Construction party!

I tossed around a few ideas for Alex’s 3rd birthday party but ended up choosing a construction theme. We have a small army of vehicles in the house already, so it made sense. 

I was originally going to have a local bakery make a cake for us – the last time I made a cake from scratch, it was nearly rock-hard and tasted about as good as a rock-hard cake can taste. That was at least six years ago, so clearly I had some baking scars from the experience. I found a few cakes I liked on Pinterest, and most people seemed to be able to assemble them DIY-style, so I decided it was time to face my fears. I went with a recipe that used a box mix as the base, which seemed more fool-proof. It was a little more dense that I might have liked, but you could put a fork through it, so I’m going to count this one as a success. People seemed to like the chocolate buttercream frosting, but I think I’d try a different recipe next time. I wish I went with my gut and used the one with Crisco. For some reason Crisco is synonymous with delicious frosting. 

I kept things pretty simple by just using a rectangular pan. (I’m not ready for layers yet.) We used little constuction vehicles I bought at Target awhile back, and I added a “dirt” path of sprinkles and took a scoop out of the corner of the cake to enhance the work-site effect. This was also a handy way to make sure the cake didn’t taste gross.

Chocolate Digger Cake

I wanted to create a play construction site, so I cleaned out our water table and got some little rocks from the floral section at Michaels, plus a bag of play sand. I knew the sand would be risky business, but I figured we’d only be using a small amount. I put down a shower curtain to collect whatever might end up on the ground. 

Construction sand table

I think it went well overall, but my shower curtain idea was something of a funny joke since we had sand all over the house. If you try this, make sure you have a decent vacuum. And perhaps not surprisingly, my texture-loving 13-month-old not only managed to get a mouthful of sand, but also found at least two tiny rocks around the house and popped them in his mouth. I think I’d get the bigger rocks next time around.

 For additional construction-fun, I put our road play mat upstairs in the nursery (in the event any small people in attendance got partied-out and needed a break), plus I picked up a rock-making Play Dough set (affiliate link).

Play mat and Play Dough

I got party cups, napkins and a garland from my favorite party supply company, Meri Meri. Naturally, we went with pieces from their Big Rig collection. I also highly recommend their alphabet buntings. We did one last year with Alex’s name and it was adorable! It’s great to hang up in the bedroom after the party. 

Possibly my favorite party detail was Alex’s “Wild & Three” t-shirt, which I found on Pinterest and tracked back to Etsy seller Purple Possum. It’s available in a bunch of colors so it’s perfect for wild children of any gender. 

Wild & Three shirt


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