For my son’s third birthday, I decided on a Leo the Truck birthday party theme. We were celebrating his birthday with just our family this year. So we decided to do a Leo the Truck birthday scavenger hunt. If you’re not familiar with Leo the Truck – or Leo the Inquisitive Truck as the show says, it’s a fairly obscure Russian animated children’s show. Leo the Truck builds all kinds of different vehicles and objects in very short – 4 or 5 minute – episodes. Our three year old is obsessed with Leo the Truck. So here are some party ideas for doing a Leo the Truck Birthday party and how to do a Leo the Truck scavenger hunt!
Leo the Truck Show
First, to explain the show. In Leo the Truck, Leo builds other vehicles, objects, and machines. It’s on Prime Video and some are on YouTube. This is a great show for kids because it moves slowly and teaches them to think in a curious way. How are things built and put together? Many kids’ minds already think this way. But if yours doesn’t yet, Leo the Truck is a great way to introduce these concepts. For adults, it’s pretty boring. For kids, it’s very slow and rather soothing. And probably for that reason, it was one of the first shows our toddler really go into. Most kids shows move so fast, that it can be hard for some kids to keep up and process everything that’s going on. So I think with how slowly this show moves, and that he’s building something familiar, our kiddo really took to it.
The show usually starts with showing a picture of what Leo will build today, then the parts arrive and then he methodically starts assembling the item. There is always a point where they’re missing one piece and the British narrator (which my son calls Leo’s mama) says “Let’s go and look for it”. So there’s a bit of interaction of finding the right piece and then they finish the vehicle. The first season was much more basic. In the second season the design and production got a bit better and they also introduced more characters.
Because of this show, my two year old could name all kinds of random parts of vehicles – like the chassis or lifting forks. And continued as another outlet for his interest in all things vehicles, construction and heavy machinery. Truck Tunes (you’re welcome) is another of his favorite shows.
Leo the Truck Characters
- Leo the Inquisitive Truck
- Leo Jr – introduced in the last episode of Season 1 (Ep 26)
- Lifty the Forklift – Leo builds Lifty in Season 2, Episode 6
- Scoop the small excavator – Leo builds “Skoop” in Season 2, Episode 19
- Excavator Max – shows up in Season 2, Episode 13
- The Robots – first robot is built in Season 2, Episode 16
Leo Party Ideas:
Since Leo the Truck is not a mainstream kids shows here in the States, it’s hard to find much related to Leo the Truck. Shows like Peppa Pig or Daniel Tiger have so much merchandise and marketing around it. This is both good and bad. As having a few merchandise items or toys that were Leo related would really get him excited. So instead, I had to get a bit more creative for planning a Leo the Truck party. I started a Pinterest board to collect some Leo party ideas.
- Custom cakes – there seem to be a lot of these in Russian and Portuguese. I ended up just making some rainbow sprinkle cupcakes. He’s 3. He was delighted.
- Birthday episode of Leo the Truck is Season 2, Episode 15
- Duplo construction set – with the blue dump truck is most similar to Leo. He has been pretending this is Leo for about a year now.
- Color pages and maze – I found a few coloring pages as well
- Little Tikes Cozy Truck – how cute would this ride-on truck be as Leo!
Leo the Truck Scavenger Hunt:
Now that you know a bit more about the show, it makes a great scavenger hunt theme. You could really do this with any show that your child is super into. But Leo the Truck is especially suited for a scavenger hunt, because there are so many little facts and information that your child probably remembers, since Leo is always building things! But you could do any show trivia really, like a Paw Patrol scavenger hunt or Peppa Pig or Daniel Tiger. Basically anything they have a lot of retained information from.
First, around 3 years old is probably the earliest that preschoolers can grasp the concept of a treasure hunt and clues. Of course they can be excited about it at an earlier age, but most (obviously not all), won’t be ready for a scavenger hunt until around three. We decided to go for it and see what happened. He not only understood the concept, but got all of the clues correctly! Wow. Here’s how I made the scavenger hunt. And click below to download a printable pdf to write your clues on. Print as many as you need on 8.5×11 paper and cut into 4 pieces.
Step 1: List out your hiding places first
Think of your Leo themed scavenger hunt hiding places first. For example: a pile of blocks, under a slide, a ball, train station, toaster, race track etc. This is made a little easier just by browsing through the episode list of Season 2 especially.
Step 2: Think of trivia from episodes related to the hiding places in step 1
The clues for a scavenger hunt like this are easiest to just think of as show trivia. For example, for the train station hiding place, a clue could be about where does Leo find the demolition crane’s wrecking ball. At the train station. Although my toddler told me that he found it on a steam train. Ok, close enough, the steam train was at the train station. This kid knows everything. So try to think of both hiding places and clues based on the show trivia and toys/items you have in your home where you can hide the next clue at.
Step 3: Write out all your clues on paper (with answer on back in case you forget)
Since our child was turning three, we kept the scavenger hunt short. Here are the hiding places and clues I camp up with. I printed out little cards with Leo character pictures on them so it felt like more of a theme. This small detail really amped up the excitement level for him. I also included one or two hints written on each clue to give me some ideas of something to say if he didn’t get it right away.
- Pile of blocks – Clue: When Leo builds Lifty, where does he find Lifty’s front lift arms?
- Train station – Clue: Where does Leo find The Demolition crane’s wrecking ball?
- Art supply cart – Clue: When Leo builds a parking lot, what color of paint does he look for?
- Race track (his Hot Wheel track) – Clue: What it’s Leo building when he finds 2 remote controllers and 2 cars?
- A ball – Clue: After Leo builds Scoop, what does Max go and look for behind a pile of blocks? Max, Leo and Scoop are playing together!
- Strawberries (Fridge)– Clue: What kind of ice cream does Lifty have in the ice cream machine episode?
- Combine harvester (a toy outside)– Clue: What is Leo building when he look for a reel in the wheat field?
- Under the slide (outside)– Clue: Where does Leo find 3 candles when he’s building a birthday cake? This clue had a gift at the end.
Step 4: Hide the clues!
To make it easier on yourself, start with the last clue. In the above example, put a gift under the slide, and hide the clue #8 paper at the #7 hiding spot (combine harvester toy outside). And then the #7 clue at the #6 hiding spot (fridge). If it helps do a dry run by yourself to see if you hid them correctly. It’s a bit of a mental flip to set up a scavenger hunt sometimes.
Step 5: Enjoy your scavenger hunt!
I’ve seen some birthday scavenger hunts do small gifts along the way. His attention span at three is too short to be able continue the hunt and the experience was a great 3rd birthday gift! We planned to have a gift just at the very end. And then we added one in half way through as we FaceTimed with a grandma for the first half and then took a break to open the gift and say goodbye to grandma. Then we took a video of the second half and shared it with a few family members and it was really fun for them to watch since they couldn’t participate this year. He woke up the next morning and said he wanted to go hunting.
I hope you enjoyed this look at planning a Leo the Truck birthday party!