Ever since we visited our local Fire Station a year and a half ago, my son has been obsessed with all things firefighting. It was a given when he turned 3 that we would have a FireFighter themed birthday party for him.
In this special 4-part series, we will be sharing how we celebrated Onetime’s special day in a hands-on way!
Firefighter Birthday Ideas
In today’s post, you will find out how to make a cardboard firetruck for pretend party play.
Click here to find other awesome hands-on play activities we did including a fire fighting felt board, firefighter themed playdough, and a firefighting themed rice sensory bin.
Click here to find instructions for the arts and crafts projects that we did: open-ended firefighting-inspired painting, and a fire-themed lantern.
Lastly, check out our special firefighting cookie and cupcake recipes, along with ideas for favours.
Firefighting Party Favours
To encourage some good old-fashioned pretend play, each guest was given a firefighting hat, “hose” and badge when they arrived. As you can see, our hoses were just balloon pumps. We found red ones at the dollar store and they were perfect!
How to Make a Cardboard Firetruck
But what good is a FireFighter without a truck? So – I made one!
Cardboard Firetruck Supplies:
- 2 extra-large rectangular prism shaped moving boxes (we got ours from Home Depot)
- Red and silver duct tape
- Red and black acrylic paint
- Yellow construction paper
How to Make a Firetruck
- To make the body of the truck, I first assembled the two boxes together into 3 dimensions.
- The front “cab” box was then left with one end closed and one open. The open end was placed on the floor and the closed end became the roof of the cab.
- The box for the back of the truck was left with both ends open and extended. I attached the two boxes using red duct tape.
- Next, starting at the back of the truck, I cut the top of the horizontal box right down the middle (heading towards the cab) and folded the sides down to reinforce the sides of the truck. I then added extra tape on the inside of the truck bed to attach it to the cab box. I also added tape to keep the sides down.
- To finish the truck body, I cut out a swinging door on either side of the front cab, windows in the doors and front, and a door leading from the back of the truck to the cab.
Decorating the Truck
Onetime helped me make the truck and he had a great time decorating the inside with a marker to draw all the dials, steering wheel, buttons etc.
After our truck was built, I painted it using acrylic paints. First, I did a coat of white to cover all the words/logos on the boxes and then a couple coats of red acrylic.
We used silver duct tape to make the stripe, and cut out black construction paper circles for the wheels. We made the lights with circles of gold glitter fun foam and put a silver glitter fun foam license plate on the back.
For the light on top, we took an empty see-through plastic container that we bought 100 blank CDs in and covered it with pieces of tissue paper using glue. Inside, we placed one of those little electric candles that you get around Halloween for putting inside pumpkins.
I know this sounds like a lot of work (and it was) – but I really enjoy doing this kind of thing and Onetime was involved in the whole process and got a lot out of it.
If you didn’t want to go to all the work of painting, it would be easy enough to cover the truck with large pieces of red construction paper instead. I don’t think kids really need all the glitz to enjoy the truck.
Driving the Cardboard Truck
At the party, the firetruck was a huge success!
All the kids piled in and drove themselves to emergency after emergency! It was LOUD and fun! And they didn’t stop moving – as you can see from my pictures!
It was SO worth it to make this truck for the party. It was the highlight of our celebration, and Onetime played with the truck for weeks before his party and after (until I grudgingly put it out to recycle!)
That’s it for today. Hope I’ve inspired you to create your own firetruck at home for hours of fun fire fighting pretend play!