Idea No.

19684

Thomas Tank Engine - Coal Toss Game

Award

Date

April 2009

From

Teri in Waipahu, Hawaii - USA

Honorable Mention

Thomas Tank Engine

LOCATION IS THE KEY Instead of just having a train-theme party; consider having your party at an actual train station actual train-ride included.  I was lucky to find The Hawaiian Railway here in Hawaii.  This location allowed me to have a private train ride for my guests and also allowed me to utilize their yard area (large grassy area) for food and drinks. 

All I had to pay for was the cost of each rider and the use of their facility was free.  Regular price of the train rides are $10.  Each rider only cost me less than $6 each since I had a large group of 70 people in our party. 

INVITATION: I designed my invitation using Photoshop.  It included a photo of my child standing in front of an actual train, and also included my version of Kaeden (my son) & Friends" in a white cloud with train tracks in the background (similar to Thomas & Friends logo). 

The verbiage on the invite looked and was worded like a train ticket boarding pass.  I e-mailed the invite to majority of my guests to save on postage and printing costs.  For those without e-mail I printed 4"x6" invites for less than $.20 each at a local photo lab and mailed them. 

DECORATIONS: Shop at your local thrift stores for train toys.  You'll be surprised how some of the toys still look new and are priced around $1.  I found a black/white train tracks graphic online and printed them on legal-size paper.  The paper was placed in the center of the tables with the toys trains sitting on the tracks.  Simple and cheap centerpieces that the kids loved playing with while they sat on the table. 

PARTY FAVORS: I got wooden train whistles and wooden train toys for less than $1 each.  I had the children choose which they wanted and had them personalize their favor with crayons and foam stickers.  This kept the children busy and they loved decorating their new train toys. 

PARTY GAMES: Simple just bring out all the train items you can find in the house.  I had train books puzzles and an actual train set available for the kids to play with at the party. 

I also prepared a toss game for the kids.  I collected 9 large containers (recycled the empty powdered baby formula containers and decorated it using the Thomas Valentine Cards) and prepared 9 balls of foil.  The game was to toss the coal into the Train container.  3 in a row wins.  This was a very simple and fun game for the kids.  All items can be found at home nothing to purchase. 

EXTRA STUFF: My son's birthday happen to be after Valentine's Day.  I found Thomas & Friends Valentine Cards on clearance at the store ($1 for a box of 30 2.5"x4" cards).  These were perfect because the cards had pictures of Thomas Percy and James (saving me the cost of printing Thomas & Friends graphics). 

I covered any part that had the word valentine on it with a birthday label.  These cards served as train tickets for the kids.  I punched a hole at the top of each card ran yarn through them and had them wear the cards around their neck as their official train ticket for the party.  The kids loved it and felt so special to be given their very own train ticket to wear at the party. 

CAKE AND DESSERT: I ordered a half sheet of cake from Sam's Club with the Thomas & Friends decoration.  In addition to this I bought Twinkies Ho Hos and Ding Dongs and covered them with various train symbols.  I printed the train ticket graphic (from my invitation) and sized it to wrap around the Twinkies and Ho Hos perfectly. 

I found a graphic of the round railroad sign online personalized them with my son's name and printed them to be taped to the round Ding Dongs.  These were so cute and easy to do especially if you want a simple ready-made dessert for your party.  These Hostess treats are individually wrapped so that no dessert plates and utensils are needed saving on cost. 

Hope these ideas help you plan your party.  Because I tried to keep things simple and had a budget in mind everything turned out great for my wallet and for me (no stress).  Affordable and simple… and everyone had a great time including me."

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