Sunday, May 20, 2012

The train party

On a different topic from the recent posts about our trip to the Benelux countries, I would like to tell you about a little party we had in the flat a few weeks ago...

I went overboard, I can admit it. However, I decided early on that I would go all out, as this was Lauris’s 2nd birthday and a very good excuse for a party.

Up until now I've not quite understood hosting "themed parties" for children, mostly because Lauris doesn't have a favorite cartoon character or superhero. But I’ve changed my tune because the train party was so fun, for me to organize and for Lauris and his guests! Lauris has been absolutely mad about trains ever since the Clermont-Ferrand Christmas train made its appearance in early December of last year, and imagining his excitement at seeing trains everywhere was enough to me thinking.

Girls like rock stars?

I started constructing a train out of boxes that the kids would be able to actually get in and out of, and after Roberts gave it a base coat Karīna helped him deck it out. It was a success, and a big hit with the guests. To my surprise even three kids sitting on top didn’t put a dent in the locomotive, so we have a permanent cardboard train in the living room now. The day of the party we put down some “tracks” with tape to complete the railway look.

Using smaller boxes I built a “snack car” train for the snacks, including a “log car” for the pretzel sticks. This was very fun for me to build and let the guests know as soon as they walked in the door that they would be seeing trains all night long. As if they needed help figuring that out after seeing the giant cardboard monstrosity in the living room.

The party wouldn’t have failed without train-themed paper plates and napkins, and these were nowhere to be found in Clermont-Ferrand, but we did stumble on some Thomas-the-Train party supplies while in Amsterdam. Perfect!

Coloring pages with trains and paper trains the kids could glue together were our party helper's ideas, and I was amazed at how long these activities held their attention. Dancing, running, shouting and eating seemed to be the other favorite activities that night.
The coup de grâce of my preparations was the train cake, complete with two wagons and tracks made of fondant. Again, super fun to make and if I can be considered an impartial judge, it was delicious! Of course no birthday would be complete without the Latvian kliņģeris and some crazy cupcakes (paldies Karīna)!

We had a wonderful time, and as the guests stayed until after 10pm I believe they had a marvelous time as well. As for the birthday boy, he spent the night choo-chooing away all over the flat, sharing nicely with his friends, and despite the lack of nap was in a superb mood.

My "attention les enfants!" didn't quite have the intended effect...


  1. Choo choo. What a fun party you had! I love your train and tracks. I tried to picture them before I looked, but I couldn't imagine how you did it. Then I saw the picture and they are perfect. I also love your "snack train". I'm sure all the "passengers" had a wonderful time.

  2. The large train is really impressive! The kids must have loved it!

  3. That looks like an awesome party! I love all of the details.

  4. Love this for a child's birthday - so clever for all the snacks! Look forward to reading more of your blog, girl scout honor (saw the girl scout shout out in the 'about me' section)! :)


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