When I asked my son what kind of party he wanted when he turned four he said, without hesitation, “Cars—-and Hot Wheels.” I tried to explain that they were both cars. Just that one brand cost about five bucks more than the other and that Cars the movie had used Mommy’s alter ego name “Holley Shiftwell” without permission.
He then replied, “OK, Cars and Hot Wheels.”
He is four and his father is a lawyer. You would think he could understand the severity of copy-write infringement. I mean what’s the point of reading him Prosser and Keaton on Tortes at bedtime if he clearly is not listening?
So, how to do a car-themed birthday party in your home for a bunch of 3-4 year old boys? PATIENCE! Boys at this age are generally not into playing games or doing crafts so don’t get overzealous in your planning.
I picked up a Hot Wheels, plastic tablecloth, large dinner napkins, piñata and a big Mylar balloon. Everything else I used was generic blue and orange. Simple streamers and balloons can really transform a room. I hung the piñata from the light fixture so it sat over the middle of the table and put toy cones in the center of the table.
I made a “road” with a black plastic table cloth that I cut and secured down with white duct tape. The boys had fun running their trucks and cars down the “road” at top speed.
GAMES AND ACTIVITIES
I dragged out all of my sons cars, trucks and tracks. The boys were thrilled to just sit and play cars and trucks with each other. When the kids arrived at the party they had the choice of playing cars or decorating a paper bag with stickers and crayons to hold their candy from the piñata. To do the piñata we held it up from a dowel rod with a hook on the end and let each of the kids take two turns hitting it with a plastic bat. When the thing finally broke ( at the hands of an eight-year-old) I picked the thing up and scattered the candy around the room so all of the kids could get some loot.
We kept it simple pizza and juice for the kids and homemade chili and wine for the adults.
My very talented mother made the cake. She made two round layer cakes and put them together and frosted them to look like a figure eight race track. I printed the finish line sign out from the computer and glued a wooden skewer to each side. We finished off the cake with a couple of toy cars.
We gave away a Hot Wheels car in a orange bag. The tag was a car cut out of paper with the child’s name written on it. I also made car cake pops for each child. For the little girls who did not want cars I made felt flower hair clips.
At the end of the party my son opened his presents in front of his guests. This seems to be a tradition that has gone out of fashion in the birthday party scene. I’m not sure why.
Questions? Just Ask Holly in comments.
What birthday party traditions do you share with your children? Do you do the pull piñata or do you let the kids whack the thing with a bat until it finally gives up?