When my little guy was about to turn 1, I was originally planning a Hundred Acre Wood Pooh themed party. All that changed when he became fascinated with Handy Manny. This grew even more as my dad would let him help him out around the house. I knew I needed to change themes - and fast!
First I created the invitations to resemble Handy Manny's shop sign.
and since I couldn't decide which one I liked better, I designed a second version as well!
Since Luca's birthday is the end of October, the weather here can be cold or oddly warm. As much as I would love to be able to plan the weather, I cannot, so the party was held in the gym at the school of our church. This turned out to be a great idea (I hosted his second birthday there 3 weeks ago). There was plenty of room for all the kids to run around and play!
One of the first projects I created were the tablecloths. I purchased paper dropcloths and paint brushes from Home Depot, and Crayola paint. I laid the cloths out on the grass in the yard and with my daughter's help we splattered paint over all the drop cloths. This was a messy and fun activity! If you decide to do this, have an area preferably indoors where the cloths can be laid out to dry overnight. One drop cloth made 2 tablecloths.
Here is the children's craft table with playdough, Handy Manny and tools coloring pages and crayons were added to the table after this wa taken.
When my dad heard the theme for the party, he immediately went to work on the centerpieces - red toolboxes just like Handy Manny's! Each toolbox had Mega Blocks and plastic toys to encourage building - both children and adults got in on the fun! Each child was able to take a tool box home at the end of the party. I have Luca's displayed in his room - it goes with his Cars themed bedroom great too!
I used yellow Caution tape to block off areas that the kids could not play near. On the walls my dad and I traced the characters with a projector and painted them. Also on the walls were pictures of blueprints (how to build a birdhouse, a toolbox, etc) just like in Manny's shop.
Chips, pretzels and other snacks were placed in orange paint trays
The children ranged in age from 1 year to 4 years, so I didn't have any real structure to the party or games, per say. I had music from children's artists playing (Dan Zane, Imagination Movers, Choo Choo Soul, etc) which encouraged dancing and running. Other activities for the children included this hopscotch puzzle mat
a giant bowling set
When each child arrived they received a hard hat to wear for the party.
I made a pull string pinata to resemble the tape measure, Stretch. I prefer pull string pinatas so noone gets whacked in the head and the kids all feel like they opened the pinata together.
Inside were plastic tools and plastic character figures purchased from the Disney Store.
Here is the birthday boy by his cakes and cupcakes that I made. The large red thing was my failed attempt of making a tool box. I started working on the cake too late in the week and really didn't think it through. This year's cake was great!
As you can see, Luca enjoyed his cake!
For the favors, I set up Mr. Lopart's Candy Shop. Guests were invited to fill up their take-out boxes with as many goodies as they wanted. I purchased the candy in bulk from Candy Warehouse and choose novelty and old-fashioned candies. My older cousins, aunts and uncles especially liked the walk down memory lane as they picked out their favorite childhood treats.
The take out boxes had favor tags shaped like hammers attached to them
The tags for the kids had their names on them.
Because Halloween was only the night prior, I had additional children's favors which included playdough, safety googles, a hammer, stickers, and room for their pinata goodies - non candy option.
The party was a success and I had a fabulous time building it!
Hammer Tags can by found in my shop