Real Parties: Hayes’ construction-themed 4th birthday party

Cars made out of cardboard boxes in a park with a table lined with plastic construction hats.

Put your hard hats on because Hayes’ construction-themed 4th birthday party was a total blast! Cardboard cars and a kid-sized “car wash” were just a few of the party’s highlights as Mama Brittni (@paperandstitch on IG) put together some of the most creative DIY activities ever. See how she made it all happen here (and which Amazon products she used!). 

A table with paint and a vase full of orange and yellow flowers.
A kid standing inside of a carboard car with a birthday invitation to the right.
Three different images of food served at the party, including a vegetable platter, cupcakes and bowls of fruit.
Two images of D.I.Y. birdhouse painting boxes on tables.
On top, four cardboard, handmade cars on grass. On bottom, a D.I.Y. wrecking ball made out of an exercise ball knocking down D.I.Y. cement blocks made of cardboard boxes.
Two images of tables with plastic construction hats.
A kid in a cardboard car.
Two images of tables with flowers, crayons and other craft supplies.
A kid in a cardboard car running through streamers.

Key details

Venue: Neighborhood park in Southern California

Theme: Construction and cars/vehicles

How the party came to life

Evite invitation: Birthday Zone Invitation

Cake: I made all the cupcakes for the party and they ended up being a big hit. This was the first time I tackled fancy piping with the icing and they turned out pretty. But most importantly, they tasted good.

Food: We ordered pizza from a local place, but I also made some veggie and fruit platters and put together a few baskets of simple snacks for the kids.

Florals: I picked up the flowers at the farmers market and arranged them in a few vases.

Beverages: We had two ice chests with lots of drinks for kids and adults. And my mom made lemonade and iced tea for the drink dispensers we had on the food table!

Activities: It was really important to me to make sure there were plenty of activities for the kids. We had a bounce house, which always seems to be a hit with kiddos, and a couple different activity stations I created to fit the theme: 

  1. I built a wrecking ball zone with “concrete blocks” that were made of cardboard and a “wrecking ball” that we tied around a tree limb so families could build/stack blocks to knock down with the ball. 
  2. I made a handful of cardboard cars for kids to jump in and take for a spin through the “car wash” which was just a balloon arch stand with streamers tied to it vertically as the fringe car wash spindles. 
  3. I set out crayons and a coloring-book-style table runner that fit the theme to encourage kids to color and draw in the shade between other activities. 
  4. Lastly, because we had the party at a local park, the playground was available for kids to play on, too.

Decor: Since I had to transport everything to the party from our home the day of, I kept the decor pretty simple. For the most part, the activities I set up acted as the decor. Everything was situated between a few huge trees which helped keep things feeling cozy(ish) and shaded from the sun. I created a long, low table for the kids using two pieces of plywood, some wood crates and a few screws. I also added textiles to the table and put rugs and blankets on the ground, so parents had plenty of room to sit as well. Here’s a list of products I used:

Favorite gifts received: So many of the gifts Hayes received were thoughtful. And a few kids drew pictures to include with their present which we hung on Hayes' bedroom door at home. But I think his favorite gift was a fire truck toy that came with its own toy drill and bolts for building.

Surprise hit: I was surprised by how much fun everyone seemed to have with the wrecking ball area. The kids loved seeing the blocks go flying once the wrecking ball hit and then building everything back up again before pushing the ball into the stack again.

Party favors: I wanted the party favors to be something that kids and parents would be excited about—plus, I was hoping to come up with something that would last a little longer than the typical stickers, candy and bubbles goodie bag (not that there's anything wrong with that!). My son loves crafting, so I created mini birdhouse “building” kits for all the kids. I found the birdhouses on sale at a craft store and bought everything else (reusable crates, popsicle sticks for the roof shingles, wooden circles for the windows, mini glue bottles, paint pots, wooden hammers, paint brushes and muslin bags for storing all the pieces) from Amazon.

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