Ever since Ruben's preschool took a field trip to the fire station, he has been very interested in acting out fire scenarios at home. Although it isn't at all difficult to find a good preschool-sized firefighter costume, we didn't have one, so over the past several weeks I have sorted out a firefighter costume for him with things from around the house. He wears jeans and a matching jean jacket with yellow electrical tape stripes on it, black boots, and a hat made from: newspaper, packing tape, a piece of red origami paper and the sticker that they handed out at the fire station. His tools include an axe (spatula), hose (piece of rope wound on an old 16mm film reel), and phone for dialing 911 (stickers on the wall with numbers written on them). We wave red bandannas to pretend there's a fire and he comes right to the rescue. When the whole family gets in on it, he LOVES it.
For his birthday, we took it all to the park, and invited two of his friends and their parents to get in on the action. We acted out the fire rescue scenario over and over, including trips to the hospital (picnic table) where we were treated for broken limbs and smoke inhalation. He had requested a cake "shaped like a house on fire with snow on the roof," so I made a banana cake with cream cheese frosting and topped it with little people for him to rescue.
Just before serving, I poured some heated rum around the base of the cake and lit it on fire for a little flambé excitement. (It sort of worked, but would probably have been more dramatic in a dark room.) It did soak the bottom of the cake with rum, so that part was for the parents, and the kids got the top layer. I'm pretty sure that Ruben loved everything about his little party.