Idea No.

21289

Dinosaur Party -6yr- Paleontologist Dig

Award

Date

April 2010

From

Hilary in Greeley, CO

Special Mention

Dinosaur Party

INVITATION We printed the invitation on green paper and found the shape of a dinosaur footprint online and cut the invitation in the shape of the footprint.  It read: Calling all paleontologists! A significant fossil has been unearthed, and we need your help to determine if it is indeed a Tyrannosaurus Rex! Not only will we be digging for bones, but we will also celebrate The 6th Birthday Of Chief Paleontologist [Son's Name]! Come to [address] On Friday At 12:00 PM We'll have a good paleontologists lunch and then begin our big dig.  So be sure to wear something that you can get dirty! 

DECORATION The party was in our backyard.  So I wrote a note in sidewalk chalk outside our front door saying to follow the footprints to the party.  With chalk, I drew dinosaur footprints along the sidewalk to the gate to our backyard.  At the gate, we put a chalkboard on a stake and wrote Paleontologists, pointing to our backyard.  We tied a tyrannosaurus rex helium balloon to the gate.  Next to the sign, we stuffed a dinosaur costume and propped it up next to the sign as if it was pointing to the backyard too.  In the backyard, I strung up some dinosaur party decor from the dollar store. 

FOOD We started the party with lunch.  As the children RSVP'd I asked what kind of sandwich the children liked.  I made turkey and cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cut them out with a dinosaur sandwich cutter.  We made jell-o in egg molds and stuck miniature toy dinosaurs in the eggs. 

ACTIVITIES/GAMES After lunch, I told them that paleontologists work hard to find dinosaur bones.  We entered the garage where there were green and white balloons with their names on them.  Inside the balloons were cut-outs of bones.  The children were told to find the bones that they had to pop the balloons with their names on them.  Next we headed through the garage to the front yard.  The children then were told that paleontologists often find dinosaur eggs.  So they essentially went on an Easter egg hunt for eggs, also with their names on them.  Inside the eggs were miniature dinosaurs. 

After they had found their eggs, I told them that a mother dinosaur had laid an egg in a large nest and that it was very difficult to find.  They would have to work together to find her nest.  Inside a large pile of leaves, we had placed a huge plastic egg.  The children worked together to find the egg.  We then took it to the backyard to discover what was inside.  Inside the egg were capsules.  Each child was given a baggy with his name on it and a little water inside.  He then put his capsules in the bag and sealed it.  We then put our bags in a safe place so that the dinosaurs could grow. 

Finally, as the boys were finishing their cake, I told my son that the mail had just arrived and that there was a letter for him.  It read: Dear Paleontologist [Last Name], After looking for dinosaur fossils all over North America, I believe there are bones in Greeley, Colorado.  I think the bones of a baby Tyrannosaurus Rex might be found in the backyard of [address]. I ask you and your paleontologist friends to please get your shovels and tools and dig for these bones as soon as possible. Good luck.  I hope you find these fossils. Thank you, Dr. Ross Gellar Paleontologist. (My son can read so I wrote it so that he could read it himself.)  I then lead the boys to a large raised flower bed in the backyard.  They each picked up toy shovels and started to dig. 

The day before, we had buried bones in the dirt.  The bones were turkey bones from a local butcher.  They were boiled and bleached before being buried.  They dug and dug.  The excitement was unreal as each of the boys found bone after bone.  Once the digging slowed down, we moved the bones into the driveway and started to analyze them.  The boys each gave his opinion as to what type of bone it might be and for what kind of dinosaur.  They worked and worked trying to piece together what they thought might be their dinosaurs.  The children didn't want to leave they were so busy.  My sons spent the rest of the day trying to figure out the puzzle of the dinosaur bones. 

CAKE I made cupcakes with chocolate icing.  Then I placed them together in the shape of a T-Rex using an image I had found on the internet.  I used a blue M&M for his eye and white icing to make claws and scales along his back. 

FAVORS My father-in-law organizes business conferences.  He had leftover name badges with a zipper pocket.  He made them all nametags that said the child's name, had the image of a dinosaur and said paleontologist.  The children got their badge when they arrived.  Inside the pouch was a toy dinosaur.  The children found more dinosaurs on the egg hunt.  They each took home their baggy of growing dinosaur's (sponges that grow from capsules).  And I had found all kinds of dinosaur items in the dollar spot at Target and gave them each a dinosaur birthday bag full of a pencil, tattoos, and a larger toy dinosaur.  If their mother allowed, they could take home some real bones, but most of them didn't want old turkey bones coming home so they left most of them with us for further examination.

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