Mikey decided the day after his 4th birthday that he wanted a Dinosaur party for this 5th. Of course, throughout the year I would ask him if that's still what he wanted and he stuck with it, so, lucky for me, I had most of a year to plan this one out (and to make purchases). The invitations were a dinosaur egg that opened. I used a large Easter egg cookie cutter to trace the shape. The back was one full piece, for the two front pieces, I cut two eggs out of cardboard and then cut a bottom and a top separately so they would overlap, and then used those two pieces as my pattern. I have a dot hole puncher that I used to cut a bunch of colored circles and then hot glued those down.
For decorations, i kept it simple to green streamers, some balloons, some footprints up the front walk, and my birthday wreathe.
The activities I chose were:
1. Make fossil necklaces. I used a recipe for "Play Clay" at http://www.angelfire.com/dc/childsplay/craftrecipes3.htm. It turned out ok....I did forget to eventually give the children their necklaces because they weren't totally dried, but that's beside the point, right?
2. Hunt for dinosaur eggs. About 3 weeks beforehand, I got some water balloons because they would be the right size and a bunch of newspaper. I found a really great paper mache recipe at http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/best-papier-mache-recipe-708645/. In total I did 4 layers of paper, but only 2 at a time to give them the best chance at drying all the way through. When they were totally dry and hard, which took about 2 weeks since I don't have that much time all at once so I did them on consecutive Saturdays, I painted them with plain old acrylics. When that was dry, I took an exacto knife, cut a slit and stuffed them with small dinosaur toys.
3. Dig for dinosaur bones. As you know, you can find almost anything on Amazon.com. So that's where I turned for dinosaur bones. I ended up with some pretty great products, but I did take my time in reading reviews and hunting for the best value. We buried them in the sandy pit behind our house where our pool usually sits. I gave each kid a paint brush so they could 'properly' clean their bones.
4. Breaking Geodes. Now, this didn't go well. The idea was there and it could have been great, but no such luck. This was another item I thought I had researched well, but out of 20 geodes only 2 had any kind of noticeable formations in them and then those were that clear white color and not purplish in the slightest. The kids did enjoy hitting stuff with the mallet, though. Well, to be honest, some of them did. I hit most of them just to get through it. We still gave each kid a baggie with their pieces.
5. Dinosaur tattoos. The least imaginative item. I ordered them and my sister and friend applied them. We did this at the same time as the geodes so that only half the kids were outside hitting things at once.
For the food, I didn't get too involved. I did buy way way way too much, but nothing spectacular. "Dino" Dogs and "Pterodactyl" Bites. Veggies, chips, spinach dip.
For the cake, I attempted a truly original idea, but I didn't execute it well. The concept was a dirt cake, green grass icing, and then dinosaur footprints through the grass.........below was the result. Maybe someone else would have better luck with this one.
In the goody bags, I included magnets, dinosaur fact cards, and reusable dinosaur stickers and then they got their eggs, the dinosaurs, and the skeletons they dug up. All of the dinosaur stuff I found for the goody bags came from keeping an eye on the $1 bins at target and Wal-Mart. You never know what they'll have in those bins! I hope I have been able to give you some ideas and if you attempt that cake, please show me your results!!