Well I was soon brought back to reality from that when one of the kids came down with a sickness. I was busy cleaning up messes, wiping noses, and making a sicky feel better. And then I had to go back to work and face a mountain of stuff that needed to be completed before June 1.
So we went on down to the good old party store and bought plates, napkins, cups, a table cloth, balloons, and most of the stuff for the goody bags. There was no bunting. There were no "I'm the birthday kid!" badges. And the kids still had a whole lot of fun. So those things didn't matter to them as much as they did to me. Go figure.
But! I did manage to make a few things. So as promised, here are a few of the things I made for the kids' Thomas and Friends birthday party.
As you can see, the invitations were shaped like jumbo sized train tickets. I printed them out to be 3 inches wide by 6 inches long. I was hoping to make them actual ticket size, but when I printed them that small the font size was almost unreadable. I think they still turned out really cool. Definitely something for the scrapbooks!
I got the idea from something similar that I saw for sale online when I was looking up games for the party. Since we were aiming to save money, no one had gotten sick yet, and I'm creative I decided to give the idea a shot before dropping any money on buying some.
Ticket invitation version 2: Not chosen
So I made two variations of the ticket invitation and let the kids pick which they wanted to give to their friends. Both kids picked version one. Can't argue with that.
Next I made some signs. My favorite was the big arrow that said "Party Over Here!"
Hey, I think there's a party...over there
I taped it underneath our street sign and called it good. We needed something to make our road stand out because the street sign is camouflaged by tree shrubs (one is pictured to the right of the signs). It seemed to work--no one had any trouble finding us!
I made another sign with our station name, but didn't get a picture before we took it down. Oops!
The party was supposed to be outside, but it rained all weekend so we had to have it inside instead. I had some pony beads set up on one side of the table, coloring books at the head of the table, and foam visors with stickers for the other side of the table. The kids still ran around in circles but it wasn't until after they made something first. Some of the kids worked, ran, worked some more, and ran some more. I have pictures, but don't want to post them because my kids aren't the only ones in them. Just trying to be courteous to the other parents. The main message of this paragraph is that crafts saved the day and my sanity. Crafts are the freaking best, aren't they?
We ate pizza, cake, and ice cream. Here is the cake:
Please, no one send this picture to Cake Wrecks, m'kay?
After I finished the sillouette part and it still looked like a train, I didn't want to mess it up. Not that anyone would have cared but me. Wouldn't that be some funny gossip to listen in on?
"And you should have seen that train wreck of a train cake she was serving at the party, Becky! It looked like she had her 2 year old ice that cake! Who cares that it was served to 2-5 year olds and was eaten in 10 minutes? Simply unbelievable!"
I know the parents that all came to our party and I don't think for a minute that any of them would say that, but isn't it fun to make fun of our insecurities this way? It's always easy to do after the fact. :)
The last fun thing that we did was get a disposable camera that had Thomas and Friends characters and sayings pre-printed on the photo paper. That way we took a picture of each kid, developed the pictures, and then had photos of the kids with Thomas and Friends characters on them to give away with "Thank You" written on the back. Those were a big hit. I recommend shelling out the extra $20 for that. Totally worth it.
So, yeah, we had fun and ate cake. The kids both got way too many presents. They're lucky kids to have so many people that care about them. Thanks to anybody who is reading that came.
Anyone have any good train party ideas?