Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mateo's Construction-Themed Birthday Party

I'm still high from the success of Mateo's construction-themed birthday party last weekend! I continue to savor the experience by looking at the photos.

All my hard work paid off after hearing my son say that he enjoyed his birthday party and that it was his high point that day. I was also happy to witness him enjoy interacting with his guests and playmates.

I wanted so much to make his third birthday extra special and memorable because he will be a big brother soon. I'm now on my 38th week of pregnancy and I could give birth anytime. We scheduled his party during the weekend and a few days earlier than his actual birthday so that his playmates who go to school can attend and so that our close relatives and friends could also join us in the celebration.

Thank God for the internet and the abundance of ideas that inspired me in planning and preparing for this construction-themed birthday party! My husband and I didn't want to spend too much since I would be giving birth soon. But I also want to make my son's birthday celebration a very nice one even with a limited budget; thus, I chose the DIY route for most of the birthday decor.

Why construction-themed?

First, let me share why I chose this theme for my son's third birthday. I chose this theme mainly because Mateo likes construction trucks, particularly bull dozers, backhoes and cement mixers. It could be because he saw these trucks (bulldozer and backhoe) when we moved to our new residence last year. There was still a lot of construction going on in our subdivision when we moved in and these trucks were going around our subdivision often in the past year. His interest prompted me to buy him books about construction trucks and to point out to him other construction equipment. We would also count cement mixers whenever we see them on the road while travelling. 


I made our own invitations. I drew inspiration from the many invitations I saw in the internet. I picked up the ideas that I liked and put them together. I used Power Point to do this invitation. Then, I sent the invitations through Facebook or email. I also sent text messages.

I typed our address on the Job Site column and
my mobile number in the Report To column.

I printed hard copies and placed them in envelopes for our neighbors and guests from the parish.

Decors, Games and Activities

Mateo sits by the construction area before his
construction crew (also the demolition crew) arrived.
Both of my sons enjoy playing pretend with their construction toys. They would spend hours imagining and building whatever they want to be part of their construction site or play area. Thus, I knew right away that one of the activities that I would include during my younger son's birthday celebration is letting the children play with construction toys. I planned to set up a construction area/site for them. Since my boys love playing with these toys, they have accumulated quite a number of toys that can be used for this purpose. I simply gathered their toys and added additional props and signs to imitate the safety signs in construction areas.

I bought a few additional toys for their pretend play like hard hats and belts that builders or workers use to carry their tools.
The birthday boy in the middle with his construction crew!
I printed this out to remind the boys who can already read
and their nannies/parents while they are at play.

The construction site was such a hit to the kids! The kids spent hours playing pretend during the party. There were even a few who almost didn't want to go home! The kids played there as soon as they finished eating.

I prepared a cartolina where our little guests can stamp their handprints and write their names as soon as they arrive in our party zone.

They are given IDs after this so they can enter the construction site. ;)

I printed construction-themed coloring pages to keep the kids busy while waiting for the games to start and after eating. I got these free printable from this website.

I printed a maze sheet that kids can answer. I got this from my son's construction activity book. And I brought out these books for the kids to read. 

I only planned three games for the party. These were: construction tools relay game, pin the nail to the hammer and trip around the construction site.

Here are the mechanics for the games:

Construction tools relay:
1. There should be two teams composed of 2-3 players. The members should line up and take turns doing the tasks.
2. Their task is to first wear the hard hat, then wear the belt with tools around their waist, unscrew the washer from the screw, put the screw and washer back to the aluminum foil, go around the chair, take off the hard hat and belt, put these back in the other chair, go back to their teammate and tap their teammate to do the same series of tasks.
3. The first team to complete the relay wins the game.

Pin the nail to the hammer:
1. I printed a hammer clipart and glued it on a colored paper.
2. I also printed nails and cut them out.
3. We blindfolded the kids and gave each one of them a nail that they can stick to the hammer photo.
4. The kid who is able to stick the nail closest to the hammer wins the game.

Trip around the construction site:
1. I printed out photos of construction trucks and nails.
2. A photo is taped on the backrest of each chair that will be used for the game.
3. We taped photos of nails on two chairs so that every time the music stops, two kids will be out of the game.
4. There will be the same number of chairs as the kids participating in the game.
5. Music like the birthday song would be played for this game.
5. Kids will dance around the chairs while the music is playing and will stop to sit on chairs when the music stops.
6. The kids who happen to sit on chairs with photos of nails will be out of the game.
7. Two chairs with photos of construction trucks will be removed for the succeeding rounds.
8. When only 3 players are left, there should be two chairs with nail photos and one chair with a construction truck photo. 
9. The kid who ends up sitting on the chair with a photo of the construction truck is the winner.

One of the table centerpieces that I made.
The nail print out for the trip[ around the construction site is in one of the chairs.
We were not able to play this game anymore because we started late. The kids came in later than expected. By the time we were done with the first two games, the kids (and adults) were already hungry. We proceeded with the singing of the birthday song, blowing of candle on the cake and the prayer before meals.

The signs at our gate.

The sign under our Christmas tree.

The sign at the bottom of our stairs to discourage our little guests 
from going up the second floor.

I was able to get permission from the site engineer to make the bulldozer pass by our house on the afternoon of the party. Unfortunately, the bulldozer had a flat tire. Mateo was not able to ride it to go around our subdivision that day. Hopefully, it would be fixed in time for his actual birthday.

Party zone set up at our garage. Kids coloring construction-themed coloring pages
while waiting for their playmates.
I ordered yellow balloons and rented tables and chairs from a party supplier in our village, the same supplier I got from last year's parties. We had a hard time searching for plain black balloons. Thank God that we found some a week before Mateo's party. We just gave them to our balloon supplier days before the party so they can inflate them for us.

Party Food and Drinks

I didn't want to stress myself too much so I relied on my past experience and food suppliers. I did not cook anymore. We simply ordered food to be delivered for the party. The only food we prepared were the fried chicken and egg sandwiches for the kids (cooked by our helper) and the rice. I asked my brother to cook beef caldereta just like last year.

We bought fruit juices for the kids and ice tea sachets, which I asked my helpers to prepare the night before the party. Then, we put them in the refrigerator overnight.

We ordered spaghetti, pancit and pork barbecue from Amber and roasted chicken from Chooks-to-go. 

For dessert, we bought cassava cake, popcorn, M & M chocolates and ice cream in cups. We also made peanut banana wrapped in whole wheat tortilla.

I ordered cake and cupcakes from the same supplier where I ordered our cakes and cupcakes in our past birthday celebrations. I just made and printed my own cupcake toppers similar to the table centerpieces that I made.

I made the food and drink labels and the happy birthday banner to match the construction theme. 

I was lucky to find paper plates and cups that matched our party theme. I also bought black plastic spoons and forks to match them.

Loot Bags
For the loot bag contents, I relied on my time-tested treats for kids just like in the previous parties I organized. I simply added a yellow face towel for our little construction crew and gold chocolate coins as part of their payment for helping Mateo complete his construction work.

I just used brown bags and decorated it with labels and used yellow and black yarn to tie it. Mateo gave these away to his construction crew before they went home.


I was lucky enough to find a shirt from Mothercare that had a backhoe printed in front of it. It was perfect for Mateo's party theme. He wore blue denim and grey shoes to match his shirt. My husband, eldest son and I also dressed up as close to the party theme as possible. It was a good thing that I got a hard hat as souvenir in one of the conferences that I attended last year. I wore that while facilitating the games.

It was a simple and intimate birthday celebration but it was an event that we all enjoyed! I enjoyed planning and preparing for it and I enjoyed looking at the result of all my hard work.

This was one of the reasons why I postponed finishing and launching my latest book ideas and my online training program. I believe that my work goals can wait. But making memories with those precious to me cannot.

Hope this post would inspire you in case you are also preparing for a construction-themed birthday party for your little boy. 


  1. wow, congrats sis. You are a DIY-Queen talaga. hehe..Belated Happy Birthday Mateo! :-D

    1. hahaha Thanks, sis Lally! :) All for the love of our little ones! ;)

  2. Wow! This theme is amazing! It's so simple, and you have personalized almost everything! Great job indeed :)