school bus 3rd birthday party

school bus birthday party 1

Throwing a DIY Birthday party at home is a busload of work. But it’s fun. In fact, it’s pretty much The Most Fun. The party took place two days after Christmas…

A while back I gave our son a choice of theme: school buses or frogs, and pulled up a few images on google. His choice was definitive – school buses. This was not a surprise, considering how much he loves his little toy school bus. He’d vroom it around our house pretty much every waking minute, if I didn’t hide it sometimes – i.e. sorry Bud, I guess you’re just going to have to play with this puzzle. He doesn’t ride a bus to school, but he seems to have an uncanny school bus radar; when we’re in the car, he can spy them from a mile away.

school bus birthday invitation

(invitation designed by Rob)

I was pleased with this choice, mostly since I liked the idea of building a big cardboard school bus, like one I spied online. We have been stockpiling an embarrassing amount of cardboard in our shed for a while and it came in very handy for this.Β Hats off to our babysitter Emily who constructed it (wow), and to Rob who painted it (wow). All I can take credit for on this was the idea, and it exceeded my expectations, big time. Here it is in the studio with some of Rob’s artwork in the background, meant to represent clouds:

cardboard school bus

The kids immediately piled in:

cardboard school bus 2

cardboard school bus 3

I was quite tickled that, as soon as we walked into the studio, a friend who is a cantor and professional singer was inspired to spontaneously start singing The Wheels on the Bus and we all joined in for a several rounds…YESSS!

I had a last-minute idea to make a Pin the Wheels on the Bus game out of poster board. I wasn’t sure if three year-olds would go for the blindfold, but they “rolled” with it just fine. Some of the older kids nailed it…(I was later informed that I could have spun the kids around a little more to more fully disorient them, but I just didn’t have the heart. )

Pin the Wheels on the School Bus

Pin the Wheels on the School Bus 2

We also put up some paper so the kids could color their own school buses – I was impressed with what they did.

bus craft Collage

I was very excited to attempt a bus cake with donut wheels. I’m new to this cake decorating thing (and by the way, the cake was a mix from a box), but I felt we could kind of pull this off, just like we somehow pulled off a zebra cake two years ago and a rocket ship cake last year. I also made stop light cupcakes with M&Ms as the lights. Voila:

School Bus birthday cake

This guy seemed to enjoy it:


Here is the only pic including the three of us that day, kind of an action shot as Daddy lights the candles, I am mid-word and our son is holding onto my necklace for dear life (note to self: try to get a real family pic by the cake next year):


Here is the other food we served, including bagels and the Tower-o-Quiche:


And, I would be remiss to not include this Mama Sock Selfie:


As many of you know, our son’s birthday is also the day that my mom passed away, now two years ago, so it is an emotional time. My mom threw great birthday parties for my brother and I, and my desire to try and continue the tradition (despite how busy the month of December is) is my attempt to be as cool, fun, and creative as she was. So thank you, Mom, and thank you to our friends and family who attended and made the day so special.

Our boy: he’s THREE!


Thanks for reading and thank you to Emily for several of these photos. For more home tome, follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

school bus party fun

10 replies

  1. What a fun party for Ian! I’m sure he had a great time with all his friends. Great job on the cake, Joc!

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