BusyTown Birthday Party
At our baby shower, one of my dear friends gifted us with Richard Scarry's, 'Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.' Thus began our infatuation with Busytown. Even to this day, at almost 5-years-old, my son continually goes back to his Busytown books to read over and over again.
He was so enthralled at age 3 that we decided to have a Busytown birthday party and bring the characters, and more importantly the vehicles, to life. If you don't know the busy world of Richard Scarry, it is a colorful place with all different sorts of animal characters and imaginative cars like the bananamobile and the pickle car. Each page is loaded with busy scenes that keep kids and adults alike lingering over the book, discovering new things each time. And my favorite, Gold Bug, is hidden on every page.
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I scoured Pinterest to find party ideas, as I had never seen anyone create a Busytown party before. And Busytown paper products were not readily available. I found inspiration and made it my own, transforming our garage into Busytown itself. We laid road tape out onto the garage floor to make highways and paths to different sites around the room - a construction site, a lego city, a paper lake, and even Busytown City Hall, courtesy of my ebay find. It's quite possible my husband and I had as much fun setting up our giant cityscape as the kids had playing with it!
Letting the kids take over the garage to play and go as crazy as they wanted also allowed the adults a little reprieve to enjoy some social time. To make our garage look a little less like, well, a garage, I hung light blue tablecloths horizontally in front of our shelving units and other clutter. I taped white clouds to the tablecloths to make the wall look like bright blue skies. A few rugs and space heaters made the space feel warm and cozy while the kids drove their vehicles all over "town."
But the true favorite of the party came from my very talented Dad. As a labor of love, he drew and painted life-size cut outs of my son's favorite Busytown vehicles for the most perfect photo ops at our party. Each child picked their favorite vehicle to pose with and I sent their photos with the thank you notes.
My son requested an ice cream cake. I made my own by layering melted ice cream with crushed graham crackers, oreos, and hot fudge in spring-form pans lined with plastic wrap. I covered the entire cake in light blue whipped cream frosting. This recipe is delicious!
Rainbow sprinkles made it colorful while also hiding my sub-par frosting skills! I decorated it with Busytown characters that came with the set I found on ebay. Our little guy was thrilled when he saw his cake!
For the tables, I found plastic tablecloths that looked like grass and used road tape down the middle to go with the theme of a town.
For favors, I found these colorful treat boxes and pasted a Busytown character onto each one. I filled the boxes with vehicle stickers, train whistles, and little pullback cars.
Lastly for lunch, I found vehicle shaped cookie cutters to cut out different types of sandwiches such as peanut butter and jelly and turkey and cheddar. The sandwiches took a good amount of time to make, so I served them with fresh fruit and a few snacks.
I hope this inspires you to explore the world of Richard Scarry and to turn your child's favorite book into the party of their dreams. As always, I hope you share my ideas with others and I would love if you shared yours with me!