I can’t believe my baby has turned 2! It’s crazy! I felt like I had a lot more time to absorb Arjun turning 1 than I have absorbing him turning 2. The start of terrible twos has definitely been challenging but I’m looking forward to watching my bestest little bud flourish and grow and find his own feet. Incase you missed it, you can read my post; to my son on your second birthday.
Given Arjun is pretty mad about building blocks, diggers and tractors, coupled with the fact that our house is a building site at the moment with a brand new garage being built and an extension (eek!!), there was no question about this year’s theme! If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m an absolute sucker for party planning. I love it so much and as small as I try and keep things, I always manage to get carried away!
I learnt so much from Arjun’s first birthday. I found the actual day really stressful as he was teething and a little grumpy. This year I was so much more relaxed and just let things be. We all had such a great time – especially Arjun.
Here are our party details:
This year I decided to send out text invites instead of hard copy ones. I figure every time I’m sent an invite, it always gets misplaced with the lunatic toddler that is Arjun! I always find it much easier to have things to hand on my phone via text or email. I absolutely loved them!
Theming is really important to me. However, this year I wanted to be more sensible with our money and try and use what we already had. I was quite pleased with myself although I do wish we hadn’t needed a marquee! I felt like we had no choice as the weather was turbulent the few days leading up to the party and I didn’t want to risk a downpour during the party. We always hire our marquees from Firstklass Marquees and are never disappointed! I decided to keep the marquee decor very minimal compared to last year with fabric draping on the roof and a black carpet.
Given we had to purchase large metal fencing as required by building controls for our extension, I decided to use this as a basis for sprucing the garden up. I purchased hazard tape in abundance and used this to cover all the fencing and also purchased black and yellow bunting. I decided to print large tools to add a splash of colour and also scattered them around. The road signs were made at home printed at home. This décor was pretty cost effective and it looked good too.
I used the same company that I used for Arjun’s first birthday for the majority of the balloons – Balloon Kingdom. I didn’t go as crazy as last year, but balloons always help to fill gaps and have a great impact. I got a few giant cones made out of balloons which we scattered around.
For the table décor, I used plain orange, black, silver and yellow plastic disposable table covers and placed a trio of balloons on each using a cone as the weight. We purchased the cones from Poundland (4 for £1!).
I also had giant diggers and tractors made out of balloons – they weren’t cheap but I loved how they added another fun element to the décor. I used a company called ContraBand Events and would highly recommend them.
For the kid’s tables, I used construction themed table covers and printed colouring sheets at home. I was definitely a little more savvy this time (sort of).
For the entrance, I had a sign printed at Vista Print which said “SITE ENTRANCE” and placed a giant tyre that we had on the ground. I also used two trestles at the entrance and tied two balloon bouquets to them.
Cake table décor and cake
The cake backdrop is always important to me. I decided to use a metal fencing with a black backdrop to bring out the detail on the backdrop. I purchased a photography backdropEdit.
Instead of the standard hazard tape, here I used “Caution birthday zoneEdit” tape. The beautifully creative birthday sign was made by my sister again this year – she has since started her own little business making personalised signs, drop me a message if you’d like her contact details. I thought last years was good, but I loved this year’s even more!
Preetam drew the tool cut outs on A3 thick card and we painted them at home. I made the road signs were made and printed at home. I love how personal the backdrop was. I also had two large balloon pillars that Susan made at either side of the cake table.
The construction themed cake was ordered from Rozay Cakes again – my go to girl for all our cakes. Not only does she go out of her way to create beautiful designs, she also pays so much attention to detail – notice how both this years and last years cakes included clouds!! The cake also tasted amazing – we went for a traditional birthday cake for the top tier with buttercream and jam and an Oreo cake for the bottom tier. I purchased mini cone candles for Arjun to blow out.
This year we decided to let Arjun blow out his birthday cake with his little buddies and cousins now that he’s a big boy. He was really shy and Preetam and I ended up jumping in! Needless to say, he wasn’t shy to tuck in!
If you read my blog posts on Arjun’s birthday last year, you’ll know that my most favourite part is theming the kids food table. I absolutely love it! I purchased colourful plastic table covers and table skirting online to cover the tables. Instead of digger themed plates and cups, I went for vibrant construction coloured ones.
Again for the décor, I used a metal fence panel and draped the remainder of the photography backdrop behind it. I used hazard tape and customised homemade food road signs. I also purchased inflatable road signs which I absolutely loved! I laid out the food and labelled the food using construction materials. I made the signs at home out of orange and yellow card by making mini horses. Here’s the kid’s food menu along with the names we used:
“Traffic lights” Fruit skewers using an oasis covered in hazard tissue paper.
“Washers” Mini pizzas
“Tools” Cheese and jam sandwiches using cookie cutters
“Bolts” Smiley faces:
“Beams” Vegetable fingers
“Boulders” Quorn nuggets
“Rope” Vegetable sticks
“Breeze Blocks” Cheese and onion mini rolls
“Paint Pots” Jelly
“Nuts” Savoury cheese biscuits
“Lumber” Wafer biscuits
“Spare Tyres” Chocolate mini donuts
“Thanks for your hard days work, please take your days wage” Chocolate coins
I used a combination of orange, yellow and silver platters, Arjun’s toy diggers, wicker baskets, painted cardboard boxes, cones, a “junk food skip”, and garage storage compartments to display the food. I was thrilled with how it turned out!
As it was a construction themed party, I decided to set up a little construction zone for the kids. As the kids arrived, they were given a hard hat with their name label. The construction zone included:
• A tent with tunnel: I managed to pick this up for a bargain and we’ve kept it in the garden since as Arjun didn’t have a tunnel before.
• Tyres: We used old tyres as part of the display
• Breeze blocks: my sister managed to get lots of boxes from work which they (with the assistance of Arjun) painted so they resembled breeze blocks for the kids to build with.
• Building blocks: I hired giant colourful lego pieces from Best Bounce for the kids to build with. Arjun really enjoyed playing with these
• Ball pool: we hired a ball pool from Best Bounce
• Ride on toys: again, we hired these from Best Bounce
• Building bricks: I purchased a construction set from TTS which included foam building bricks. Although the set was quite expensive (£179.99), I thought it would be a lovely keepsake for Arjun to play with in the garden while the building work is going on in our house. He’s all about that at the moment!
• Cement mixer: again this came with the TTS set
• Wheel barrow: again this came with the TTS set and I also purchased a few extra that were on offer at Argos (2 for £15)
• Sandpit: the tray came with the TTS set and we filled it with existing sand toys we had. I purchased a few sand mills for the children to play with. The kids enjoyed putting sand in to the cement mixer and wheelbarrows.
• Bosch tool bench and other tools: we placed Arjun’s existing tools and tool bench in the garden as part of the construction zone.
• Cones: the plain orange ones were from poundland and the colourful ones were from here. Arjun really loves playing with the cones even now!
• Fencing and road signs
• Playdough construction: I purchased playdough and playdough toys from Tiger and set up on a little table
I hired a large adult assault course bouncy castle for the grown ups from Best Bounce, however Arjun probably spent the most time on it! He is such an adrenaline junkie like his daddy! I was so proud of him for going for it. I loved seeing him enjoy himself so much – it filled my heart with so much joy.
I decided to have an entertainer again this year but to be honest probably could have gone without as the kids were amused by the bouncy castle and construction zone! I don’t think we’ll bother with an entertainer next year – or I’ll be calling on my sister who is a nursery nurse! Ha! I had asked for a Peppa Pig which was a big mistake as despite how much he loves the diddy little piggy on TV, she wasn’t so diddy in real life and he was terrified! Oops.
To keep the adults entertained, I also decided to have an in-house milkshake stand “Build a Milkshake” – again I got the banner printed from Vista Print after designing it myself on good ol Paint! Preetam built the milkshake stand and my sisters and their friends kindly painted it for me.
I ordered adhesive chalk paper and a chalk pen to make the menu sign – my sister in law used her artistic ability to put it together!
Given the ice cream van was such a hit last year, we called him back again this year. I also decided to introduce a little kid’s table which included sprinkles and sweets for the older children. I ordered a mini cardboard ice cream van and little paper cups and filled them with sweets. Again, I got a banner printed which said “Build An Icecream”. The adults and children alike enjoyed the unlimited ice cream and even got the chance to make their own!
Instead of catered food this year, I decided to go with the cheaper option of calling on relatives for help. I ordered pizza from outside, my mother in law made her famous dokra (savoury cake) and gulab jaman (indian sweet), my mum made her aloo papdi chaat and got samosas, my aunt made her delicious pasta and our lovely neighbours who are caterers took care of the paneer, chips, salad and naan! I hired the same waitresses that we hire at all our functions to help manage things on the day – it made all the difference. I didn’t have to worry about a thing!
In addition to Arjun’s birthday cake, I also got two giant cakes from Costco for a bargain price of £11 each and they fed 45 people each! They also tasted delicious!!
I kept the party bags simple this year although they cost about the same as last! Instead of themed bags/boxes, I opted for plain yellow and black paper bags and customised them myself by including a strip of hazard tape.
I wanted the contents to be useful and something the children could actually play with for longer than 30 seconds! I opted for a bottle of paint and stamping blocks (something one of my friends has done before and it worked really well!) and beautiful handmade chocolate tractors/diggers that were personalised by the lovely Marie from Love Little Treats. I always like to include a personal touch and I loved the little gift tags that Marie created.
Compared to last year, our outfits were an absolute doddle this year! I decided to get all the immediate family matching t shirts. I purchased the iron on transfers from ETSY and made them at home myself. I wanted something fun and this was perfect!
The roles I went with (in a very random order!) were:
Arjun: Birthday Boss
Mummy: Planner (very apt!)
Nana Ji: Foreman
Dada Ji: Foreman
Nani Ji: Designer
Dadi Ji: Designer
Indy Chacha: Electrician
Jas Fufar Ji: Structural Engineer
Mane Pua: Architect
Harv Masi: Inspector
Goov Masi: Operator
For Arjun, I purchased a pair of tools Fred and Noah leggings which were perfect for the day – they were comfy and the design fitted in so well!
All in all, we had such a fun filled day! I definitely got to enjoy this year a lot more as I was so much more relaxed! The Nanis and Dadis even managed a little bhangra session at the end (obviously!)!
A huge thank you to all those that helped us put the party together – my darling sisters, all our family and our extended family – our friends and a big thank you to those that came and celebrated with us!x
Incase you missed last year’s Jungle themed party posts, you can find them here: