My almost-two-year-old LOVES to stack things and knock them down. While at a recent dinner party, he entertained himself for an impressively long time by collecting play-doh containers and, completely uninterested in the contents, built tower after tower for his own amusement. While planning his Thomas the Train birthday party, I wanted to provide him and his friends with an opportunity to use this skill! Here’s what I came up with:
What I Used:
- Medium U-haul box
- Two smaller rectangular boxes (were supposed to be U-haul book boxes, but we couldn’t find those in our box stash)
- U-haul dish saver box
- Poster box cut-down to roughly 12″ long
- Ram board seam tape (or something similar)
- Paint (spray paint or other)
- Black, Gray
- Green paper or vinyl
- Cranky’s face
- Spray adhesive
- Ribbon or thread
- Paper clip or other small object
- Yellow pool noodle
- OPTIONAL: Black, green, and gray duct tape
(1) Tape boxes closed and, if you can, cover the as seamlessly as possible in tape (this will help with their appearance post-painting).
(2) Paint medium box and two smaller boxes gray.
(3) Add black “x’s” to medium box and two smaller boxes. I think it’s easier and cleaner to do this step with black duct tape, but I ran out of tape, and painting the “x” on works just find as well.
(4) Paint dish saver box black.
(5) On one side of the dish saver box, add lettering (cut from green paper or vinyl).
(6) On the other side of the dish saver box, add one diagonal gray line (with paint or duct tape) as well as “windows” or any other decoration that you’d like.
(7) Adhere Cranky’s face to the front of the box with spray adhesive.
(8) Paint poster box black.
(9) Working down two parallel sides, add small gray x’s (with paint or duct tape).
(10) Cut a piece of ribbon or thread (I used yellow ribbon here) to 30-ish” and affix a 15″ pool noodle to the end. To do this step, I poked a hole in the top of the noodle and weaved the ribbon through it. Secure a paper clip (or other object) to the end of the ribbon to keep it from coming back through the hold. Then, I pulled the ribbon tight, allowing the object to hold the pool noodle to the ribbon. OPTIONAL: Write “SODOR” on the noodle in black sharpie.
(11) Poke hold in the bottom and the front of the poster box, and weave a ribbon through, tying a knot to secure. I also covered up my holes and exposed knot with black tape.
(12) Adhere the poster box/ribbon/noodle to the top of the dish saver box.
And let the kids enjoy stacking, destroying, and re-stacking Cranky the Crane!
For other train party ideas, come see Chugga, Chugga, TWO TWO!