A few weeks ago E turned 1!!! We had his birthday party the Saturday following his actual birthday. A few of his favorite toys are these firetrucks and firemen that another friend of ours gave him, a hand-me-down. Anyway, he loves playing with the fire trucks, the fire house, and the firemen, so I thought we could do a fireman theme for his birthday party. I found a bunch of ideas on Pinterest but decided to do only a few of them, ones I could definitely pull off. :-)
One of the things I knew we needed to have was something for the older kids to do (there were several babies, but also several older kids that needed more than just sitting around watching babies. We had the party at the playground in my parents’ neighborhood so they had the swings and monkey bars, etc. to play on, but figured they would want something more than that so, I found an idea for a building on fire and the kids could use water balloons to put out the fire! So fun! We had just purchased a new water heater for our new home, so we thought we could use the box to create the building. There was an outer box with print all over it and then an inner box of your regular brown cardboard. My sister helped with this project since she’s the artist in the family and she already had spray paint we could use. She used the regular cardboard inner box because it’s apparently easier and better to spray paint than the box with all the print all over it. After spray painting it with the red spray paint, she measured and cut out 6 windows. She also used red, orange, and yellow construction paper to create flames. Mom and I glued the flames together while she was spray painting and working on the windows. Then, she used a white crayon to draw mortar lines on the building, so it now looked like a brick building or row house. Then, we used packing tape to tape the flames into the windows. Now, mind you, the original idea I saw had the flames on hinges so they would pop back up after someone knocked them down with the water balloon. I figured we could go the “cheap” route and it would work just as good. The kids seemed to enjoy it, too, both young and old. Here’s our building on fire:
To add to the theme of the fireman, I downloaded a printable set from Simone Made It. It was perfect. I didn’t use everything in the set, but I still feel like the cost was worth it. We used the Happy Birthday Banner, the food labels, the coloring page, and the signs. The printables are editable so you can put your own child’s name in and make your own signs for your needs (we needed to have signs indicating where the bathroom was since we were at the park in the neighborhood).
We had the party from 12 noon til 2:30 or so, which made it easy to figure out food. Since the party was right at lunch time, we had burgers and hotdogs, pasta salad (2 kinds), peppers with ranch dressing, and fruit skewers. We had water (fire extinguisher), iced tea, lemonade, and fruit punch (fireman fuel) for drinks.
For dessert, we obviously had a birthday cake and a smash cake for E. To go with the fireman theme, I had red, yellow, and orange peppers sliced into strips. I bought 2 packages of clear plastic punch cups from the dollar store and we put some ranch dressing in the bottom of each cup, with 2 strips each of red, orange, and yellow peppers.
The fruit skewers were also a fire theme. Originally, I had intended to have a strawberry, a mango piece, and a pineapple chunk on each skewer for the flame/fire theme, but cutting a mango is time consuming and frustrating when you’ve never done it before. So, we ended up only having a few pieces of mango before deciding that we would just go with pineapple and strawberry on the skewer.
It was so difficult to find any paper products that had firetrucks, firemen, or anything like that at any local store (Target, Party City, Dollar Store, etc.). I eventually found some fireman party products online so we ordered them from Birthday Express. Then, I added stuff from the dollar store including plastic buckets and bins to put plasticware and napkins in, hold the water balloons, etc.
With the theme, I thought maybe our local fire department might be willing to come to the party, but wasn’t really sure that would happen. I found the public education request page and filled that out. I was contacted by the person in charge of those requests for more information and gave that, but then didn’t hear from anyone for awhile. Then, a few days before the party, I received an email from the local fire station lieutenant saying they might be able to come to the party for a little bit provided they did not have emergency calls to be answering. So, I had no real expectations that they would be coming. I was so excited when they showed up. A fire engine, ambulance, and about 8 fire fighters showed up. They spent time opening up the truck, letting the kids climb on it, answering questions from the kids and adults, etc. It was so cool! Here are a few pics: