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