Race Car Birthday Party

Invitations
On white paper, print a black and white checkered border and place an image of a red race car at the top. Add this wording, “Race on over and don't be late, (child’s name)’s turning (child’s age), and we have to celebrate! Drive to the (your last name) Speedway (your address) and date and time R.S.V.P.

Decorations
Purchase checkered flags and place them around your walkway. Make a sign for the front door that says "Welcome Race Fans” and place a checkered flag on either side. Inside, place more checkered flags and NASCAR pictures on the walls and decorate with black, white and red balloons and streamers. You can also use a stoplight color scheme with green, red and yellow balloons and streamers.

For the tables, use black and white checkered tablecloths, and black and white tableware (plates, cups, napkins and plasticware). Or use stoplight colors with red, green and yellow tableware. Make a raceway down the center with black strips of tape with cars on top and balloons tied to the cars.

Games and Activities
Tire Changing Relay—Take two cardboard boxes and punch four holes for the tires. Place small dowels through the holes, with the dowels stick out enough to place the paper plates (tires) on them. Color 2 sets of plates for each team (one set blue and one set red) and make holes in the centers. Place one of the sets on each box. Divide the kids into two teams, line up each team and give the first kid in the line the second pair of tires. Have the first kid in each line change the sets of tires. When he’s done, he gives the box and spare tires to the next kid in line, and so on. The first team who finishes first wins.

Red Light, Green Light—Set the game up by making a starting line with tape on one side of the room. One player plays the “stop light” and the rest of the kids have to try and touch him/her. To play, the kids stand behind the starting line and the stop light stands about 15 feet away from the starting line. The stop light faces away from the other players and says “green light”, at which point the kids move towards the stop light. At any point, the stop light can say “red light” and turn around. If any of the kids are caught moving after this, they are out. The game resumes when the stop lght turns back around and says green light”. The stop light wins if all the kids are out before anyone is able to touch him/her. Otherwise, the first player to touch the stop light wins the game.

Race Car Obstacle Course. Take cardboard boxes, remove the bottom flaps and decorate them like cars. Set up an obstacle course with orange cones, small pieces of furniture, etc. Have the kids race to the finish line.

Filling Station Relay—Before the game, set up 2 buckets full of water, 2 empty buckets and 2 large plastic cups. Divide the kids into two teams. Line up each team and have each player stand at arm’s-length from each other. Place one bucket full of water at one end of each team and place an empty bucket at the other end. Each team hands the cups of water from player to player. They have to move all the water from the full bucket to the empty bucket, using the cups to pass the water down the line. When you yell “Go!,” teams start to pass the cups of water. The first team to move all of their water wins.

Raceway Obstacle Course—This game is best played in a large open area. Create a raceway with tape, chalk, etc to mark boundaries. Place some non-breakable items such as balls and toys that will represent other cars on the raceway. How to play the game: Pair up the children. One child plays the car and the other will be the driver. The driver’s job is to guide the car (blindfolded) down the raceway without running into the other cars (non-breakable items). The first driver stands at the beginning of the raceway. The driver can stand anywhere along the raceway, but the best position is behind the car. This will prevent confusion when they use the commands right and left. Once the pilot is blindfolded, the other kids can throw more items on the raceway to make the game more challenging. After the kids have added the extra “cars”, the driver guides the car down the raceway using commands like, “Take  three steps forward”, One step right”, Three steps to the left”. If the child crashes, the next team takes a turn. The team who makes it the furthest on the raceway without crashing wins.

Car Race—Make a starting line and a finish line on the floor with tape. Blow up a balloon for each child and add some airplane stickers on the balloons for even more fun. Count down from three and when you say go, each child tries to cross the finish line by tossing or hitting their “car.”

Tire Beanbag Throw—Stand a tire on its side and have the kids throw beanbags or balls through it, allowing three tries for each child.

Pin the Wheel on the Race Car—Take a large picture of a car. Cut a tire out of construction paper for each child, write the names on the backs and add double-sided tape. 

Decorate a Car Craft—Purchase wooden cars and give out paint or markers and stickers. Or, make paper plate cars by cutting plates in half, have kids color them and add doors, windows, wheels, numbers and vanity plates with construction paper.
 
Vanity Plate Craft—Purchase foam sheets and cut them in the size of license plates. Let the kids decorate them with various foam shapes, glue and stickers. It’s fun to get alphabet shapes or stickers so they can make their own personalized plates.

Party Food
Burgers or Pizza Wheels (on bagels or English Muffins)
Race car hot dogs with carrot slices or sliced olives attached to the buns with toothpicks for wheels. Wheel-shaped pasta salad.
Car shaped cookie cutters for sandwiches, cookies, Jell-O

Favor Bags
Party favor bag—Use black or white gift bags and place race car stickers on them. Include favors such as: Hot Wheels cars, flashlight keychain, a checkered race flag, race car stickers, Hot Wheels fruit snacks