Dinosaur Party

Dinosaur Party -7yr- Nesting Ground Relay




Rebecca in Ventura, CA, USA


March 2005



Dinosaur Party for 7 year old Birthday: I bought thin wooden dinos (Michael's Craft) in three styles.  I painted them with poster paint, filled in details with black Sharpie markers and attached magnets to the back (Orientaltrading.com or OTC).  The first dino had party time etc. and was sent with the invite.  The second had child's name on it and was a place card. The third said Thanks for a dino-mite day and was sent with the thank you.  This way, each child ends up with a three different dino magnets. The invites read Stampede to the Nesting Grounds for James Birthday Dinosaur Expedition on March 13 from 1:30-3:30 at the Smith Cave and Quarry.  RSVP to the prehistoric parents.  Don't be Extinct.  

We made vines out of strips of brown paper bags twisted and taped together with packing tape. The leaves were cut from green party streamers with the veins drawn with black Sharpie marker.  (They look realistic as they flutter in the breeze.) I cut out large dino footprints from black HEFTY trash bags and taped them to the cement leading up to the house with Poster tape. It really held,was rainsafe,not slippery and easy to cut large number at a time. We trimmed up all our trees right before the party and used the cuttings for decorations. 

We made a cave at the entry way by throwing a dinosaur sheet over a playhouse form, secured it with clothespins and added dark green curtains above on a tension rod so that kids couldnæt see above the cave. A cardboard sign read "Enter the Jungle through Dinosaur Cave." Two spears made out of wrapping paper tubes were crossed over the sign.  We played rainforest sound effects on a CD from Target.  Coming out of the cave, kids were surprised by a realistic dino made by hanging my kid's dino costume over my floor lamp and stuffing with blankets. I used a projector from Hearthsong.com ($29.95) that changes small images into big images when projected onto the wall. This way, I made 14 big cartoon dinos drawn onto brown postal wrap which my kids colored with crayons. 

Upon arrival, kids excavated dinosaur skeletons (OTC) at the quarry which I made 3 weeks before party. Simply use 3 parts water, 2 parts cornstarch, and 4 parts sand. Heat on stove until mixture is like putty, mold it around dinosaurs on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 170 degrees, or longer if they are not dry. (Be careful to monitor the drying process--mine started to mold in the garage so I sprayed them with lysol.) I covered the ôdino fossilsö with leftover sand in a box so they had to dig them out first.  They busted them open with a plastic hammer, removed most of the sand, then washed them in a tub of water. I provided a towel and Ziploc bags. Inside we passed out paper dinosaur gift bags prefilled with dino tattoos, dino micro machines, and small plastic dinos (all at OTC). We also included dinosaur Fact cards and a book "What Really happened to the Dinosaurs?" from AnswersInGenesis.org. 

We played "Hot Lava Rock," which is really Hot Potato. The Lava Rock was a piece of styrofoam broken into a rock form and then spray painted black. This made a safe alternative to a real rock, but looked real.  The winner got a prize and everyone received another type of special rock--a geode(OTC) with printed directions on how to break open later.

We talked about volcanos then went outside to see one erupt.  I had made a volcano by putting paper mache over a form I made by chipping away at more styrofoam from old coputer boxes.  I molded a Dixie cup into the top as the receptacle and spray-painted it black.  The volcano was set on a table covered with a green plastic tablecloth (OTC) surrounded by large plastic dinosaurs (OTC).  I made a lake for the swimming dino by putting a pie pan underneath the tablecloth, putting a second pie pan filled with blue jello on top of the tablecloth, but nesting inside the first.  I added leaves to hide the silver on the pan.  When it was time to erupt, each child placed a new Dixie cup prefilled with baking soda into the receptacle, added red vinegar to erupt, then removed his cup. Each kid selected a dino to keep from the diorama.  So that the kids wouldnt fight over who was next, I had numbered the Dixie cups. 

Next, the kids went on a Dino Egg Hunt for small plastic eggs with dinos in them (OTC).  I also hid a  few small bones made from the leftover fossil mixture and gave a special prize to those who found these.  When they finished, they each got a dino grabber (a stick with a dino head on it that grabs. OTC)

For the next game, Raid the Pterodactyl Nest.  We formed a circle, spread out a cloth with chocolate eggs on it and passed out small bowls.  We told the kids that they had exactly one minute to grab as many pterodactyl eggs as they could before mama pterodactyl came back. They were not allowed to use their hands, only their dino grabbers.  Every kid got about 17 eggs!  As a prize, each kid keeps his eggs and gets a pterodactyl glider (OTC) 

The last game was Nesting Ground Relay.  We divided into two teams--the Triceratopses and the Stegosauruses.  Each team had to jump across the tar pits (a hefty bag cut into a wavy strip and secured to ground with poster tape), get to the nesting grounds (Astroturf), hatch one baby dino (pop balloons that you prefilled with squishy small dino from OTC), and return to end of line with dino.  They were told to rush because a T. Rex was known to be in the neighborhood.  Each kid ended up going about three times before all dinos were hatched.  Everyone got a prize from the Mystery box which was a cardboard box with holes cut through the top with wooden snakes (OTC) hidden in packing pellets.  My husband had also cut a hole in the bottom so that when he held the box, he could reach his hand up and grab the kid reaching in through the top.  

Next was cake and ice cream bars.  Place setting were green, yellow and orange with wooden dino name place tags, stuffed mini dinos (OTC) and volcanoes.  The volcanos were small cones made from black construction paper.  I then took red cellophane squares and put bags of candy corn from OTC (labeled T.Rex teeth), and  bags of candy bones from OTC (labeled dino bones) and put them in the center of square.  I gathered up edges into a rubber band and pushed the top through the hole in the volcano to look like lava bursting out. 

The cake was a sheet cake with green frosting and a small blue lake.  I stacked two round cakes on top with a  bundt cake on top of that.  This made a volcano which was frosted with chocolate.  Lava was made using vanilla frosting colored red with Wiltons red concentrated paste.  I gooped so much on, it looked like a lava flow.  I bought a bucket of dinos made by Animal Planet at Toys R Us ($5.95)because it had palm trees and a waterfall rock that I could frost with blue a make it flow into my lake.  Blue edible sparkles made the water shimmer.  Of course the red candles came out of the volcano.  During the cake time, my husband came out with a local newspaper and acted really excited when he read the headline Exciting Egg-Sighting. 

We had pasted an article detailing how traffic had been stopped on the 101 due to unusually large eggs blocking traffic. We found a newspaper picture of cars stopped by recent floods in our area and glued giant eggs onto the picture.  The article then said . . .if any more eggs are found, residents are encouraged to break them open to see what's  inside.  We had made a huge paper mache egg out of a kitchen trash bag blown up and secured with rubber bands (see EnchantedLearning.com) and filled it with dino puppets we found at Costco.  Everyone worked to bust it open and grab one dinosaur.  They spent the rest of the party chasing each other with spears I had made out of wrapping paper tubes with black spray painted cardboard arrowheads (very flimsy and cut blunt for safety). 

We had typical party food except that we had a cheese try with cheese cut into bone shapes with cookie cutter from Michael's Crafts and bouquets of leaves instead of flowers.  They party took two hours and was a riot of fun!

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