And this was by far the most detailed party to date. It was also the first party that N wanted to help in the planning. His favorite colors at the time were pink, orange, and black. And he DEMANDED that everything be in those colors. Let me tell you, that was NOT an easy task!
The cake was the easy part. We had received 2 different train cake pans as gifts. So of COURSE I had to make both of them! But how the heck do you frost it? Easy, you don’t! Use candy instead!
I pretty much got every pink, orange and black candy I could find and then N and I went crazy decorating the cakes. We used wafer cookies for the railroad ties, and crumbled up Oreos and graham crackers for ballast. But my favorite was the rock candy sucker for steam coming out of the stack.
Black fabric and pink and orange bandanas made up the table cloths. I also got food gift boxes and decorated them in the party colors. The boxes had lids so I cut those off. They and part of a wrapping paper tube were used to make the steam engine.
The placemats were supposed to look like tickets. And were made from orange, pink and black construction paper. It was a kinda strange color combination but N was THRILLED.
The food was even color coordinated, although that was a total accident! N picked out the menu of all his favorite foods. Corn dogs, cantaloupe, watermelon, and veggie sticks.
Black, pink and orange duck tape on the sidewalk welcomed folks to the party. The rail road cross buck was ditched as I ran out of time, but it would have been soooo cool!
The rest of the decorations were actually part of the party activities. Do you want to know what the kids did? Oh sure, no problem.
Activity 1: Steam Train sun catcher
I told the kids we had a BIG problem. Good ole engine #4 was broken and I needed their help to get her running again. First I needed them to paint a steam egninee so they would know how one should be put together.
I found these great sun catchers at Hobby Lobby when I got the bandanas. All the kids loved painting them. My sis, who is always up for some crafting, made one too.
As always we did the craft activity first before the kids got all riled up. Of course the birthday boy boycotted this activity. Sigh.
Next I told them that the engine needed a smoke stack or it couldn’t go anywhere.
I got some bulletin board paper and traced a steam train. Now let me tell you about my drawing skills. They DON’T exist. So I found some clip art that I liked and used a computer projector to beam the image on the paper. I traced the image, then used craft paint to color them. We still have them hung in the kids craft room.
I cut out extra stacks from construction paper, and used one of the ubiquitous bandanas as a blindfold.
Activity 3: Train Ride
We got ground marking spray paint in orange and painted train tracks thru the yard. I had all the kids put their bandanas on their neck just like a real engineer and wait by the depot for a surprise (see the tracks on the ground?!)!!!
Yep, Mr. Steam hitched up the trailer on the tractor and all the kids went for a “train” ride. With the birthday boy as the engineer, of course.
Activity 4: Scavenger hunt
After their relaxing train ride I enlisted their help again to get the #4 back up and running. The train was in desperate need of parts. And those parts had been scattered all over the place. At each painted train car there was a train part. I had them run to each different spot to pick up the parts we needed.
The scavenger items (and the bandana was their party favor).
- Engine – orange or pink bucket (Love the dollar bin at Target!)
- Depoby – Playdoh (Target pack of 12 for $7)
- Tender – Playdoh rolling pin (Hobby Lobby 4 or 5 for a $2)
- Caboose – Train cookie cutter (Wilton $1)
- Engineer – Small wooden train whistle (Oriental trading 12 for $10)
The last thing the engine needed to get running was some fuel. So I needed all the kids to fill the tender with coal.
I sewed up some bean bags and got some party buckets (Dollar bin at Michaels).
Can you see why this was my favorite party so far? I sure hope you liked the Steam Train birthday. I know N sure did.
- Food in train cars – On My Side of the Room
- Train track sidewalk – Life Inspired
- Candy train and rock candy smoke – Chica and Jo