Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Dinosaur Birthday!

We had a birthday in our house this month.  My sweet middle child turned 5.  He's a pretty easy going kid who loves dinosaurs!  This would be the first real kid party full of games that we've had for him (past birthdays have been more of the let the kids play type parties, not so much the organized type of fun).  I had a blast looking up ideas on Google and Pinterest.  And it payed off.  All the kids had fun, the guests ranging in age from his 2 year old sister to a 9 year old friend.  One of the kids said partway through, "This is the best party ever".  Most telling was my now 5 year old who declared he wanted the exact same birthday next year with the exact same guests - exact!

We started off with make your own candy necklaces.  This was a great way to get the kids started in on something without letting their energy abound through the entire house. 
I picked a variety of candy and cereal for this, pretty much anything that you could loop onto a string (Froot Loops, Lifesaver gummies, chocolate covered pretzels, fuzzy peach rings and sour patch keys)

I then had them go on the hunt for dinosaur eggs that I had hidden throughout the house.  To make these I started the day before following a recipe I found on (
It uses a combination of soil, sand, flour and water to work and of course there is a mini dinosaur inside to 'hatch'.
They were pretty excited to find a real dinosaur inside.  That's my 7 year old with his discovery.

Next, the kids became paleontologists digging for dinosaur bones in their bucket.  The dollar store really helped me out with this one as they had dinosaur bone kits available.  I buried a kit for each of them in a bucket of sand. I also labeled all the buckets with their names so that it became their goodie bag to take all their dinosaur stuff home in.  I used an old vinyl table cloth as their dinosaur exploration space on the kitchen floor to keep the mess contained.  I also had a large bucket set in the middle so they could dump in their excess sand. 
It was pretty messy, but I had a great couple of mom friends handy with wet towels and wipes for clean up once the kids were finished.
Our next activity was a relay game.  Each team had a dinosaur chomper toy in hand to pick up puzzle pieces on the other end.  They had to use the dinosaur chomper to pick up a piece at a time to bring back to their puzzle tray. 
Once they had all their pieces, they began to assemble the puzzle.
Next up was pin the tooth on the T-Rex (a take on pin the tail on the donkey).  I drew the T-Rex on a piece of tag board paper and then cut out triangles for teeth.

Before we ate, we made Faux "Lava Lamps".  I found this one on Mom to 2 Posh Diva's blog site (  They aren't lamps in the sense that they don't light up, but they work so see the 'lava' bubble around in the bottle.
What You Need:
clear bottle(s)
food color
alka seltzer (or silimar effervescent tablet)
What To Do:
1. Pour oil into your bottle -
filling it about 2/3 of the way
2. Pour water into your bottle -
a little less than 1/3 to leave some room at the top
3. Add food color of choice
4. Observe what happened to the food color
5. Cut 1 Alka Seltzer (or similar) tablet into 8 pieces
6. Add 1 piece of the tablet at a time & observe the reaction.
The kids thought this was pretty cool!

Post party - my boys and one of their friends pulled out all the dinosaur toys in the house (some had been used for decorations) and had a great play.


Of course it wouldn't be a party without cake!  Instead of going the traditional way of making a dinosaur shaped cake, I baked my cake in an angel food pan to create a volcano.  Once cooled, I frosted it with chocolate frosting.  I also frosted the aluminum foil underneath the cake to make it look like it was all muddy. (The cake is sitting on a cutting board).  I took a little bit of vanilla frosting and dyed it orange-red to create a lava color.  Once I had the color I wanted, I put the dish of frosting in the microwave for just under 1 minute to liquify it.  I then poured the liquified frosting over the top to create the lava effect.  (Make sure you have foil turned up a the edges to catch the run off, makes nice little lava lakes. I crushed up some Fudge-E-O cookies and sprinkles it around as more mud and dirt.  I found some Candy Rocks to spread as well to enhance the effect.  The dinosaurs stomping around were from a dollar store packet.  We used sparklers instead of candles when we sang "Happy Birthday" to make it look as if the volcano was errupting.  Cool effect all around, I was pretty pleased with it.
I created this watermelon dinosaur thanks to (  It's a pretty fantastic site with all sorts of watermelon ideas.  This is much easier than you think.  Watermelon is super-easy to carve and the effect is awesome!

A great day all in all, now on to planning a Lego party for my older son in July :)