Option 1: Take a picture of your child in a conductor’s cap and wearing a bandanna. Add this wording: Write “All Aboard” at the top. On the next line add, “You are invited Engineer (child’s name and age) birthday party. Train Station (your address), Arrival (date and time of party). To reserve your ticket, please call or email (your info).”
Option 2: Create a train ticket with the following wording. ALL ABOARD / You are invited Engineer (child’s name and age) birthday party / Departure Date: / Departing From: your surname name) Station / Boarding Time: / Departure Time / BOARDING PASS / NON-TRANSFERABLE / To reserve your ticket, please call or email (your info).
Hang a sign on your front door that says (child’s name) Train Station. Create train tracks with black tape on your walkway leading to your door. Create train tracks around the party area. Use primary colors for the balloons and streamers. Hang maps pictures of trains, and railroad crossing signs and that you can make on the walls. Make an Arrivals/Departures Board out of poster board. Create trains based on family names and write down different times for each one.
Use a suitcase for your guests to place their gifts in and place a sign nearby that says “ARRIVALS” and do the same for the goody bags with a sign that says “DEPARTURES”.
For the tables, use train themed tableware (tablecloths, plates, cups, napkins and plastic ware) or use primary colors. Make train tracks by having two thin strips of black tape running down the center of the tables. Place toy trains on the tracks and tie balloons to the trains.
Games and Activities
Make Train Cars
Take cardboard boxes, remove the bottom part and paint them to resemble trains. Let the kids run around in them.
Lost Luggage Scavenger Hunt
Hide the goody bags and have the kids search for them. Tell the kids that a gush of wind scattered the luggage all around and you need them to help you find them. Describe what the bags look like.
The object of the game is for the first person or “engine” to tag the last person or the “caboose” in each team. Divide the kids into two teams. For each team, line each player up one behind the other and have them place their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. The “engine” will then try and tag the other team’s “caboose.” When someone has been tagged, they move up to be their team’s “engine.” Keep playing until everyone has had a chance to be both the engine and the caboose.
Conductor Dress Relay
Before the party, gather two conductor hats (any cap will do), two bandannas and two pairs of oversized jeans. Place them one one side of the room. Divide the kids into two teams and line them up on the opposite side of the room. The first player from each team has to run to the other side of the room, put the costume on, then remove it, run back to their team and tag the next person to go next. The first team to finish wins.
Cut a hole in a piece of cardboard large enough to throw bean bags through. You can make black bean bags (coal) by cutting pieces of black felt, sewing to pieces together on three sides, fill 3/4 full with beans, and sew the remaining side closed. Let the kids take turns throwing bags into the hole.
Train Track Obstacle Course
This game is best played in a large open area. Create train tracks with tape, chalk, etc to mark boundaries. Place some non-breakable items such as balls and toys that will represent other planes on the tracks. How to play the game: Pair up the children. One child plays the pilot and the other will be the air traffic controller. The air traffic controller’s job is to guide the pilot (blindfolded) down the runway without running into the other planes (non-breakable items). The first pilot stands at the beginning of the runway with their arms stretched out like a plane. The air traffic controller can stand anywhere along the runway, but the best position is behind the pilot. This will prevent confusion when they use the commands right and left. Once the pilot is blindfolded, the other kids can throw more items on the runway to make the game more challenging. After the kids have added the extra “planes”, the controller guides the pilot down the runway using commands like, “Take three steps forward”, One step right”, Three steps to the left”. If the child crashes, the next team takes a turn. The team who makes it the furthest on the runway without crashing wins.
Red Light, Green Light
Set the game up by making a starting line with tape on one side of the room. One player plays the “stop light” and the rest of the kids have to try and touch him or her. To play, the kids stand behind the starting line and the stop light stands about 15 feet away from the starting line. The stop light faces away from the other players and says “green light”, at which point the kids move towards the stop light. At any point, the stop light can say “red light” and turn around. If any of the kids are caught moving after this, they are out. The game resumes when the stop light turns back around and says green light”. The stop light wins if all the kids are out before anyone is able to touch him or her. Otherwise, the first player to touch the stop light wins the game.
Purchase wooden trains for the kids to decorate with paint or markers and stickers. You can also use egg cartons by cutting them in half in the center to make train cars, turning them upside down and letting the kids paint them.
Square pizza—Line it up to resemble a train. Use sliced olives or sliced carrots for the wheels.
Hot dogs lined up with sliced olives or carrots for the wheels
Wheel-shaped pasta salad
Rice Krispie® treat trains with mini cookie wheels
Cake pops as coal
Make a food train with aluminum food trays. Attach red paper to them and add black paper wheels.
Train conductor hats, yellow bandanas, whistles, Thomas the Train coloring books or coloring pages, crayons, train stickers
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