Any young train enthusiast would have had a ball at Peyton's party! Jennifer fills us in: Peyton was adamant that we repeat his party theme from his 2nd birthday, Trains! What can I say, the kid loves trains!
I wanted to keep everything fairly low-key. I figured an afternoon in the park with a few games, some train stuff, cake and juice boxes should fit the bill just fine. Usually we've had parties at our house, and let me tell you, having it somewhere else is so much easier! No pre or post party cleaning, and you have to limit what you take. I tend to go overboard with the "stuff", given the opportunity.
There are plenty of parks to choose from in Alameda, but it was an easy decision which one we'd be going to. This one is usually pretty empty, has nice grassy space, and, most importantly, a train in the sandbox!
For the decorations I went with a simple red, white and blue theme. I made some felt circle garlands and tissue paper poms and strung them in the trees.
For food my wonderful sister made some delicious ham and turkey wraps. We made a fruit salad, some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cheese sticks, and, Peyton's favorite part, the Snack Train! I used the engine and caboose from Peyton's wooden train and turned these boxes from Beverly's into cargo cars. I lined the table with kraft paper and drew a track for the snack train.
When we decided to go with the train theme the main thing I was excited about was making cardboard box trains for the kids to run around in. I saw a firetruck party at Sara's Perfect Party where they had done this for firetrucks and it was just so cute! They turned out great and the kids had a lot of fun with them!
The fun thing about 3-year-olds is that they don't need anything fancy to entertain them! I got some wooden shapes to paint, a bubble machine, water balloons, and t-ball set. The kids never even looked at the playground, they were having so much fun with this every day stuff!
My favorite part was making the favor bags. Michael's has some cute little tote bags in all different colors. I stenciled the kid's initials on and then for the girls' bags stenciled a doily pattern around the initial (I saw that here) For the bags I drew on little trains chugging along under the initial.
Then I tried to think of something to put into the bags that wasn't too "junky". We have a Williams and Sonoma car muffin tin which I'd been wanting to use for a while to make big car crayons. They really are big, and needed about 100 crayons each, so I tried to go cheap and got the 120 pack of generic crayons for a dollar at Michael's. They're a dollar for a reason! The finished product doesn't really color well, but they are cute. I also made a CD with a bunch of songs Peyton likes. I finished the bags off with Peyton's favorite trail mix from Trader Joe's.
Overall the party was great fun!