My baby boy has just turned one. To celebrate weÂ held a train themed picnic party. Five minutes from our house is ride on model railway run by Portsmouth Model Engineering Society which was the inspiration for the party. I popped over and had a chat with them to see if they could do something for us, Â£45 later I had an hours ride-on party entertainment booked! If you have something similar in your area go and have a chat with them.
From then onwards it was all about the foodÂ and weather! Like many others, I am not keen on the throwaway tat often given in party bags, so I decided that each child would have a hat, scarf and train whistle which was given out on arrival. The gifts cost more than I would normally budget for, just underÂ Â£3 per person,Â but with cheap entertainment, no venue costs, homemade tags, invites and cake it wasn’t budget breaking. The hats were from Amazon and the scarfs and wooden whistles from eBay.
My brilliant friend Claire whipped up the awesome train cake and we made a fruit train too, based on this example but sans-banana. The train was centre-piece of a mixed fruit platter andÂ the children loved it. I dipped breadsticks in melted chocolate and then covered them with hundreds and thousands and they went down a storm as did the sandwiches cut in to train shapes using the Kitchen Craft cookie cutter.
The partyÂ started with an hour on the trains, lunch followed by fun on the green thanks toÂ Dr Zigs bubbles. Phil and I have been entertaining all the kids (and a fair few adults) on our block while practising our bubble blowing skills! We bought the Jumbo Kit for Â£29 and it’s the best Â£29 we have spent in a long time. Kids seriously love big bubbles. And that goes for the big kids too.
I put up two gazebos and filled one with all of Lola’s train toys (mostly of the wooden Ikea variety) and laid them out for the childrenÂ to play with alongside the ever so popular gigantic balloons from Tiger Stores, some ribbon streamers and frisbees. Having a huge green space, balloons and bubbles were all that was needed for the children toÂ haveÂ fun. We also did do some party games, but to be honest, they wouldn’t have been missed.Â It was pretty stress-free to organise and chilled on the day. It was a total winner and I have already handed out the contact details for the model engineering society to a few otherÂ parents.