Second Birthday Party: Construction Trucks

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By his or her second birthday, your toddler will have definite ideas about what they like and don’t like. Pick a favorite theme and make their special day truly all about them (unlike the first birthday, which I always feel is more of a milestone for proud mamas and papas!).

Travis shakes with excitement for trucks – diggers, cement trucks, steamrollers, bulldozers, you name it – so it was only natural to go with a construction truck theme. I didn’t go crazy with decoration, but wanted a few construction touches throughout the event.

Line the display table with caution tape, and use large toy dump trucks as containers for party snacks.


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To wit, we had potato chip “rubble” and pretzel stick “beams.” Use trucks you already have at home… or make them a birthday gift for the lucky boy or girl!

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Continue the food play with “cement” (hummus for dipping cut veggies), “rocks” (fruits such as grapes and blueberries), and “wrecking balls” (clementines). A few strategically placed construction cones (from Birthday Express) completed the decor.

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And of course you’ll want “diesel” (beer!) for the grown ups who need fuel.

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Dessert was a huge hit with the under-3 set: Chocolate pudding “dirt” cups. You can make your own pudding, but to simplify life I purchased Zen Soy’s chocolate pudding, and filled each cup with cookie crumbs (made from Newman’s Own chocolate alphabet cookies). Vegan sour worms from Surf Sweets were the finishing touch – and arguably Travis’s favorite part of the whole party!

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For the birthday cake, we had to go with Dump Cake of course!

Rather than overwhelm young guests with too many games, I carefully curated the toys to fit the theme. Fill a small sandbox with dried rice or beans, and add all the trucks and vehicles you have around the house for the ultimate construction site play area.

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I set out cupcake crayons and coloring book pages featuring construction trucks; Travis’s various toy tools and hammer boards; Birthday Blocks to build with; and empty soda cans for kids to pile into the highest tower they could.

Party favors continued the theme, with a mini truck for each guest to take home, construction cone sippy cups, a yellow construction hat (also from Birthday Express), and “pop rocks” candy – maybe better for Mom and Dad to eat at this age, but the closest candy I could think of to fit the theme!

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The birthday boy got a special extra… his very own construction vest and tool belt.

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First Birthday Party: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

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I’ve always felt that first birthday parties were more of a celebration for the parents – we made it one full year! – than for the child, who’s not quite old enough to understand that the day is all about them. So for Travis’s first birthday, I kept with a simple theme. The event was low-key, a 2-hour afternoon time to socialize with friends and their children, but with no organized activities or big meal.

Travis latched onto Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as an early favorite song, imitating the hand gestures from about 9 months on, so it was a natural theme to choose. Stars lend themselves perfectly to little decorative touches!

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Star toothpicks and a shooting star from Etsy helped make the vegan cupcake display (care of Babycakes) into a twinkling display.

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I continued the star theme throughout the menu. Use cookie cutters to make stars out of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches:

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And homemade tortilla chips:

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Sliced star fruit atop a simple bowl of fruit salad adds a beautifully whimsical touch.

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Star bubble wands (also from Etsy) were a great toy for older children at the party, as well as the perfect favor to take home.

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The final touch was 12 enlarged photos of Travis, one from each month of his life, arranged in the shape of a 1. A beautiful trip down memory lane!

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