Idea No.

3531

Tank Engine -4yr- Railroad Lights Décor

Award

Date

March 2002

From

Belinda in Louisa, KY  USA

Special Mention

Thomas Tank Engine

Thomas the Tank Engine 4 yr

We held our 4 year olds birthday at the local community center.  We mailed out traditional invitations about a week before.  For location, we put Shining Time Station and then directions to the actual location. 

DECORATIONS:  Outside the door we had a railroad track leading to the entrance made from brown poster board and helium balloons.  Inside, we used tons of streamers and balloons -light blue, dark blue and red.  I tied pods of balloons together and hung them from the ceiling. 

The guests were greeted by a Welcome to Shining Time Station sign and Arrival Board with our schedule of events.  This listed things we would be doing with names like Artville, Game Junction, Cake Town, etc. 

I also constructed large "railroad lights" for decorations.  I got cardboard cylinders from our local carpet dealer, covered them with black streamer and then used black poster board and red shiny paper to make them look like railroad signals. 

For centerpieces, I took large Styrofoam cups, covered them with Thomas wrapping paper and put a cardboard cutout of Thomas sticking out the top.  We used Thomas table covers and had the Thomas Roundhouse CD playing.  We also had posters of Thomas and a Thomas video playing with the sound muted.

OPENING ACTIVITY:  While the kids were waiting for all the guests to arrive they decorated picture frames with Thomas stickers.  I had made these picture frames ahead of time using Popsicle sticks and painted them royal blue. 

During the party, I took a Polaroid photo of each guest having fun at the party, then had a helper put the photo in the frame, attached a magnet to the back and a sticker that said "Thanks for sharing in my special day!"  We put these in their goody bags when it was time to leave.

GAMES:  We played 3 games.  The prizes were Thomas the Train books. 
1.  Stack the Bricks.  We had cardboard bricks, red and blue, and had the kids take turns stacking them to see who could get the most.  The bricks look just like the ones on the buildings and viaducts that are on the Thomas videos. 

2.  Basketball Game.  We brought our son's basketball goal which we decorated with pictures of Thomas.  Each child had a turn shooting the ball, trying to spell "TRAIN".  They got a letter for every consecutive basket they made.  The one with the most letters, wins. 

3.  Thomas Race.  On the floor I made a railroad track using brown construction paper and black electrical tape.  We used a large model Thomas and the kids took turns seeing how far they could make Thomas go.  He had to stay on the track, within reason, and couldn't crash.  The one with the longest distance won. 

FOOD-  For food we just had hotdogs and all the trimmings.  The kids and adults enjoyed this. 

CAKE- We had a 1/2 sheet cake decorated to look like a train track with a real model of Thomas on the rails.

After eating we opened presents and passed out the goody bags.  In their Thomas Loot Bags, I put 2 coloring books, crayons and a RR key chain.  I got this stuff for free by contacting Operation Lifesaver.  And we also put in a Thomas blowout, some candy and of course their Thomas photo frame to remember the day. 

Everybody had a wonderful time.  The kids, and adults, really enjoyed all of the decorations and every child went home with a smile!!

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