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December Catch-up Part 2: Train Crazy

Nick and I spent several weeks before Ethan’s birthday deciding if we should do a low-key gathering somewhere outside the house (easy!) or do a train-themed party at our house with all the train bells and whistles (not-so-easy!).  It’s always a balancing game deciding between what is easy and low stress vs. investing time and thought into making your kids days special.  I don’t know how long it will be until Ethan moves on from his train obsession into a new interest so we decided to have his train party to  celebrate capturing exactly who he is right now–an amazing, energetic, train crazy 4 year old!  If you need some b-day party ideas, especially train ideas–get ready because I’m about to blast with you with pics of all the goodness!

We started by sending out ticket invitations to all the kiddos to get their imaginations going!  I found a file download for custom invites on Etsy–awesome!

We wanted the train excitement to start before the kids even got to the door.  I found this cute RR xing signal sign on ebay.  Someone who lives locally was selling it so I got free local pickup–but even better, she delivered it to us!  One of my fave decorations was Nick’s duct tape train tracks.

The kids brought their ticket invites and were met by the party conductor at the door to get their ticket punched to start the party.  Next they were outfitted in their engineer hats and bandanas.

We had 5 train stations for the little engineers to complete and they had their ticket punched at each station.

The train puzzle station:

Decorate a train cookie station: 

Train coloring station:

Cargo transport station:  For this station we combined geotrax sets of ours and our friends and ended up with a HUGE train set.  This station was one of the favorites for sure!

And the last station was coal shoveling.  Nick is hands down the master at taking my ideas and bringing them to life above and beyond what I had envisioned.  I asked him to make some sort of cardboard train cutout so the kids could shovel coal into the train.  The train was custom perfection!  There’s not a good pic of the backside but there was even a little compartment with LED candles lit up behind a silhouette of flames so it really looked like a coal compartment!  This was another favorite of the kids, and mine too!

After everyone played at the stations we had snacks, cupcakes, and opened gifts.

The party was fun, colorful, and energetic.  But, what really mattered and made Ethan’s day special was being surrounded by all of the family and friends who love him so much.  I’m so thankful for everyone who came and celebrated with hugs, smiles, and gifts and for all the helping hands that came early, set up, made signs and cookies, took pictures and video, and ran stations!  Happy 4th birthday to our awesome Ethan!

Heidi - Thank you Jaclyn! The coal was some cut-up black foam that we had in the garage (convenient!). I’m not sure where you could find it…maybe Home Depot/Lowe’s? You could also use crumpled up balls of black construction paper. :D

Jaclyn - Love the party, especially the shovel the coal game! What did y’all use for the coal and where did you get it?

admin - Emily, thank you! I’m so glad you found this post and got some ideas. This party was such a blast, especially for the kids…good luck with your party. I would love to see some pics of how yours turns out!

Emily M - I love everything about this party. My son is turning 2 next month and I’ve been looking for train ideas. Thank you so much!

heatherabetner@yahoo.com - E’s party was so great and he’s so lucky to have such amazing parents! :) I know all the kiddos had an awesome time too!! Another great job by N & H Betner :)

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