Evan loves cars and his mom Laura pulled out all the stops for his third birthday party: The inspiration for this car-themed third birthday party came from my son's favorite cars, a set of four primary-colored (red, blue, yellow, green) cars by BAO.
From the start I knew I wanted to replicate the cars with the cakes and make them a focal point of the party. Normally, we buy bakery cakes for birthdays, but given the specificity we desired (not to mention the probable high cost of unusually shaped cakes at a bakery), my husband thought it was a project he'd be wiling and able to accomplish. So I found Wilton car cake pans at Michael's and he went to work creating the green and yellow car cakes. My mom had the fun idea to display them with the BAO cars and pair it all with a working racetrack. The finished product came out cuter than I could have dreamed and Evan was absolutely thrilled!
For decorations, I kept it inexpensive and simple. I downloaded various street signs (stop, yield, slow, etc.) from the internet, printed them in color, and hung them around the house. I also created "vanity" license plates (with sayings such as EVANIS3) to hang along with the street signs. We made giant traffic lights out of poster board to hang on our larger walls. Primary-colored helium balloons and streamers were an easy way we added to the décor. I bought the Autobahn Tape Kit and made little roads complete with matchbox cars on the tables. My one splurge was a custom-ordered street sign reading "Evan St." that we displayed on the mantle.
For the goodie bags, I included temporary tattoos of street signs, Pixar Cars crayons from the dollar bin at Michael's, a few small plastic cars, car sticker sheets, and had custom bumper stickers made that read "This vehicle stops at Evan's for playdates." I added each child's name to the bag on a smaller version of the vanity license plates I used as decorations.
Finally, at the end of the party, each guest/family signed a children's book Cars: Rushing, Honking, Zooming. It's a tradition we started for our kids that we have a theme-related and age-appropriate book as a guest book at the party. The kids then have a keepsake from the party and add a new book to their collections.