Faith, Family, Friends, Fellowship, Food, and Fun

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Caleb's Thomas the Train Birthday Party

What a fabulous party. I wish I had time to do more (becuase I'm OCD like that) but here is how it went:

Even though we found great ideas for homemade invitations that looked like train tickets or boarding passes, we opted for the store bought just so we could focus our time on making the games. Besides, I'm worried that if I sent the boarding passes, no one would remember to bring them to the party.

As guests arrived, they followed the tracks we made with sidewalk chalk to the door and were greeted with blue and red balloons, a green arrow sign with white letters which read "Caleb's Party" and pointed to the door. We had Thomas music playing at the door and a RR crossing sign on the door which read "Welcome to Caleb's party." A large Sir Topham Hatt (made out of poster paper and painted by me) was standing at the door to greet everyone.

Indoor decorations included blue and red streamers and a store bought Thomas birthday banner plus more balloons. I traced big circles on yellow paper and made several RR crossing signs. I made several other white RR signs that said, "Refueling Station" (by the food), and "Freight Drop Off" by the presents. I cut white letters and glued them onto green posterboard to make signs for, "Tidmouth Shed", "Brendam Docks", "The Quarry." We bought a Thomas tablecloth as well as a solid blue one.

Activities: The first station was the Thomas mask making station. The second station was the coloring station where each child received their very own coloring book (I made by gathering tons of activity pages online). The 3rd station was Thomas Memory (which I made on the computer).

Other station ideas I had but did not have time to prepare: Doorknob hanger and Thomas puzzle, decorate your own train cookie, paint your own clay ornament shaped like a train.

To begin the party, I was going to have someone ring the doorbell and leave some packages wrapped in brown paper but we were all in the backyard so I just blew the train whistle, gathered all the kids around, and told them that Sir Topham left a package. It was a book from Sir Topham Hatt. When I made the book, I made sure it had a pocket for the boarding passes and a pocket at the end for the certificates. I printed the cover of the book from Here is what it said:

Dear Caleb and Friends,
I have some very important jobs for you to do today on the Island of Sodor. First you need your boarding pass. (I gave each child a boarding pass that my husband made).

If you received your coloring book, someone will punch your pass for you. (I used a cloud punch that looked like the Thomas logo. My wonderful Aunt Joanie did all the punching).

You will get another punch for making your Thomas mask (

Next, I need you to go to the quarry. You have an important job to do. James has been having a lot of trouble with Troublesome Trucks. They have spilled out all of his coal. Can you help to put it back? "Toss the coal back into the Troublesome Trucks"- My husband created the TTs out of gray poster board and a box. We used black bean bags.

(punch tickets)Next, there is one piece of coal that rolled away. Caleb’s mom is going to show you how to play, “Pass the Coal” so that you all can help get that last piece back into the Troublesome Truck. "Pass the Coal" was played using a black bean bag my MIL made. The kids sat in a circle and passed the coal to Thomas music. When the music stopped, the child holding the coal was 'out.'

(punch tickets) Uh-oh, Thomas had a wash down and his number is fading. Will you help with Thomas’s number? We’re going to play “Pin the Number on Thomas.” "Pin the Number on Thomas. " I made the poster using a transparency and then I painted the poster at home. The numbers were cut using a die-cut machine at the school where I teach.

(punch ticket)Our last game is Thomas Bingo. Please sit down in a circle and you will get your game card.

(punch ticket) You’ve worked very hard today, I have a certificate for each of you ( click on fun stuff).

Now it’s time for Caleb to open his gifts and then we’re off to the refueling station for some cake. Don't forget your goody bag and a balloon when you leave. Caleb says thanks for coming!

Other game ideas: Sir Topham Hatt says (make a hat out of black construction paper)
Bowling- cover each pin with pictures of the different trains
Thomas dominoes

Caleb loved every single gift. His Granny made him the shirt he is wearing. He got some new trains, some Thomas books and a coloring book, a Thomas Color Wonders, a soccer ball, a remote control Thomas, skates, and too many more to mention. He seems to love them all too!

Food: I made the Thomas cake and attached Annie. We created a train (we covered shoeboxes with gray paper to look like Troublesome Trucks) to hold the food and one of the cars (blue) held the "logs" (pretzel rods). We used one of Caleb's toy Thomas' as the engine.

We had Thomas plates and napkins mixed in with blue plates and napkins just to save a little. We had blue utensils and red and blue cups.

Other food ideas: blue jello jigglers cut with train cookie cutters sandwiches cut with train cookie cutters.

Goody Bags- Each child received a red bag containing Thomas stickers, bubbles, candy shaped like Thomas, and a miniature puzzle. Each family received a Thomas CD with Thomas music and a picture of Caleb on the cover. Each family also received a Thomas matching game of their own.

Other ideas not used: rent a party train to come
make a plywood "tossing" game and paint to like Thomas
Save BIG boxes. Cut and paint each to look like trains and let the children wear them...Race?
Printable Thomas calendar pages at DLTK website
Make doorknob hanger-see DLTK website
Make a huge Cranky the Crane as well as "waves" using 3 different sized cardboard cut-outs. Then say that Cranky the Crane has dumped his freight into the water and needs help getting it out. The kids can "fish" it out with a fishing pole.

There are tons of Thomas websites out there. You can find online activities, calendars, paper models, and more. Here are a few:

Please feel free to leave your ideas or comments below. Click on "comments."


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Michelle said...

what wonderful ideas! i love the boarding pass and the decorative signs are darling. great job!

Kate & Gabe said...

What a cute party! I am just starting to thing about my son's party and might have to copy a few of your ideas! I especially love the food in the train cars!

SoCal_Suz said...

My Thomas fan would love a party like this for his 3rd coming up. Thanks for all the great ideas!

Jennifer said...

Definately a well thought out birthday party for you're son. I have 2 questions if you don't mind. For the shoebox trains did you draw on the wheels or cut them out? Also were the trains on the goodie bags traced and cutout, if so where did you find the train to trace? We are having my son a thomas party for his 3rd Bday in December and you have so many wonderful ideas!!!

Stephanie said...

Jennifer, I had no way of leaving you an answer so I hope you are checking back here. Yes, we cut out the wheels for the trucks. The blue trains on the goody bags were "die cuts" I made at the school where I teach. If you know a teacher, you might ask him/her if they have the train pattern at their school. A little advice, save as much as you can after the party because you just never know if they will want another Thomas party next year. This was my son's 2nd Thomas party and the way we're going, I think he will want another Thomas party for his 4th birthday in March. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Stephanie! My neighbor is a teacher so I will ask her about the die cut train party. I have read alot of you're other post and you are a really creative inspiring person!
Thanks, Jennifer

Anonymous said...

oopps die cut train pattern:)

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful Thomas party you had! I love all of the ideas and can't wait to use some of them for my son's 4th birthday! I was wondering if you purchased the Bingo game, or if you had made it yourself? I would love to try it at my son's party! If you could email me back at, I would really appreciate it! Thanks again for all of the wonderful ideas!

Carson's mom said...

I love your party idea's Hope you don't mind I'm stealing a few of them for my son's 2nd birthday this weekend.

Thank you for posting

Anonymous said...

My son's 2nd birthday is 3 months away and I'm blown away by the endless amount of ideas you had! Thank you! I'm sure your son had a fabulous time!

abb said...

On the troublesome trucks that you used on the table to hold the food - what did you use for the wheels? How cute!

Anonymous said...

Hi... I love all your party ideas! They are awesome! For the Thomas the Train Bingo... did you make that or did you purchase it? I would love to do that for my child's birthday party. Thank you!

amylfrey said...

What a great party! I love your ideas! I'm gonna have to steal a few for my son's party coming up in August. What did you use for the wheels on the troublesome trucks in the quarry? Email me at please.

Ann said...

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Me, Myself and I said...

LOVE these ideas! Definitely going to use them for our next party. Especially the "stations" and the signs at the stations. So creative!

I made these matching Thomas invites, napkin holders and thank yous!

Thomas parties are some serious fun!

Ann said...

Page has moved but you are still featured on: BEST OF THE WEB THOMAS PARTIES CAKES AND FOOD check it out and grab yourself a button.

Tara said...

Do you know where I can get the cover of your colouring book. Was hoping you still had it saved on you computer and could email me. I have searched the net and but cant find it.

Tara said...

oh my email is
Thanks so much

mackyton said...

Wow!! What a great themed birthday party it was. Got such a nice idea for my son’s birthday party that is in next month at event space Chicago. I am going to invite all his friends and hopefully everyone gonna enjoy his big day. Will hire event planning services too.