maybe that tutorial will come soon! The idea of this pinata is that each kid punches their hand through a circle of tissue paper to get the prize on the other side. I stuffed my pinata with Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. I think it worked out pretty nicely where a traditional pinata would have been a bit of a disaster with toddlers.
I made homemade oreos and sugar cookies (with help from my mother-in-law) that were supposed to resemble tires and white-walled tires. I used an "O" cookie cutter to get the tire shape. The oreos were filled with a traditional oreo-like filling, but, per the request of my hubby, the sugar cookies were filled with a lemon-flavored filling.
Reusable Snack Bags
For the favor for the party, I made (with major help from my mother-in-law again...I really could not have done these without her) these reusable snack bags following this pattern, only making it two inches smaller (see the comments on that post to see how to do that). I lined it with waterproof, BPA-free, and phthalate-free material. I chose the chevron fabric because I figured it could mimic the look of tire tracks. Each kid got one with their first initial on it (I used fabric paint and freezer paper stenciling). I hope that it will be a helpful favor for all of his guests and not just something that gets stored away.
I also made a banner using this tutorial, but I forgot to get any pictures of that. I did mine in yellow with black and white checked letters on the front spelling out "Happy Birthday Sebastian."
I had a few more ideas for how to take the car theme even further, but I haven't yet mastered the art of good planning. I was still scrambling to get it all done by the end. But even so, I think the kids (and the adults) had a good time at the party. I had a nice time honoring my son and allowing myself to use my creative juices. I wonder what will happen next year!
And just a bonus, here he is today, on his actual birthday, trying to get two fingers to stand up so he can tell me he's two.
I love that kid.