Saturday, January 31, 2015
Thomas the Tank Engine 5th Birthday Party
What a fun day! My little boy's first "friend" birthday party! I will admit, when he announced that he wanted a "Thomas the Tank Engine" birthday party I was a little less than thrilled. I know that sounds awful, but it is only because I have already done a Thomas birthday party when my oldest son was 3 and I had done a generic "train" birthday party when Rhys turned 2. I always like doing something new and fresh, but in the end it turned out super fun and we already had a TON of Thomas stuff to use as decoration. So, with that being said, Tip #1 Use stuff you already have for decorations! More often than not, your kids will pick a theme for their party based on their current faves. This could also be true for your husband or significant other if you are trying to plan a surprise party. For this party, I simply "shopped" my son's room for anything "Thomas". A few days ahead of time, gather all of your "themed" items and put them in a box or bin and set them aside. You can also just use other things you have in your home if they fit the colors or style. When something catches your eye, grab it and put it in the box. Once you see how much or little you have, you can decide what needs to be store bought to fill in the gaps.
I usually like to have a main display table either with food or the favors and cake. My husband took all of the kids with him to get the balloons filled up and pick up the cupcakes, so I took some time to snap a few pictures without any interruptions. There are a few things missing from the table, but you get the general idea.
My son got a remote control James train set made by Lionel for Christmas and I knew for sure it would make an appearance at the party. I thought it would be perfect going around the favors and cupcakes
Anyway, back to the favors. I was saying before all of that, that I really like packaging favors up like this for kids. I like buying the sturdy plastic cups they sell at party supply stores. We always need plastic cups for the kiddos, it fits the theme and it holds some fun stuff. Each cup has a wooden train whistle, candy, etc. I learned from my son's generic train party to not give them the whistles DURING the party. I think you can imagine the noise.
The kids were so excited to get to take home their candy train. I've seen ideas for other candy creations like airplanes, sleds, cars, etc. The sky is the limit and with the selection and variety of candy, you could probably make anything to fit the theme of your party.
I also had Thomas's greatest stories playing on the T.V. They are on Netflix so it just played over and over again. You can see Sir Topham Hat on the T.V. in the background. It added some color, music and enhanced the theme and I didn't find it distracting at all. I have found that if I am hosting a party at my home, I like to decorate the day or night before. In my case, the night before is more beneficial once the little ones are in bed. If you can do anything a head of time, it take a lot of stress away. Once it is all set up, all I have to do is make sure it doesn't get "taken apart" by the little ones. LOL! Kids can tell if you are stressed and having them walk into a chaotic environment isn't any fun! I can't believe the things I used to try and do the the day of the party! Plan ahead, prepare ahead, do anything you can before!
My cute sister bought a surprise addition to the set and wrapped it up so that it could remain a surprise. It was a fog horn that blew it's whistle each time a train went underneath...so cute! We also finally put some fresh batteries in the battery operated Thomas engine and that was a huge hit to watch him meander around the track carrying his freight cars.
I decided to do a little papercrafting for the party. I made some punch art Thomas cards for the food. I made up fun little names for each of the food items. You can see here I used "Cranky the Crane's Corn Dogs". Do you think the kids noticed? I doubt it, but it was fun!
For one of the games, we were going to use these tracks laid out on the floor using blue painters tape. It really didn't take too long and it really added to the them of the party. It came up easily afterward and the kids loved it. Because of the tile lines, it was super easy for placement.
I had the tracks meander from my front door into the kitchen, around the island and around the dining table. When it was time to play the game, I taped some colorful dots to the floor and then played musical train. Each kid had to land on a dot or they were out once the music stopped. We played some fun Thomas music as they chugged around the tracks.
Here is the birthday boy opening all of his fun presents. I gave each child an engineer hat and they all looked so adorable. I got some super cute pictures of all of the guests, but didn't feel it was appropriate to post them here. I can't believe this little guy is 5!
Here he is blowing out his pesky #5 candle that wouldn't stay lit. We did manage to get it blown out and a wish made. Sorry it is blurry! I hope you enjoyed this post. I love planning parties, throwing parties and going to parties. I'm always sad they end so soon. I always put a lot of work into them and they seem to be over before you know it. I do want to add, that this was probably the least stressed I have been for a party in a LONG time. Maybe it was because only a few moms were coming and I knew the kids wouldn't care so long as they had fun, maybe it was because I am finally learning a thing or two, who knows, but hopefully I can pass on some of the things that I have learned along the way to make things not as stressful. Parties are supposed to be fun, right? Thanks for "chugging" by!
P.S. If you have any questions, simply leave a comment and I will try and address them in future party posts. I don't think I am going to do them all back to back because I want to share my Valentine's projects.