Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Choo Choo Train Party, Two Years! (Thomas the Train)

A train birthday party for our 2 year old son with 4 year old siblings, in winter, had to be an indoor event in Idaho!

Guests were greeted at our front door by a large Railroad Crossing sign that cut/painted on posterboard. I also cut/painted tracks to go down the front stairs.


I made costumes for each of our guests out of craft foam.  I used large rectangle pieces for the front and back, then added details like lights and faces painted to resemble Thomas the Train characters in their respective colors. Engine numbers were on the backs.  I sewed 2" wide black webbing straps between the front and back pieces so the costumes could easily be slipped overhead. 

The bigger kids kept their costumes on longer. However, they all seemed to really like them.  A couple kids ended up using the costumes for Halloween. 

I posted several large railroad crossing signs at kid height around the play area.

I painted shoeboxes with colors and engine numbers to match the costumes and attached a pull rope to the front of each. These would become the "cars" that followed the "engines" (kids).  Guests were supposed to bring along their favorite stuffed animal to be a passenger in the cars.

Pulling the cars through the hallway loop of our house was the favorite party activity.  It didn't seem to matter if the passengers fell out!

For the next game, I said that a truckload of boulders landed on the tracks, and could all the engineers help get the boulders off the tracks?  The boulders were balloons. We put on some train the music and let the kids have fun keeping the balloons in the air.

Next, we heard that a big snow storm had come and frozen ice on the tracks.  Could the engineers help get the ice off?  I rolled out two rolls of blue bubble wrap and had the kids jump and pop to their hearts content.

Then it was time for a snack and cake.  We headed to the kitchen table that was decorated with a kid-friendly train layout.  The kids easily found their place settings from the photo in the driver of each train name card. 

I glued various train signs to juice boxes for props, and had others scattered around the table.  A photo of each guest was on the "name card" stand up engine (template below).

Over the table hung more railroad crossing circles:

I used a piece of sponge to stamp tracks on in a circle on the paper covered table (about 1" off the long side of a rectangular kitchen sponge).  I made box cars out of cardboard the thickness of cereal boxes and put wheels through their bases (plastic tube axles hot glued to large button or wooden wheels). 

The box cars were filled with yummy snacks:  pretzel bites, cereal, cheetos, and banana chips.  Boy did the kids ever have fun with this. The snack cars happily rolled from engineer to engineer.  Two of the two year olds would have stayed at the table for an hour!

However, we heard that snow had fallen on the tracks, and all engineers were needed to come clear them again. The snow was paper tissues (kleenex).  We put on more train music and invited the kids to throw and catch them.

Precious memories for Mommy! Great fun for all the little ones and their brothers!

(I used the above items for garland over all the door ways. They are the same cut outs as the table place holders and invitations.)


Train Car Template


  1. how fun! and how clever and energetic you are !!! My grandson was a huge Thomas fan...we took him to "meet" Thomas when he came to a city close by..he got to ride on Thomas..it was his 3rd birthday! a day we will always remember!!

  2. What wonderful ideas! Perfect for little train enthusiasts!
    I am blown away by your efforts - especially those fab costumes (!!!) and WOW the snack cars!
    Love your party ideas. So glad you linked up :)
    PS link up all your parties if you like - that knights one looks great too!

  3. These are all wonderful ideas! You're such a resourceful, clever mom and I'm sure your kids as well as all the party guests, really appreciated and will remember the party! :)

    1. Aw, I'm going to smile for at least a week after this comment!

  4. You've got some fantastic party ideas here. I love it when you can create your own pieces and put them together for your party. Well done, it looks like you had a fabulous party.

  5. I really like your ideas. one request could you please send me an e-mail if u have soft copy of the faces in train costume.Thank You.

    1. Sorry, I just traced a plate to get the circle, then free-handed the faces from trains or books. Don't be intimidated by that though! This age group is very forgiving!