Kid Birthday Party Ideas – Star Wars and Thomas the Train


Amidala

Girls like Star Wars parties, too!

My son’s 5th birthday is coming up in a few months (hold on, let me get my tissue) and I am beginning to gather ideas for a fun kid party. No doubt he’ll probably want a Star Wars theme but it seems much of what is out there has to do with the newer cartoon called the Clone Wars and not the classic movies. My brother planned a Star Wars party a few years back, he created a death star piñata and his daughter dressed as Princess Amidalah. I’ll have to give it some more thought. Last year we had just moved and so didn’t know enough kids to invite. This year we will have guests!

I’ve only actually done one theme party myself, a Thomas the Train party. I figure there must be a lot of Thomas the Train (or simply train) lovers out there and so thought I’d share the details. Some of the ideas aren’t new but I’m hoping they might be new to some of you and worth passing on.

First of all, kids in overalls are just the cutest. My kid had the hat as well. Next, you’ve got to have a great cake as the centerpiece. Rocky’s talented aunt really stepped it up on this front; the cake she made was gorgeous. We also inherited a troublesome trucks piñata from a family friend and added pull strings to it (blindfolded 3 yr olds and bats = unwanted bruises or worse).

Percy

Here comes the train

With a little bit of planning, you really don’t have to spend much on the entertainment. We got some banana crate boxes from Costco (free to good homes). We spray painted the boxes using just three colors – blue, red and green – to represent three main characters in the Thomas series. We cut holes in the tops just big enough for little ones to fit inside. Then we traced some familiar faces and glued them to the front of the boxes. Voila! Now the party guests can step inside the boxes, pick them up (we also had to cut hand holes for the smaller kids) and pretend to be train cars. My original plan was to create train tracks all over the yard using spray on chalk. Wouldn’t you know it Mother Nature didn’t cooperate and so we ended up doing painters tape in the basement. No matter, the kids still had fun forming a big train and running around in circles. Throw in a train cookie decoration table, some pizza and fruit (thanks, Grandma) and a few goodie bags and it’s an affordable afternoon of fun.  If you already have a train table, that’s good, too. We had a Thomas movie running in the background. If anyone has a top hat (we didn’t) you can designate someone to be the fat controller (aka Sir Topham Hat). Or draw some railroad crossing signs and put by the front door. There’s a lot you can do with this theme.

Thomas cake

Thomas cake idea - insert your child's name

Depending on your budget, there is plenty of Thomas-themed stuff to buy at any party store and great deals online. But if you search the internet, you can find pictures, banners, coloring pages, invitations and more to print for free and use. You can start with the main Thomas web site. For party favors, I put together inexpensive folders with coloring pages I printed out. Got some cheap crayons and stickers and placed in pencil bags. Another idea is to make a cd of your child’s favorite music to share.  No wait, scratch that, I can’t condone breaking any copyright laws. Have fun planning your own Thomas party! Let me know if you have any cool ideas for Rocky’s party.

The Librarian

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Rambling On

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I have a cute butt. I can say this because I’ve earned it. I’ve been dragging myself to exercise classes and gym time for several months, submitting myself to the nazi instructors who say things like “doesn’t this feel good” as we do 50 squat jumps with weights in our hands. No. No it does not. It feels like torture, actually. There is always some woman with a great body to inspire me to continue.  She’s usually 22. I realize that only freaks of nature like Demi Moore and Jennifer Anniston are going to have that body when pushing 40. But there is always room for improvement, right? I do have my limits though. I’ll eat smaller portions but I’m not giving up my favorite junk foods. Kind of slows the process…

Ever try to put your kid’s helmet on in a hurry and end up pinching his skin with that stupid clip that goes under the chin? I did this once and now Rocky closes his eyes in fear whenever it’s time for me to put it on again.

I went out on an impromptu movie date wearing my mommy clothes. Wow did I feel out of place with the late night got-no-kids, let’s all wear dark tight-fitting outfits and tons of make-up crowd.

Does a $100 jar of skin cream really outperform one that is, say $20? Even $15 for a teeny tiny jar of the supposed anti-wrinkle stuff seems preposterously high to me. Are we as women really this gullible that we keep the high-end skin care businesses going? Let me know if you’ve tried it and ended up looking like Halle Berry.  For now, I am dubious. Ditto with fancy shampoos.

Every now and then I get hooked on shows about people having mysterious symptoms and the doctors’ efforts (or non-efforts as is sometimes the case) to find a diagnosis and, hopefully, a treatment. I always feel bad for the people who are suffering but I keep watching because in the back of my mind I think “if this happens to someone I know,  I can help.”  I’ve found that more often than not, the mystery diagnosis is lyme disease.  If you’ve got crazy symptoms that no one’s been able to pinpoint.  Check it out.

Another day, another conversation about Star Wars. My son’s uncles opened his eyes to the fact that there were 3 more movies before the classic Star Wars tales we were watching before. I was never into the prequels so I can’t get into discussions about characters like General Grievous. “Mommy, did you KNOW that General Grievous takes light sabers from the Jedis he kills? He can use four at once.”  That sounds awful. Why aren’t you having nightmares about this? “AND did you KNOW that ONLY Obi Wan Kenobi could beat him? He shooted his gun at him…”

Good-bye Thomas the Train, you didn’t stand a chance against stories about galaxies far, far away.

The Librarian

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Rambling Thoughts

Gen X Moms has moved to www.GenXMomsBlog.com. Don’t forget to update your bookmark!

What’s up with the few (ahem) gray hairs standing at attention every time I get out of the shower? I am trying to resist putting chemicals in my hair but they are not helping!  This is perhaps the one and only time I’ve ever wished to be a natural blonde.  I mean, it’s got to be less noticeable if you are blonde than if you have dark hair, right?

Why does it take me so long to get anywhere these days? Like the Scriv, I’ve only got one child.

I swear I was never so absent-minded before I had a child. Does this wear off ever?  I always start with the best of intentions, organizing my day and getting everything I’ll need ready. Yet somehow when I get to the place where I’m going to return something, I inevitably neglect to bring that very something. Or I lose the coupon I so carefully printed off the web that morning that was the reason for me visiting that particular store. Twice I’ve forgotten to take my child’s mitt to t-ball practice. And I never seem to have whatever club card I need. I try not to switch purses much for this very reason!

Where did my 4-year-old learn how to charm me into giving him what he wants? He makes things sound so reasonable.  “How about if you just let me spend a little while on the computer and then when you tell me it’s time to get off and do something else, I’ll do it right away AND I’ll eat that fruit.  Does that sound good, Mommy?”  Aha.  Wait, what did I agree to?  I know darn well he’s probably fibbing.

Ugh.  Bedtime.  Another typical battle with a boy who hates to fall asleep.  “No, I will NOT close my eyes because I am NOT sleepy!”  Snore.

Napping at Disneyland

Disneyland - One of the few places my boy still naps

I used to like Star Wars until I was forced to talk about it twenty-five times a day.  “Do you like the part when Anakin Skywalker turns into Darth Vader?  Did you know that Luke and Leia are brother and sister and Darth Vader is their father?  Did you know that, Mommy?  Anakin used to be good but then he turned to the dark side…”  Thanks, Daddy.  Couldn’t you have waited until he was older?  I have to confess I kind of miss the Wiggles.

Okay, I force myself to go to the gym for about an hour at a time and it does feel good to have some energy and stay trim BUT I still don’t love to exercise and there are these super toned women (moms even) taking several classes a day plus gym time that seem to eat it up. Is there something wrong with me or is it them? And forget about the dieting part. There are simply some things I won’t give up unless the doctor says so.

Why does every other kid seem to love veggies but mine? Are these moms lying to me? And how about the moms who say the kid potty-trained herself in 3 days at age 2? Or the ones whose preschoolers take long naps willingly, go to bed on time AND remain in their own bed every night?  Did I miss something? 

Ah well, here’s something to brag about. My son taught himself to write at 3. Ha. No joke. He loves letters/words. TAKE THAT, MAMAS OF VEGGIE EATERS AND GOOD SLEEPERS!  Who cares if he took 4 ½ years to potty train?  He can write his own random thoughts.  Take today’s tidbit.  “I make chairs”.  Brilliant, eh? (I just got back from Canada, can you tell?)

The Librarian