My baby, not being quite a baby anymore, turned two years old last month (yes, I cried a lot the week of his birthday). He enjoys many things in life, but there is one thing he loves more than any other, and that is buses–school buses, city buses, shuttle buses, greyhound buses, any bus. At an early age, his grandparents introduced him to the Wheels on the Bus app on the iPad, and it was instant love. He is obsessed with buses, and spots every. single. bus. in town. He then makes me sing “The Wheels on the Bus” (and as he’s gotten older, he keeps adding more and more verses). Needless to say, I spend most of my driving time singing, beeping, swishing, and wah-wah-wah-ing. I had no idea our town had so many buses. So the theme for his 2nd birthday party party was a no-brainer: the Wheels on the Bus.
I am currently expecting Baby #2 and have had all the usual pregnancy symptoms. So my goal was to keep this party simple and easy. I limited decorations to the children’s food table and kept all the food easy to prepare. I did a few, little DIYs, but made sure to get them done a couple weeks in advance, just to be safe.
I think my favorite part of this party was the children’s food. I planned it to represent the various verses of the song, and loved the different ideas I and others were able to come up with.
- Wheels (that go round & round): Chocolate Covered Donuts on sticks (because everything is more fun on sticks)
- Wipers (that go swish, swish, swish): Black Licorice
- Horn (that goes beep, beep, beep): Bugles
- Coins (that go clink, clink, clink): Chocolate Coin Candy
- Mommas & Daddies (that say “I love you”): PB&J sandwiches cut into hearts
- Babies (that go “wah, wah, wah”): Cry Babies Candy
- And if I would have had the time and energy, I would have added the Doors (that go open and shut)–they would have been graham cracker sandwiches of some sort. Probably with Nutella and bananas. But I already had a lot of sweets.
I made sure to throw in some fruit and veggies so the moms would feel better about the all the sweets their kids were eating (here, eat this grape and then you can have candy and a cupcake). I also served Sunny D (because it’s the same color as a bus), plain M&Ms (Henry’s favorite candy, and which I now am having to finish off since I bought the Costco sized bag), and cupcakes, which were Henry’s personal request.
The adults were served their own, special, grown-up food: a roasted red pepper and chicken ciabatta sandwich, black bean, quinoa, & mango salad (recipe coming soon!), chips, fruit & veggies, and mini raspberry white chocolate cheesecakes.
Like I said above, I kept the decor really simple. Monika, from Hello Brielle Designs, once again did an outstanding job creating printables for me. I love how they turned out–it was exactly what I had envisioned! My friend, Sara (who made the trees for our Spooky Halloween Party), made the backdrop signs and the bus for our pin-the-wheels-on-the-bus game. I found some free road sign clipart online and make mini road signs for the food table (taped to painted skewers). And finally I purchased mini bus die cuts from Create With Paige on Etsy (sidenote: Paige was awesome to work with! I was having a really difficult time deciding what to do and purchased last minute; she had them sent out the same day to make sure I got them in time). I added a red rhinestone and the black lines to the buses to give them a little extra pizazz.
My one DIY project was to jazz up the wooden forks for the kids. I simply dipped them in yellow paint, drew on black lines with a Sharpie, and added a red rhinestone. I love how these little babies turned out!
I always find it difficult to go to a party and have no place to sit and eat. And its even worse with kids. So for Henry’s party, I rented short banquet tables and chairs for all the kids to sit at (this was one of those parties where everyone RSVPed yes so there were a LOT of kids). And I will never not have kids tables again. What happened was nothing short of miraculous: the kids got their food, sat down, and started quietly eating. ALL of them. And all of us parents just kinda stood there and stared in bewilderment. It was pretty amazing. So next time you throw a kid’s party, spend the $30-$40, and rent tables and chairs. Totally worth it.
Anyway, I wanted my tables to look like a road, so I got green tablecloths, then used leftover black butcher paper from the Spooky Halloween Party trees and made “roads” to go down the center of each table. It took about 5 minutes to do and looked super cute. The roads were populated with, of course, lots of buses (purchased at the dollar store), but also some other vehicles, all taken from our stash at home. And the table was set with round, black plates to mimic the look of of a wheel.
Pin the wheels on the bus. It was simple and fun and the kids loved it. The older kids were blindfolded, but we let the younger kids just walk up and put their wheel on. Interestingly even without the blindfold, most wheels ended up on the middle of the bus. Maybe it was slightly too advanced a game for 2-year olds.
Our favor was an Oh Henry! candy bar, which just happened to have the Birthday Boy’s name AND be the same color as a bus, as well as a bus crayon purchased from Posh Paper Creations on Etsy. Elizabeth has some really adorable designs and a ton of colors to choose from. Again, I was a little late in my decision making process and she was great to work with, getting my order to me very quickly.
My Birthday Boy:
Event Planning and Design: Marigold Events
Photography: Tiffany Nicole Photography
Printables: Hello Brielle Designs
Bus Crayons: Posh Paper Creations
Bus Die Cuts: Create With Paige
Table Rentals: AV Party Rentals