Dinosaur Party -3yr- Jell-O With Gummie Bones
Anna in Shreveport, Louisiana
Our dinosaur party started as most all do, with the invitations. Because our party was a joint one for our son, turning 3, and our daughter, turning 6, I made 2 different cards. I made T-Rex die cuts out of green and yellow, our party colors. On the front of our son's card, I printed out "Any T-Rex could see that _______'s already 3, since he's getting older why don't you all just" and stamped in green and yellow dino footprints. On the inside of the card I taped the die cut and printed "stomp on over! You'll dig it!" I arranged the card so that it opened vertically. All important information about time and place were on the top flap once the card opened. Our daughter's card was similar except for the wording on the front page, "_________ won't be 5 much longer, so why don't you all just" I made t-shirts and a dino-crossing sign from a foam puzzle that we have. I simply used it as a large stencil. The sign was placed on the front door.
As the children came in, each picked up a piece of paper explaining the stations available to them. We had a station with a posterboard sign naming our "Research Center." Of course we named it using our son's first and middle name. That center housed all of our dinosaur books. We also had a play area set up with dinosaur fabric as a "rug" and all of our plastic and stuffed dinosaurs. Play ideas were on cards at that corner such as "try dividing us into meat eaters and plant eaters" and "have fun playing Velociraptor vacation or Hadrosaur house" and "try your hand at dinosaur charades."
Another area of the room housed the dinosaur themed games we have, dinosaur dominoes and one similar to Operation in which the players try removing T-Rex bones without making the dinosaur roar.
Another area was called Amazing Mazes. Dino-Maze is a collection of 40 poster-size mazes rolled up into a large bone shaped holder. Each maze is a true drawing of a dinosaur skeleton. On closer inspection the player can find a start and finish.
Another area housed several coloring books, sheets, and stencils. To draw attention to that area, I stenciled a dinosaur border onto a large piece of roll paper. I left plenty of room for the kids to add their own touches to the dinosaur scene. Washable markers and crayons were also available here.
Another area for the children to explore was set up at a square table. All of our dinosaur puzzles were there. That area was called "Piece it together." The last area was named after our daughter, ______'s Canyon.
On the patio we had a plastic swimming pool covered first with a green sheet then filled with 3 50lb bags of play sand. I lucked out and found some fuzzy poster velvet coloring dinosaur boards at Wal-Mart one day. I bought all they had, about 18, because they were only $1.00. These dinosaurs were put on the board in parts to color, punch out, and assemble into a standing dinosaur.
After assembly the dinosaurs stood about 15 to 25 inches tall depending on the kind. I took 3 of them apart and hid their pieces in the sand. I placed medium to large paint brushes out there to encourage the children to dig carefully for the "bones." Each kind of dinosaur was color coded so putting them together after digging up the pieces was not too difficult. After the children were made aware of all the stations, they were encouraged to visit each one and try learning 5 new things about dinosaurs during their stay at the party.
There were five spots on the back of their paper for them to record their findings. Our party started at 5:00 in the evening so dinner was served. We had food for the herbivores. That included a Velociraptor nest (their eggs were round) which was a bowl filled with grapes and melon balls and a Hadrosaur nest (their eggs were elongated) which was a platter surrounded by broccoli heads and filled with baby carrots in concentric cirles around the dip. We also had food for the carnivores. That of course was dinosaur hatchlings, better known as dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.
For the adults I made Jambalaya with shrimp, sausage, and chicken. The sign at that pot read "Can you dig up something tasty?" We also had some food for anyone that wanted something crunchy! Stegosaurus Bony Plates were Doritos.
As a small dessert I had made up blue jello and before it completely set, stuck in some small gummy bones (left over from Halloween). I didn't know if I had enough Jello so I also made some chocolate pudding and sprinkled crushed almonds on top. More bones were stuck in the pudding. The sign over the Jello and Pudding read "Frozen Bones? Or Stuck in the Dirt? You decide!"
I made the "Happy Birthday, Spike" cake from www.wilton.com. You can find this recipe and instructions and see the cake at that site under recipes and projects. It calls for the 3-D cuddly bear pan. After some cutting here and adding there, the final cake looks like a baby dinosaur sitting up and smiling at you. I was very pleased.
We had rocky road ice cream (vanilla was also available). Party favors were placed in green or yellow gift bags with opposite colored tissue paper. They included dinosaur fruit snacks, a small stegosaurus stamp, a dinosaur wooden shape to paint, a couple of dinosaur "eggs" (the capsules that when soaking in hot water turn into a dinosaur shaped sponge), and Coprolite Cookies. The cookies were chocolate drop cookies and had a small tag with them explaining that "Coprolite is the fancy name for dino droppings!" Any child that had learned 5 new things (which of course they all got credit for) also got to take home one of the fuzzy velvet dinosaur posterboards.
I hope you have gotten some new and fun ideas here. We had a great time at the party and I had a great time putting it together!
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