Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Colorful Cars Birthday Party

A few weeks ago we travelled to Nashville for nephew Jonathan's birthday. My sister, Jennifer, outdid herself on this car-themed celebration.

At 2, Jonathan's favorite activity is playing with cars -- a pastime she enjoyed as a little girl, too! Jennifer couldn't find much in the way of ready-made party goods, but this turned out to be a blessing because it allowed her to develop her own party scheme. So park right here for a while; I have a lot of  photos to share!

The fun started with Jonathan's invitation. Jennifer designed this photo card, including a clever reference to her husband's family's business, Driver Motors.

Jennifer used a happy assortment of primary colors to design Jonathan's party printables. She used graphics from Goodness & Fun to bring the car theme to life. 

Among the party printables Jennifer made for the party, a birthday sign, cupcake toppers, water bottle labels, cupcake wrappers, a birthday banner and favor tags. Find all these printables and more at Jennifer's Etsy shop, The Polka Dot Party.

Just look at the detail in this Polka Dot Party banner. Jennifer incorporated such a nice balance of color and pattern in this design.

This toy garage came out of the play room to make display room for the party buffet. Find this classic toy at the link above.

Jennifer pulled out all the stops for the buffet -- all the stop signs, that is. She added fun car-theme details like wooden traffic signs from Melissa & Doug, a dump truck turned serving dish, and felt-covered boxes from Michaels.

Car Party Menu

Barbecue Sandwiches
PB&J and Turkey Sandwiches
Potato Chips
Fresh Fruit
Orange Cupcakes
Teddy Graham Candy Cars
Cut-Out Cookies
Rice Krispy Traffic Lights
Bottled Water
Fruit Tea

These cut-out sandwiches for the kids went fast! Find the car-shaped cookie cutter here.

Find Jennifer's favorite recipe for orange cupcakes here. Cupcake toppers and wrappers, The Polka Dot Party.

It's always fun to think outside the box when planning a party buffet. Doesn't this toy garage make a cute cupcake service station?

Jennifer assembled these candy cars by pushing a Teddy Graham into the "driver seat" of a mini-candy bar and using peanut butter glue to attach candy wheels.

Jennifer used our favorite Etsy baker, Lisa of The Cookie Jar, for these cute cookies. They were a bright spot on this colorful buffet. Find her shop, Batches, here.

Jennifer e-mailed Lisa her party printable designs for inspiration, and Lisa used those to make a variety of cookies that complemented the party decor.

Gumdrops adhered to Rice Krispy Treats with icing made clever traffic lights. Jennifer presented them in treat bags for fun on the go.

When the party moved into the fast lane with outside play, water bottles kept everyone cool. Jennifer invited all the kids to bring their riding toys, and the group paraded through the neighborhood. Unfortunately, we were stuck on the interstate in a real-life traffic jam during this part of the party, so we missed out on this trip around the neighborhood. It was a highlight of the day for the little ones!

Jennifer sent guests home with favor bags full of candy and toy cars.

Jennifer used less-exensive toy metal cars as filler for the bags, but let each child choose a special wooden car before leaving.

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Vehicles & Traffic Signs

This was a favor that appealed to all the guests -- boys and girls of all ages and their parents, too. Find wooden cars in the link above.

Jennifer snapped this photo of our Birthday Boy on the move. Isn't he adorable? He is sporting a special shirt Jennifer ordered for the party from Bowdacious Baby.

Mary Ashley, Emma and Caitlin took a break from the party action to play on the swing set.

From fill-up to drive-through, this was a fun party for drivers of all ages.

Jennifer went out of her way to create a fun celebration for the cutest little Driver of all.
Happy birthday, Jonathan!

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