When my daughter turned two, she was really into Thomas the Tank Engine. She loved her cousin’s Thomas play set and loved watching Thomas on television. I asked her a few times what type of birthday party she wanted to have and the response was always the same — Thomas. So, a Thomas themed birthday party was a natural choice.
Here are a few of my ideas for decorations, invitations, goodie bags, and cakes.
I was sending out less than a dozen invitations so I wanted to make them special. Kids love getting mail and love receiving a package even more. I found these adorable 3-D foam train craft kits at Oriental Trading Co, Inc. and decided to use them to hold the invitation information. It didn’t take long to put these together after doing the first one. I used a hot glue gun and a little drying patience. I printed the information about the party on a sheet of paper and folded it to put it inside the train. I packaged the invitations in white mailing boxes and sent them to the guests. I was later told by the parents and kids alike how much everyone loved the train invites.
If you have a lot of invitations to send out or don’t feel like springing the extra cash on the postage to mail the packages, try these basic invitations that come with coordinating thank you notes:
To get the kids in the party spirit as they walked through the door, I gave them each a train conductor hat, bandana and whistle. I know, I know, am I crazy giving a bunch of kids whistles in my own home? Yes, but that is beside the point. The kids quickly tired of the whistles and moved on to other party games. I did make a point of writing each child’s name on his or her whistle to try and cut down on the germ spreading.
I used the train table and trains as a decoration and party entertainment that my parents had bought my daughter for Christmas. I purchased mylar balloons and red, yellow and blue streamers to adorn the ceiling. I also bought these decorations to use around the party space:
I used a train cake pan to make the main cake for the party. I bought a variety of candies to decorate the train and used icing to “glue” the candies to the cake. My favorite part was using the rock candy swizzle sticks to simulate the steam coming out of the engine! I purchased an inexpensive train rug to use as a table cloth under the train cake. I laid the train on the tracks and finished out the tablescape with one of the Thomas table centerpieces. As a back-up and an alternative cake solution, I made simple cupcakes decorated to look like railroad crossing signs. This was easy to do by adding a bit of yellow food color to white icing and then using Wilton black decorating gel to make the railroad crossing sign.
You could also use this cake topper:
I used red, blue and yellow regular gift bags as the goodie bags. I decorated them with Thomas the Train stickers and topped them off with coordinating tissue paper. I filled the bags with various train themed toys like the ones below. The kids also got to take home their conductor costumes and a mylar balloon.