Tonka Birthday Party

I think it is mandatory for all little boys to want a construction or tool party at some point. My son was no exception. He had a real tool thing going when he was little. For his second birthday, we threw a construction and tool party that was a great toddler party. But– stay tuned– because I am also including a variation to this party for older kids (and by “older” I mean up to adult aged kids) at the end of the post. This is another PB (pre-blog) party, so my photo choices are limited.

The Invitations: I had two options for the invitations. We ended up using an invitation that showed a boy and his tool belt, but I also had some dump truck invitations that I included in the picture above. In fact, I still have them (in their original box). There are ten in the box plus a sample; I will MAIL THEM to the follower who posts a comment with the best idea for an activity, party favor, decoration, or even why you are thinking about throwing a tool/construction party. I will post the winner on Sunday, August 5 with information about how to receive this ONE OF A KIND PRIZE. I am quite certain the competition will be fierce. Psst, Aunt B, this is your chance.

The Activity: For weeks, I saved paper towel rolls, toilet paper rolls, egg cartons, cereal boxes and other recyclable materials. I purchased Elmer’s glue, craft sticks, wooden dowels, foam stickers, wood blocks, foam blocks, and any other materials I thought could be used in building. I set up two low tables in our basement and covered them with butcher paper. I set all the materials on the tables, so the guests could walk up and create.

The Party Favor: The Dollar Store had plastic tool kits. I put the tools in a Lowe’s canvas tool belt and wrote guest names in Sharpie pen across the front. We tied these on the guests as they arrived, so they could use the tools while building with the recyclable materials.

The tool belt pictured was a birthday gift, but the Lowe’s belt party favor looked similar.

The Cake: I used a bakery in New Orleans for this one. They created a rocky terrain with icing then set construction vehicles onto the cake.

The Food: We served nuts and bolts (Chex Mix), Fritos, and small sandwiches with the crusts cut off. The food choices were not anything super exciting, but I borrowed all of my son’s dump trucks, lined the truck beds with coordinating paper napkins, and used those as the serving dishes. That was a good little detail!

The Gift: My parents gave my son a play workbench, which is one of the best I have ever seen. For a little bit bigger child, a great gift is the Real Construction sets.

The Older Party: This past year, my parents won a “Tonka Party” at a charity auction. A construction company had donated a trip to the site where they keep all of their equipment. My mom booked the party over Christmas when all of the grandkids, kids, and grandparents would be together. She invited some other family friends too. The party included rides on the big equipment like the back hoes, pulling the air horn on the dump truck (believe me, the adults lined up faster than the kids), and climbing around on the front loaders and other big trucks. I am not sure if you have a local construction site willing to do this, but it sure was something different. My mom made sack lunches for all of the guests and served Bloody Mary’s for the big kids and hot chocolate for the little kids.

11 thoughts on “Tonka Birthday Party

  1. Construction party, this is brilliant! How did you know I needed an idea for a 2-year-old’s birthday party???
    It’d be fun to have it at a local playground where they have a really good sand box, or if you have a sand box in the back yard, then let all the kids dig and pour with the dump trucks and diggers. I’ve also seen dirt “scenes” made with crushed oreo cookies over ice cream with gummy worms and could make their own sundaes. Or take the kids for “concretes” at a Shake Shack or Ted Drewes.
    So many good options!
    Ooh, I hope I win! *Fingers crossed*
    -Aunt B

  2. How about decorating the yard (or inside if weather doesn’t permit) with orange cones and that black & yellow construction tape? And for the cake you can do a regular chocolate cake in the circles, then have a small toy backhoe/digger taking out a chunk of it and leaving it in a pile next to the cake. And there are candy rocks at our local candy store – throw some of those in, too.

    (Take that, B!)

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  5. Hi!
    Do you remember which store you found the little plastic tools? Was it am actual store called the Dollar Store?
    The party is super cute!! 🙂

    • Yes, I got them at The Dollar Store in New Orleans. It’s been about 5 years, so I am not sure what is available now. I saw some play tool kits at Target over the weekend– not sure what the cost is. Good luck!

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