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Planes, Trains, Trucks

Hit the high road -- or fly the friendly skies -- with a transporation-themed party. Here are some great ways to really keep things moving.

Fly Me In

Cut paper into the shape of an airplane and decorate. Then tape a white ribbon or piece of white paper behind the plane like a streamer, and write the party information on it.

Train CD Invite
train_invite

Pump up the volume before the party by sending your guests a CD of favorite tunes.

What you need:

  • Blank CD with case
  • Solid and patterned paper
  • Train template
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Rubber stamps

To make:

Cut patterned paper to fit inside CD case. Trace enlarged train template to solid paper, cut, and glue to the piece of paper that will line the cover of the case. Cut a square from white paper, and write party information on it. Glue square to paper that will line the back of the CD case. Record party music on the CD, and label. Mail in CD-size box.

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Reader's Tip: Keep on Trucking

For my son's second birthday, I made a construction themed cake. I baked a yellow box-shaped cake and used mini peanut butter cups to imitate boulders and scattered them on top. Then I crushed Oreo cookies to make dirt. To finish it off, I added actual trucks and construction toys (that were thoroughly washed). My son played with the cake for hours after the family members each took a slice. --Lisa

Reader's Tip: Firetruck Fun
fire_truck_cake

My son loves trucks, so for his second birthday we had a firetruck party. We had fire hats (that I found at the dollar store), fire chief badges, and name tags with firetrucks on them. We had an emergency vehicles cake with toy rescue vehicles on top. In their goodie bags, we put ambulances, firetrucks, and emergency helicopters. We also had a firetruck pinata. But the kids' favorite part of the party was when the fire department brought the firetruck to the house and let everybody ride on it. I'm not sure who had more fun the kids or the parents! --Beth

All Aboard for Goodies

Let children use stickers and markers to decorate train cars out of small boxes, such as the white ones sold at stationery or craft stores. Later during the party, fill each with candy, stickers, and little toys. Then line the cars up in a row, add an engine and you'll have the perfect goody train.

train_cake

  • 2 family-size (16 oz. each) frozen all-butter pound cakes, thawed
  • 1 can (16 oz.) vanilla frosting
  • Red, yellow, and green food coloring
  • Red, yellow, and green mini M&M's
  • 4 graham crackers
  • 12 Starlight Mints
  • 12 Oreos
  • 4 mini Oreos
  • Runts candies
  • Dum-Dums lollipops
  • 2 red Twizzlers

  1. For the train engine, cut one cake into a 6" piece, a 2 ¼" piece, and a 1 ½" piece. Cut the 1 ½" piece in half horizontally. For the two train cars, cut other pound cake in half crosswise. Tint ¾ cup frosting red, ¾ cup frosting yellow, and ½ cup frosting green. Cut thick pieces of cardboard to fit under engine and cars. For engine: Frost top and sides of 6" piece of cake red. Frost 2 ¼" piece of cake red on 2 sides and yellow on 3 sides. Place on large cake piece to make cab. Frost 1 ½" piece red, and place lengthwise on engine. To make cars, frost top and sides of 2 remaining cake pieces -- 1 green and 1 yellow. Place frosted cake pieces on cardboard.
  2. Using serrated knife, cut graham crackers in half lengthwise; trim to 4 ½". Place on cars to make bins to hold candy. Pipe crackers together with yellow frosting. Place toothpicks ¼" apart just inside bin on yellow car to support candy. Using frosting, attach mints to Oreos. Place 4 Oreo wheels on each car. Place 4 wheels on engine at back. Using frosting, attach mini M&M's to mini Oreos; place on engine. Attach 2 fruit Gems and a Dot to make the smokestack, and a Gem and a Dot to make the headlight.
  3. To decorate, place yellow mini M&M's around engine cab and red mini M&M's around engine top. Decorate the edges of the cars with mini M&M's as shown. Fill cars with candy; link together with Twizzlers. Remove toothpicks before serving. Serves 12.

Copyright© 2004. Reprinted with permission from the April 2002 issue of Parents magazine.