This week was my daughter's 5th birthday, and she wanted a dinosaur birthday party. My goals for the party were
- Make it fun
- Do it myself
- Keep it simple
I wanted something meaningful and useful, rather than candy and junk. I got a lot of ideas from Pinterest. In the end, each kid took home 2 pieces of candy, 4 dinosaurs, two fossils, a paleontologist brush, a new book, and a dinosaur party hat (my one junky splurge). My daughter helped with a lot of the prep work, addressing her invitations etc. We used paint and a plastic pool that we already had on hand. The total cost for everything else was $59.
bags for favors: $2
food & cake decorating supplies: $19
hats & paper plates: $4
clay & brown paint: $6
pinata & fillers: $5
books for exchange: $7
Total Cost: $59
Dinosaur Egg Favors. For party favors, we made dinosaur eggs. I used the homemade rock recipe we tried last year, and my daughter helped form the rocks around plastic dinosaurs. We made dinosaur egg toppers for the little baggies, just like we did for our Valentines. The slip of paper says, "Your dinosaur egg is ready to hatch! Open it outside with a hammer and an adult." We made an extra dozen of these for her preschool class, which is included in the cost.
Dinosaur Dig. At the party, each kid got a paint brush with his name on it, and they dug for dinosaurs in a pool full of wood shavings. This was a big hit, especially with the little kids.
Dinosaur Fossil Making. Once the kids found their dinosaurs, they could make fossils I used Crayola air-dry clay, which I bought at Michael's with a 40% off coupon. I pre-made all the round fossil shapes because the clay was a little hard to work with. I labeled the back of each fossil with an initial using a toothpick, and a paper plate with each kid's name so they wouldn't get squished or mixed up.
Dinosaur Egg Pinata. My daughter really wanted a pinata, but I didn't want to spend $10 on one, plus buy stuff to fill it with. I made this one at home by covering a balloon with newspaper strips dipped in a flour/water paste. Then I painted it brown, and the kids added spots. Inside was a little candy (Valentine's Day clearance), more toy dinosaurs, and dinosaur stickers.
After the pinata, we did a book exchange instead of birthday gifts. Then they read their new books, and played dinosaurs on our dinosaur play mat for a while. I also had a dozen or so dinosaur library books that I'd checked out, which were a big hit.
Dinosaur Lunch. I served Tyson dino chicken nuggets, pretzel sticks and rods, and spinach leaves for lunch. I also served Swamp Punch - Sprite and lime sherbet.
Dinosaur cake. The template for the dinosaur cake is from Betty Crocker. After I shaped and frosted the cake, my daughter decorated it herself. Yes, we have leftover candy corn from Halloween still.
Overall, I think it turned out great, and my daughter was thrilled with it all. She is already planning her Lego birthday next year and a Superhero birthday for when she turns 7.