Virj turned 3 last month on Nov 20. We had a small birthday celebration for him at home. I wanted to keep it simple this year…well, that’s what I planned for the last two years too but it always ended up being big. This year, the weather forecast wasn’t in favor of an outdoor party, so I was forced to keep the guest list short…can’t imagine keeping more than 10 kids (mostly toddlers) entertained at home. Since, Virj has made some friends in school and day care, I wanted to invite few of them. It felt a little awkward inviting the kids from his daycare whose parents I hardly ever met. I sent out hand written invitations through the daycare provider and called them later to confirm. Luckily, I knew the moms/guardians of the kids from his school and it was much easier inviting them. I was really happy that two of his new friends attended the party along with their families.
As you know, Virj loves anything on wheels but his latest obsession is trains, particularly Thomas the Tank Engine. If you remember, he even sort of wanted to be Thomas for Halloween, which we had then ignored. So, I decided to make up for it by throwing him a Thomas party! I started off by sending Thomas invitation cards to his friends in school and daycare. The rest of our friends received a train themed Evite invitation. I used Thomas the Tank Engine wall appliqués to decorate the main party area along with red and blue balloons. I set up his old wooden train sets on the selves around the wall decoration to create a miniature train town feel. Virj’s birthday gift from us was a train table with a 100-piece train set that was laid out in the living room with a happy birthday banner and balloon in the background. We waited till the night before to assemble it so that Virj had a nice surprise in the morning. We also wanted to make sure he didn’t wreck it before his birthday. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an easy IKEA kind of furniture assembly and Soam only managed to set up the the table before the next morning. Needless, the kids had a great time with the loose train pieces and one of the parents even helped us put together some of the structures/bridges during the party itself.
Each kid got a Thomas train party visor/hat and Thomas whistle when they arrived. I arranged for various indoor activities and crafts to keep the preschoolers occupied. We bought a lot of art supply from IKEA and some last minute ones from Target. Besides, there were lots of toys to play with and of course the train table to keep the boys busy! The kids had a great time and it helped them work up the appetite for their pizza lunch. Even Virj was asking for food and gobbled down a whole slice in minutes! There were cheese and pepperoni pizzas for the kids and mixed vegetarian, meat and a soy cheese pizza as well as salad, for the adults. And, of course a Thomas the Tank Engine cake at the end. The kids were super psyched to see the cake and it was hard to keep Virj from grabbing the Thomas train off the cake before it was laid out. He had a big smile while everyone sang for him and Soam and I helped him blow off the candle and cut the cake. Every child got a goody bag on their way out, some of which had train puzzles, books and candies. For the little ones, I bought toys that were more appropriate for their age. The adults had a good time too and we had a quieter after party for some of our friends without kids!
Virj later enjoyed opening the “pasants” aka presents, another new word to add to his vocabulary. He subsequently had birthday celebrations both at his preschool and daycare and came home with more “pasants”. Here are some fond memories from the event!