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As soon as a child starts moving, he wants to GO! Celebrate your child's fascination with transportation with a Trains, Planes and Automobiles party!
trains1 © 2014 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Wheels on a Car: Fold construction paper to make a card. Draw or glue a picture of a car on the front of the card. Cut out two circles from a different-colored construction paper to make wheels; attach them to the car using T-fasteners so the wheels can turn. Write party details inside. If you prefer, do the same for a train picture, or make propellers for a plane.

Paper Airplane: Fold a sheet of colored construction paper into an airplane. Unfold, write party details inside, refold, and mail in a large envelope.

trains2 © 2014 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Decorate the party room with pictures or posters of the birthday child's favorite form of transportation.

Use toys as dècor. Group miniature race cars on the table as a centerpiece, or hang little plastic airplanes from the chandelier. Place all your child's trains on a table and label it your "depot."

Create simple road signs out of construction paper and hang them on doors and walls. You can also make construction paper license plates with a guest's name spelled out on each one.



Race Cars:For each child, cut out the top and bottom of a large box, leaving only the sides. Have children step into their cars, pull them up to their waists and run a race.

Bus Pass: Have everyone sit in two single-file lines. Give each line leader a roll of toilet paper to pass back over his head. The players must try not to tear the paper as they race to get the roll to the last player in their line.

Musical Bus Ride: Keep the chairs arranged like a bus. Play musical chairs. Last off the bus wins!


If you know a pilot or engineer, invite that person to come to the party in uniform and talk about what it's like to fly a plane or drive a train. If you know someone who owns a vintage car, ask if he or she would bring it over for the kids to look at!

Storytime: Read stories that feature trains, planes or other modes of transportation, such as "Engine, Engine Number Nine" or "The Bingity-Bangity School Bus." Sing "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round," then make up your own lyrics for planes, trains and automobiles.

trains_cake © 2014 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Make sandwiches with kids' favorite fillings: Cut off crusts and cut sandwiches in half. Lay sandwich pieces end to end on the table to make a train. Set veggies and fruit on top for cargo.

Make Airplane Salad: Cover a plate with leafy lettuce. Set a peach half on top to make the body of a plane. Set an apricot half on each side to make wings. Place round crackers at the fronts of the wings to make propellers.

Choo-Choo Cake
  • Bake a sheet cake following a favorite recipe. Cool.
  • Cut the cake into small rectangles and set the rectangles end to end to make train cars. Make one train car per guest, if possible.
  • Frost each train car with different-colored frosting.
  • Add details with strings of licorice, frosting tubes, and other decorative items.


Send guests home with toy cars, trains, or airplanes.

Hand out books or coloring books on airplanes, trains, cars or another form of transportation


Create a cruise ship from a large cardboard box, take it to the backyard and let the guests get in and pretend to sail away. If you like, provide some water toys for an afternoon of water fun and games.


Give yourself enough time to collect and prepare boxes before the party. Large boxes are available at appliance stores, or you can buy them from shipping stores.