Monday, August 29, 2011

A Thomas Party

Our grandson, Little Man, wanted a Thomas Party. For this 6 year old, it’s been Thomas for a few years now. He loves his trains. We had taken him to A Day Out With Thomas back in March which put a smile on his face and will be something he will always remember.

A Thomas party it was to be, but with a twist…WATER FIGHT PLAY was to be our activities. With temperatures of 113, or there about, what better games are there. We also had a twist with date and locations which caused some conflicts but allowed us to have two parties. Around here, with 9 grandchildren, work schedules, visitations, timing, with all the extended families, it can be tricky with the scheduling, but we have learned to just roll with it. And we did just that!

What was involved in the creating this Water Fun Time?

First you need a lot of buckets. Big and small. Lots of water squirting toys, water spray bottles, sponges and water balloons. LOTS OF WATER BALLOONS!




I shopped at the dollar store for most of it and Walmart for the larger buckets, separated color water balloons (they were perfect, thinking I should now stock up on some) and water guns ( we have used the Dollar Store ones before and they either don’t work or the kids can’t squeeze the stiff trigger). We hand tested each of the $1 ones at Walmart and they came in matching colors to the balloons. Perfect! Some of the water supplies were also used in each dollar store buckets, along with bubbles, goggles, lollipop, and a silly straw cup as their favor, not only to take home but to use at the party as well.




Place settings were from Party City as were the cute, easy to use, Thomas visors.  The table covering was left over from the carwash supplies coming up next.



This is what inspired the water play party! I found this idea at Design Dazzle and her Summer Camp Link Up Party and changed it up some for our party, theme and colors. In searching, I found so many different ways of constructing one. With a design planned out and a list of supplies needed…

          Eight 10-foot lengths of 3/4-inch PVC pipe

         The following 3/4-inch PVC fittings:

          12 T's

    2 crosses

     7 elbows

          4 caps

one 1-inch to 3/4-inch T

1 straight fitting

1 female hose adapter (threaded)


….once home from Home Depot, Grandpa got to work building the frame.




Then it was my turn to transform it into our version of the car wash.



I used Dollar Store noodles and their plastic table covers to  jazz it up. Using just a steak knife I cut the noodle on one side only and was able to slip it over the top pipes. The two in the front, the green ones, I actually pushed them over the pipe. I used PAM cooking oil spray first and just worked them down  the pipe. Make sure you do this on a towel as the oil will make a mess! Fishing line was used to hang the blue ones from the middle pipe,then top with a noodle. The curtain was cut in equal strips, 2 blue, 2 green, 1 orange, then cut again into smaller strips, stopping about 6 inches from the top. I overlapped them and used duck tape to hold in place then slip the noodle over it. The short orange ones were pushed over the pipe like the green ones. At house we supported it with the porch post. At our sons, we had some difficulty due to wind. We forgot to bring small bags of rock to weigh it down. Unfortunately it blew over a couple times and the last crash broke a fitting. Fixable but it closed the car wash for the day.




As things were coming together, I remembered I had some slings from years ago so I hunted them down and found that of the 2 we had, 1 had been destroyed by our great weather.  No problem, we can work with it. If your interested in where I found them Amazon has the ones I bought. I was amazed how many different ones there are now, since mine are almost 10 years old.



Now to figure out how to hook it up. The directions call for two to hold the handles while one pulls back and launches the balloon. Well, with teens or older, yes, but with 9 and under kids, they didn’t have enough ump to launch it far nor could they hold strong enough to stretch it. In my searching around the house I found the bar bell holder thing, or what ever it is called, and thought, it just might do the job. What do you think?


We still have it out and think it will be used on my Grandma Wednesdays for awhile. We put out targets for them to shoot at, but I think they had more fun shooting them high for Bella. The “Grands” were introduced to and soon discovered that water balloons are a LOT of fun!

Back to party prepping….

Decorations were made from supplies on hand. Construction paper, fancy scissors, and streamers folded like….



…were transformed…

…and remember those pom-poms I made for this party, and recycled them again and again for these…well they got used one last time.


The blue fans were bought with the Thomas supplies.  I used the front of the invitation and cut out Thomas then attached it to the fan with double  sided tape.





Another decoration that came from supplies on hand were the balloon bowls. I found the directions at Martha Stewart. They are made out of paper plates. I covered the rubber band with some of the streamer and they worked great for holding the balloons and cost absolutely nothing!




Before we got word of our first celebrations snag, I had put together the cupcake plate, using a multi-colored  pack of water balloons, a couple glass containers, and 2different sized glass plates.


I did not want to glue them together, so what I did was blow up a few balloons, just small enough to fit in the container. When you add the balloons you won’t need as many to fill it. Make sure your balloons domes up just a little and position a few of the balloons so that they lay on the rim of the container.When you add the plate, my first layer was a large serving platter so it weighed it down perfectly, the balloons helped it to not move. Add a few balloons in the center of your next plate before adding your next container. This helps the second layer, a dinner size plate, from slipping. If I had some of that no move putty stuff I use for pictures on the wall, I would have used that, but for this event, the balloons worked great. The plan was to have one of the jumbo muffin sized cupcake on the top, with Thomas and his friends around it. The first layer was to hold regular sized cupcakes in primary colors with Thomas toppers. I’m sure we will do a water party again and will use this idea again.


When the first weekends event was over, things were packed down to be set up again at our sons house. While the men kept the birthday boy busy outside working on a motor (typical for this gang) the girls decorated the table area for our next celebration.

This time there was cake!


…And lots of water fun…



What a water-fun-tasticly-filled party we had…not once but twice!




Oh! Don’t forget the adults, we got in on the fun too! There was definitely plenty for everybody to just let lose and have FUN!.


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