Add these games to your list of train party ideas. They are sure to help keep your guests on track for a good time!
Musical Station Stops
Set up a few train "stations" around the room. You can use play tents, cardboard boxes and so on to construct the stations. Name each station and hang a sign bearing the name at each one. Then, write the station names on pieces of paper and place them in a conductor’s hat.
Fill a red wagon decorated to resemble a train with trinket prizes, at least one per player. Have kids go about their business at the party. Every now and then, blow a whistle. When the whistle blows, the party guests must stop whatever they are doing and rush to one of the stations. When everyone has arrived at a station, pull one of the station names out of the hat. Pull the trinket train to that stop, where each kid at the station gets to pick a prize. Keep playing until everyone gets a prize.
Use large pieces of cardboard, markers, paints and various craft items to decorate a child’s wagon or ride-on toy to look like a train. Have the children form a line at a spot that is designated as a train station. Have them take turns getting a train ride around the party space.
Engine Coal Relay
To set up for this game, hang a train poster on the wall close to the floor. Place two boxes in front of the train poster and label them as the “train engine.” On the other side of the room, fill two buckets with equal amounts of “coal” (black bean bags, crumpled up newspaper, or foil wrap).
Divide players into two teams. Give each team a shovel and have them form a line by their respective buckets of coal. Players must use their shovels to transfer the coal from the buckets to the train engine boxes, racing one at a time to do so. The first team to fill their engine box wins.
Set up activity stations called “train stations.” Have kids visit each station in small groups to enjoy a particular activity.
Ideas for stations include a coloring station with train-themed coloring books, a craft station where they can make a train craft, a story station where someone reads to them from a train-themed book and a photo station where they can put on a conductor’s uniform and have their picture taken.
Musical Train Cars
This game is played just like musical chairs. The only difference is that the chairs are set up in rows like those on a train, rather than side by side. Play a train-themed song, such as “Morning Train” or a selection from a kids’ music CD as the music for this game.
Divide players into two teams. Have them from two lines behind a starting line. Give each team a conductor’s hat, a vest and a bandana, and each player receives a ticket. On the other side of the room, place two empty tissue boxes with slots on top. Label them “ticket boxes.”
Blow a whistle to start the race. On the sound of the whistle, the first players in line must put on the conductor's garb, run to the ticket box, rip their tickets in half and drop them into the slot. They then must run back to their team, remove the conductor’s outfits and hand them to the next players.
All players must repeat this action. The first team to have all of their tickets in the box wins the race.
To play this game, kids must gather in a circle and choose one to be the conductor. The conductor has to sit in the center of the circle and close his eyes while holding a ticket in his hand. While the conductor is “sleeping” one player will snatch the ticket from his hand. When the conductor wakes up, he gets three chances to guess who stole the ticket. If he guesses correctly, the kid who stole the ticket trades places with the conductor. If not, the conductor is out and a new conductor is chosen.
In this game, one player is the conductor and the rest are train riders. The riders try to board the train without tickets, and the conductor has to catch as many “ticket jumpers” as he can.
Set up a line of chairs to resemble a train. Have the kids mingle and play around the party space. When they hear a whistle blow, they must race to sit on a train chair without being tagged by the conductor. Any players tagged by the conductor become the conductor’s helpers and must help tag ticket jumpers in the next round of play. The game continues until only one player is left untagged.
Gather four large boxes. Cut the tops and bottoms out of the boxes. Use duct tape to attach the boxes in pairs, forming two double train cars. Paint them or have the kids decorate them to look like train cars.
Divide players into teams of two. Have two teams start by standing in the train cars and pulling them up around their bodies. The two trains must race to a designated finish line. The losing team is out and two new teams race. Keep racing until all teams have had a turn. Then have all of the winners race each other.
Red Light Green Light
In this game, the kids all stand behind a designated starting line. The kids are trains and a parent is the engineer. The engineer has one red light and one green light (painted and cut out of poster board). The engineer will hold up the green light, signaling the trains to move forward while making train noises. When the engineer switches to the red light, the trains must freeze in place. Any train caught moving or making noise is sent back to the starting line. The first player to arrive at the engineer is the winner.