Somehow my little guy is now three! Time is so bittersweet as a mom. One one hand, time flies- wasn’t he just born?! On the other, every day feels similar and that he’ll always be home with me- playing at the park, racing cars, and being my little buddy. Sometimes I forget that he’ll actually grow up and I’m sure trying to cherish all of the time we get to play together.
To celebrate his birthday this year, I decided to throw him a garbage truck birthday. He adores garbage trucks and probably owns 5-7 different sized ones. They are his favorite so I ran with it! First up, here’s a gift guide of items I think any garbage truck loving kid would be super excited to get:
garbage truck gift guide
Recycle Truck. This was my son’s big present this year and he loves it. This thing is huuuuuuge, but so fun. It comes with two cans that attach to the back and can be dumped. The doors open, the horn honks, the lights work- it is very interactive and I 100% recommend it. I wish it wasn’t so huge, but it is his favorite!
Garbage truck coloring truck. If your little one loves coloring and garbage trucks, this gift is for you! It’d be great to include with crayons and then do coloring together.
Garbage Truck pajamas I think the stripes are adorable and the simple garbage truck is cute. If you have to wear pajamas, might as well have some with your favorite vehicle on them!
Bruder cans and dumpster This was a gift from my sister to Don. Miraculously they work with his big recycle can (#1)! Since Don has so many garbage trucks, it is fun for him to have a few more cans. It definitely makes play time more fun!
Wood recycle truck. Sometimes I’m a mom who loves wood toys because they just look so much prettier. Its interactive plus cute- a win win if you aren’t into plastic toys.
“Garbage day is my favorite day” t-shirt. Every garbage truck lover little kid needs this shirt! How cute would this be to wear every week on garbage day?!
Blippi Machines CD (including the garbage truck song). If your little one hasn’t seen Blippi’s garbage truck video, you are missing out! The song is super catchy and shows the parts of a garbage truck. This CD includes it and would make a great gift!
I am a garbage truck book. This little board book is $3 and highly rated. I have bought it and can’t wait to read it to my son! We read before every nap and night time so its nice to have books about things that he is interested in!
Play Doh garbage truck. Don’t all little kids love Play Doh?! If your’s does too, this little garbage truck comes with a dumpster that will dump the trash, a shovel for the garbage, and a little stamp that makes the Play Doh look like little fish- so fun!
Monster Garbage Truck. A few months ago, I was thrifting for home decor stuff. My son was with me so I let him choose one toy from the $1 bin. He choose this Monster Garbage Truck! It soon became his favorite toy! On our recent move it got left behind and he still asks about it everyday- oops. I honestly feel terrible that I left it!
This year, I went with a really budget friendly ($8) garbage truck invitation! I picked out the design on Etsy, the seller personalized it for me (that was complimentary and came with the price of the invitation). Lastly, I printed it (with a picture of my son on the back) and mailed them out. So easy and affordable!
diy garbage truck pinata
This year, since we are living in sunny Florida, we figured that we might as well have a pool party outside! Because I knew that would be the main activity, I only planned for a pinata. I searched for an affordable option and when I couldn’t find it, I made my own. It took a long time, but was simple to do.
- cardboard from a box
- masking tape
- tissue paper in white, green, black, and silver
- elmer’s glue
- a Waste Management logo (I just printed one off Google images)
This project was free besides the $5 pack of tissue paper I bought! Oh and the candy I put inside!
Step one- cut out the shape of your garbage truck on two pieces of cardboard. Use thinner cardboard from a cereal box and cut out strips (this will connect the front and the back of the pinata).
Step two- tape the pieces together. I used painters tape and some box tape and shouldn’t have because it didn’t work too well at holding it together and was hard to cover up- use masking tape! Make sure to leave a hole at the top for adding in the candy. This is where you will attach the string too.
Step three- cut your fringe. You’ll need mostly green for the body of the garbage truck, some white for the cab, and a little black for the tires. Cut your tissue paper in 4″ strips, fold them in half and cut almost to the top.
Step 4- glue your fringe onto the cardboard body. I didn’t actually have glue at home so I made my own by mixing flour and water-it worked nicely! I then used a paint brush to apply it thinly. Start at the bottom of the truck and work your way up. Try to space the strips evenly to make for a nicer presentation. Don’t bother putting on tissue paper where the Waste Management logo will go.
Step 4- add some silver pieces for the window of the garbage truck. Next, throw in the candy, attach a string for hanging, tape closed, and finish the fringe over the opening. You are done!!! Side note- I have heard of people buying a school bus pinata, taking off the fringe, and adding their own. That’ll add about $20 to the project and, in my opinion, isn’t that much easier, but I did want to put that option out there!
For the birthday cake, I knew that I wanted to make it look like a garbage truck dumping out trash. I figured I could take a plain cake from the grocery store (I ordered one ahead of time) and add some custom details. Here’s the cake when I picked it up from the store- its a little sad looking:
My husband grabbed my some candy that would work great for adding “trash” to the cake- Nerds, Bottle Caps, Swedish Fish, Worms and Runts!
To assemble the cake, I first mixed some chocolate pudding with Oreos and spooned that on the cake. I added a cute mini garbage truck. On top of the “mud” I added the candy. Lastly, I placed some cute Happy Birthday candles on the cake! It was easy and fun to decorate. Most of all, my son adored it!
For the party, I wanted the decorations outside for the pool party. We have a little pavilion that I knew would be perfect! I started off by draping the ceiling with teal and white drapes. This cost me $10, but was time consuming and didn’t quite capture my vision- I could have done without this detail.
The detail I am really happy with is the balloon garland! I got this from the Etsy seller Magnolia Bloom Boutique. She has a genius way to make balloon garlands- you tell her the length of garland you want and the colors of balloons and she ships you everything you need to make it! I went with the 10′ length of balloon garland.
The kit comes with a balloon pump to easily blow the balloons up and a plastic strip with holes in it to poke the balloons through. Plus there are instructions to make it fool proof. It took some time to put together, but it was easy to do! I also got the cute gold 3 balloon from her! To attach the balloon garland to the wall and the gold 3, I used command hooks.
I wish there wasn’t weird gaps in the plywood wall behind the balloons, but I was really happy with how everything came together! It was definitely festive!
The cake was the centerpiece of the dessert table and I added some mini party hats for decorations and fun 😉 ! They were on clearance at Target for $2!
In front of the dessert table, I used a small table for the food (there was lots of pizza once everyone arrived). This had dessert, plates, flat ware, drinks, cups and that cute mini gold 3 pinata.
I like choosing color schemes for parties- this one was grey, dark green, mint, and gold. I thought marble paper plates and napkins would be a fun textural way to bring the colors into the party. And can you believe that those mint flatware are plastic?!
For the food, I choose food that would go with the theme. Compost fruit, sewage slime, dirt pudding cups, and spare tires (donuts). Not pictured, moldy cookies. I made my own food labels and have them available below for free download!
To make my own mini cake stands, I put bowls upside down. The “moldy cookies” were seasonal sugar cookies! Don’t ask me how many of those I ate 😉
The dirt pudding cups are a combo of jello, Oreos, and the candy I put on the cake- easy peasy!
Of course, donuts for spare tires!
In all of the food, I placed my free printables with a toothpick in the food for some festivity!
If you’d like these free printables for your party, just put your information in below and they will be automatically emailed to you! While I was cutting these out, Don wanted to play with them SO badly! So for the fact that Don was obsessed was enough reason for me to spend 5 minutes making them :). For your convenience, I left the labels blank so you can write in whatever you’d like on them.
To download the free printable, just put your name and email in the form below. You’ll get an email right away with how to download. Plus you’ll be subscribed to my weekly newsletter! If you’re already subscribed, go here to download.
A few months ago, we moved across the country from Utah to Florida. My sister and her family decided to come visit the same week as Don’s birthday. Then my little sister and her fiance also planned a trip at the same time. So my mom decided to come down too! The party was when everyone could come down all at once and it was such a blast!
Don had so much fun and I think he felt so special! My favorite part was when we sang to him and his eyes just lit up! Oh, I love that little boy!
The pinata was the perfect activity for a range of ages. As you can see, the party wasn’t picture perfect- lol! But the food was good, the company was great, and we had so much fun in the pool! Happy Birthday Don- I hope you know how much I love you!
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