My husband really, really wanted me to title everything about this party ‘We Built These Babies.’ I refused. You’re welcome. We’ve decided to go with a construction theme for the babies’ first birthday party – mostly because we were making the decision during a week when we began to refer to them as the demolition crew, because they destroy EVERYTHING. Two babies at once means that a lot of toys that would be fine for one active child just get demolished instantaneously. We’ve learned to live with it.

But I digress. We thought that a construction/demolition party would be a) fun; b) not a huge amount of work; c) gender neutral; and d) not ridiculously twee. (That last is my criterion alone; my husband has spent the last week pinning increasingly cute party ideas and cake decorating tutorials on his new Pinterest boards, so I’m fighting a losing battle.)

construction birthday party

Without further adieu, here are the basics we decided on for our construction-themed birthday party – everything but the cake. The cake is a surprise. I was told in no uncertain terms that I’m not allowed to post anything about the cake until after the party. It’s possible that in introducing my overachiever husband to the world of Pinterest parenting, I’ve created a monster.

  • 1. Small square yellow plates. These will do double duty as plates for the light foods we’ll be serving (cheese, fruit, etc. for a mid-afternoon party), and as a ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’ banner made out of ‘construction signs’. (Party City)
  • 2. Caution tape. Forget streamers. Caution tape everywhere! (Home Depot or Amazon)
  • 3. Quart-sized empty paint cans. These will hold the (yellow) plastic forks, knives, and spoons. And anything else that needs holding, I guess. (Home Depot)
  • 4. Custom made ‘Brinkley & Brinkley Wrecking Crew’ t-shirts. Pretty much the only thing that won’t get re-used for other purposes, but so cute I don’t care. (And they weren’t super expensive.) (Pink Robot Designs)
  • 5. Balloons! We picked up plain black and yellow balloons at the party store, but we may pick up a few of these adorable dump truck balloons to sprinkle in there too. (Party City, Bargain Balloons)
  • 6. Mini traffic cones. Table decorations, sign holders, etc. And we’ll stick them in the garage until the kids are old enough to run soccer drills in the yard. (Amazon)
  • 7. The food part of the construction theme is a ‘build your own’ ice cream sundae bar. (Guess whose idea it was.) The ice cream buckets will get put in a plain toolbox at the end of the bar, kept cold with dry ice. Scoops and serving utensils will go in the tray of the toolbox. (Home Depot)
  • 8. The ice cream toppings will go in new nut and bolt storage trays – which will then go out to furnish my husband’s workshop in the garage! (Home Depot)

In general, almost everything we’ve bought will get reused, whether for other parties or just around the house. It makes spending money on a party for babies who won’t remember it a little more justifiable. We want to get in the habit of having fun birthday parties, though, and if we start right away, we’ve got a couple of years to work out how to do it without disappointing the kids as we flail our way into the right balance between ‘fun’ and ‘reasonable’.