Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Construction Party!

Last weekend we hosted a construction party for my three year old son. It was so much fun to plan and he was very excited about it for at least the week leading up to the party. All he asked for was balloons.

This was the first party where I did not enlist my Aunt Molly's help - I'm either getting craftier or maybe it's the fact that this party was actually pretty easy to throw and didn't take too much work. By the way, if you're into paper crafting at all you should definitely check out Molly's blog. You can find it here. She is super creative and I love all the details she adds to her projects, whether it is the embellishments on cards and scrapbook pages or her mantel decorations for holidays.

Ok, back to the construction party. I started with Pinterest. I saved some ideas, went back through them a few days later to figure out what I wanted to do and got to work.

Sorry for the poor quality photos, they were all taken on my phone right before the party got started.

Here are the decorations. I bought a construction themed Happy Birthday banner for less than $5. The balloons turned out great and were actually really easy. I blew up 12 balloons in each color: black, orange and yellow. Using a needle and embroidery thread (and my sisters help), we strung the balloons in a line and moved them around until they looked good. Both decorations easily tied on to the curtain rod. I had planned to use caution tape to make streamers to hang down but decided this was enough.

For food we kept it simple. I used construction toys we already owned as the serving dish for the party mix. I used a traditional seasoning mix and used bugles (construction cones), pretzels (bolts), cheerios (nuts) and crispix (signs). I also set out a fruit tray of watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew (representing a stop light).

 In this next picture you can see the small construction toys we had set around the table and the hats (also used as party favors).

 I really like how the cups came out. I bought some orange cups and white electrical tape and turned regular cups into traffic barricades.

 Another picture of the party mix.
 Instead of a cake I made brownies and left one large section to use as a "cake." I used m&m's to create a stoplight that is also replicated on the individual brownies I served.

 We also had a game. The caution tape that I didn't use for streamers worked out great for wrapping up boxes. We stacked them up in a doorway then make a "wrecking ball." My husband made the wrecking ball with a clamp, rope and small basketball wrapped in duct tape. The boys (6 & 8) at the party loved it. We also used this the next day (the actual birthday) to hide our son's bike. He had to knock down the boxes to get to his present.
Not pictured - I had mini traffic cones and rings to play ring toss outside but they ended up being used to make obstacle courses (even better!). I also had a construction hat, tool belt ($.76 at Home Depot - what a steal!), and cello bag with Reese's Pieces and a miniature construction toy to give out as favors.

I hope you enjoyed reading about our construction party, we had a good time making it all happen!

50 Ways To Embrace Your Inner Child

The Des Moines Register asked me to find and write about 50 ways to embrace your inner child in Iowa. Thanks to a fun brainstorming session with the Bill Riley Talent Search staff (my other job, although as rewarding as it is, I have a hard time calling it a job!) it was a piece of cake to make a list of 50 items.

Here's the final list I came up with .

50 ways adults can experience Iowa as a child

10 Places Kids Eat Free in Des Moines

Eating out is expensive and sometimes, with kids, it is not always the best experience. Here is an article I wrote for the Des Moines Register with ten restaurants where kids eat free (which makes them kid-friendly, obviously). So, check it out then try them out and save some money while you're dining out!