Idea No.

19571

Thomas Tank Engine Party -2yr- Ticket Invite

Award

Date

March 2009

From

Kim in Show Low, AZ, USA

Special Mention

Thomas Tank Engine

For my son's 2nd birthday we had a Thomas the train party.  I used many of the wonderful ideas from this website, but wanted to share with you some of the special touches I added.

Invitation:  I used red and yellow card stock to make an invitation that resembled a train ticket.  I stuck the ticket into what resembled the envelopes that airline tickets come in by folding a piece of paper just wider and a few inches longer than the ticket so as it made a pocket.  On the front of the pocket I printed a picture of Thomas that had the words Two Two" rising out of his smokestack in alpha clouds font.

Decorations:  I made the front of our house look like a train station by hanging a foam core sign with our last name above the front door.  On the side of the porch was a track # sign displaying the # 2.  Since we have a gravel driveway my husband used old 2x4's to make a length of train track running in front of our steps. At the end of the tracks sat a troublesome truck I painted on a large box then set on our garden wagon.  The truck was later used for a bean bag (coal) toss and for transportation.

To keep guests safe as they crossed the tracks we made a crossing signal by attacking a foam core arm to our coat rack with a foam core R.R. crossing X at the top.  A string was attached to the arm so that we could pull it up and down while playing the crossing bell sound effect from one of my son's toy trains. 

I made our living room resemble the inside of a train station by hanging posters I painted showing scenes from Sodor with the words "Sodor Railway" printed on them.  I made a train schedule on a small bulletin board where I listed various engine friends of Thomas' their destination and their current situation. 

For example:  Gordon Brendam Docks delayed.  I listed Thomas as headed to Erick's party and the only train that was right on time.  I also set around a few empty suitcases.  To keep kids out of our bedroom I painted a silhouette of Sir Topham Hat on white poster board and hung it at window height on the door with a name plate reading Controller: Sir Topham Hat.  I also made a felt top hat that hung on a coat rack near the door.

Right as you came in I had a ticket booth set up and employed my older niece to act as the conductor.  On a spread sheet I printed out a "passenger list" that had the name of each guest their address and a blank spot to write the gift they brought later at present time.  This paper not only served as a fun way to get the train them rolling but was very helpful when it came time to send out thank you notes. 

As each guest approached the ticket booth my niece would check them off on the list.  She then would hand the children their engineer cap and red bandanna.  If they brought a purse or diaper bag she wrote their name on a tag that we attached to the bag with string.  My nephew (the porter) then took their bag and placed it in one baggage car and the gift they brought in another. 

I made the baggage cars by wrapping large boxes with brown paper and drawing evenly spaced horizontal lines around them to look like boards.  I used duct tape on the corners and top of these boxes.  I made a track out of duct tape that the two freight cars sat on. 

My kitchen was decorated in red blue and yellow balloons and streamers.  We had a Thomas tablecloth and I also used Thomas fabric to drape over the cake table.  For a centerpiece I used a shoe box and an oatmeal box to make a Thomas engine.  Out of his smokestack I twisted white pipe cleaners into a curly #2.  I used a second small box at the back for a tender and filled it with chocolate covered candies.

Activities/Games:  We played a Cranky the crane game and a coal toss game I found on this site.  Fortunately our neighbor is a train fanatic and has an outdoor train layout.  I used the troublesome truck mentioned earlier plus made two engines out of large boxes that I put on the back of two more garden wagons I borrowed. 

At the front of these wagons I made a cardboard half circle with a rectangle on top that resembled the boiler and smokestack of a train.  We loaded up the kids into these 3 wagons and took them around the block to my neighbor’s house so that they could watch his trains run then back home again.  The adults who did not wish to walk along to see the trains with us stayed home and played the domino game "Mexican Train".

Cake:  I had a cake pan in the form of a 3-D engine that I baked and decorated blue. I cut the smokestack off of this cake and replaced it with an old black film canister. Just before he blew out the candles I put dry ice in that canister and made smoke come out.  I used loaf pans to bake 2 more cakes.  One I cut in half to be a tender.  For coal I used chocolate chips.  The other cake I left whole and put the big pretzel sticks on top to look like it was hauling logs.  I made a track of licorice on a board covered in foil then placed the train cakes on top. 

Favors:  I used microwave popcorn boxes and cut them in half-length wise. Then wrapped each in red paper and drew vertical lines all around to look like the boards on a caboose.  I glued on yellow paper to look like windows and a door.  Put heavy cardboard circles underneath for wheels and tucked a piece of black paper over the top for a roof.  Inside the kids had a train whistle Thomas stickers and ban aides and a bouncy ball. 

In retrospect I would have just shelled out the money for the boxes like these you can buy through party suppliers considering the tremendous amount of work they were."

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