Today we celebrated my son’s 3rd birthday. For the past few months he has been saying that he wants to be a “trash can guy” when he grows up. He loves watching the garbage collectors when we are out and about and loves playing with garbage trucks at home. So, it seemed logical that the theme for his party be garbage trucks! It was a very small (but very fun) group of kids with ages ranging from 6 months to almost 6 years old. It also very low key– play, eat, open gifts and a few “stations” set up for children to do if they chose.
I created this invitation using Pages on my Mac.
We have an island between our kitchen, hallway and living room. It is the perfect place for decorations and signs. I created a road (yellow dashed lines) with a garbage truck made from poster board, garbage cans from paper and garbage and the words, “Happy Birthday, Tucker!”
I also took the garbage truck image from the invite, printed it on iron-on transfer paper and put it on a t-shirt for my son to wear during the party. The picture is not the best, but it gives you an idea of what it looks like.
I had 3 stations. The first was a small table with books about garbage trucks, garbage truck coloring pages and some crayons. This was meant to be a quiet spot where kids could retreat from the group a bit if needed and also for those who just wanted to read or color. I know when my son is at a party and things get to be a little much for him, he will find a quiet place to regroup before joining the party again.
Garbage Truck Books:
- Smash, Mash, Crash: There Goes the Trash! by Barbara Odanaka
- I Drive a Garbage Truck by Sarah Bridges
The third was two garbage trucks made from old boxes with backs that open. I made one and my boys made the other. I put a small bin of “trash” near the trucks and the kids could put the trash in the trucks and dump them back out.
The contents of the goody bags were not garbage truck related, but not for lack of trying. I couldn’t find anything with garbage trucks on it! And, all the stores were out of their little garbage trucks or I would have put them in the bags. Oh, well. I made a stickers for the front of the bags and for the sidewalk chalk bags inside.
The cake is always such an important part of a party. My older son helped me a great deal with the cake and the birthday boy just ate a lot of the icing and, honestly, so did I! Here is our garbage truck cake with directions in case you want to make one of your own!
First, the cake:
- I baked 3 yellow cakes in a regular size cake pan, wrapped them in plastic and foil and put them in the freezer. I did this for two reasons– 1) to stay fresh and 2) the first few steps are easier when the cakes are still very, very cold
- I trimmed the top off all three cakes so the cakes would lay flat and iced between each layer.
- I trimmed off all edges to create even and straight sides.
- I cut the basic shape of the truck- a cab in front and the trash part in the back with a space in between. Note: the two parts of the truck are still connected by one layer at the bottom.
- I then put on a crumb coat of frosting so that my green icing with be smooth and crumb free. That went in the refrigerator for about an hour so the icing could harden.
- Once the icing had set, I iced it again with the green icing.
- Added embellishments– wheels (Wagon Wheel Cookies), lights (Mentos), dirt (crushed Oreos), garbage bags (plastic bags with m&ms), windows and back (dark grey icing)
- I put the cake in the fridge over night and took it out about 20 minutes before the party. It sat for a little more than an hour and was the perfect temperature for cutting and eating.
There you have it! Our Garbage Truck Party fit for a 3 year old!
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