I love that you can thrill young children with just about anything. You can take an interest or hobby and create a whole party around it. You can send an invitation in the mail making them feel special. You can even keep the party simple and they will still love it and have a great time.
. . . AND if Grandma is throwing the party, you get to sit back and enjoy it with your kids!
Last month, my kids received invitations to a Thomas the Train luncheon over at Grandma’s house. Not only were they thrilled to receive the mail, but they were excited to head over to Grandma’s for a fun and informal party about Thomas.
You may remember that my son loves trains. He chugs through stores, creates imaginative stories for his toy engines and knows more information than I do about any kind of train. It is his #1 hobby right now and I just love it. (Do your kids have anything they are completely in to?)
The guest list for the luncheon was simple: my kids, myself and my mom. My mom bought Thomas the Train party invitations and used the extra invitations to cut from for the front door and table decorations.
She set the doorbell to ring “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” Gotta love it!
Both kids had a Thomas placemat which they were able to take home as the favor. Notice that for the other two place settings, my mom placed an invitation under the glass plate. Clever and cute. She also used modified invitations as place cards.
We brought every Thomas the Train we own . . . which I think was 5 when you count the small take ‘n go sizes, the regular sizes and the Thomas train flashlight.
They played two games. They were simple, but my kids loved them. The first was train racing on our old tracks (look familiar to anyone?). My mom tucked the flexible track in the couch and the kids sent the trains flying down the hill.
The second game was simply Hide and Seek with two eggs of silly putty (the other favor) and the trains. The kids left the room and my mom hid the silly putty or trains. When my mom yelled, “All Aboard,” the kids raced back in the room and began searching.
It was a fun party and the kids loved it! (Thanks, Mom!)
What kind of party can you plan where your kids are the only guests? Keep it simple and have fun!
My son love trains! He loves his Thomas Trains and Chuggington! But one of my best investments wasn’t something I bought in the store. It was a simple cardboard box made into train tunnels, caves and roads for his cars. The best part? You can most likely make it with what is already in your house. No special skills needed!
* * Let me first say that the black squiggles were done with my computer’s paint program because I was unable to obtain permission to use the copyrighted Chuggington images from Disney on the blog. You’ll see why later.
For some odd reason, my son calls this “The Sports Enough Tunnel.” I don’t have the faintest idea of why, but I’m guessing he heard something to that effect on one of the train shows. So out of ease, I have started calling it that too.
How I Made the “Sports Enough Tunnel”
1. This box was given to me exactly as is (open bottom and slotted opening in the top). It really was the perfect set up because the kids can reach down inside to maneuver the trains. I started by cutting out the tunnels on each side.
2. I used black electrical tape to create the roads and Wite-Out Correction Tape for the dashed white lines. The Disney CARS are pull-back, so they go flying off the road (pretty cool!). The red electrical tape I added was just for fun. Safety Update: I have since found out from a wonderful reader that PVC electrical tape has lead in it! Use Black Duct Tape for the roads and other colors for added detail.
3. I printed coloring pages from Disney Junior (go here for the Chuggington printables), resized them in my scanner and then traced them onto the box. A fine tip gel pen (I used these pens) and a lot of patience is all you need! Even though the images are printables, they are still copyrighted, hence my squiggles for the blog pictures.
4. Out came the crayons and markers to draw and color tunnels, caves, trees and more. Each time I added a new feature, my son was elated!
I can’t even tell you the hours spent playing with this BOX. It has been better than I could have imagined . . . and really, that was all it took . . . a little imagination.
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Sweet Boy will be turning 5 this year and even though his birthday is months away, I have started searching for train cake ideas. (This is what happens when you have a background in Wedding & Event planning . . . you start dreaming and planning six months prior!)
Well, I was checking out my dear friend’s personal blog and caught a glimpse of this Thomas the Train cake that she made for her son’s third birthday. I love it! She did an awesome job decorating and it is not to complicated in the build process. This cake is sure to thrill any little boy! The rocks for the cave and the border are rock candies from Walmart. Don’t they look real?
I think I found a winner!
You can check out other cakes I like on my Pinterest board or while you’re there,