Dino Theme -4yr- Life Size Protoceratops Mural
Karen in Dumas, Texas
Ever since my son turned three, he has become enthralled with dinosaurs. So for the last 11 months I have had time to plan his fourth birthday party with a dino theme.
For INVITATIONS I cut out triceratop shaped foamies and glued the invite on top. I glued a magnet on back so that it could be placed on the frig. As a reminder. I borrowed another person's ideas on wording from this site. I placed the invite inside a clear party bag with easter grass on the bottom. I also included an easter egg filled with a dinosaur and I added three unwrapped chocolate easter eggs hidden inside a separate clear bag of crushed nilla waffers. Once all items were inside the party bag, I tied the top with colored ribbons & hand delivered the invites.
DECORATIONS were ballons eggs of course. I painted the walk way with dino footprints & dino pictures. The living room, dining room, and kitchen all became the muesum with pictures from coloring books & dino websites with facts included & then pasted onto construction paper. I also placed larger models of dinosaurs around the room on pedastels. The play room, however, was transformed into a jungle for only 6 dollars. I used the brown wrapping paper that came in my oriental trading (OT) boxes to make a total of ten 3D shaped trees on the wall. I used green tissue paper & construction paper for leaves. I hung 3 green plastic table clothes cut into strips of 3 (I think 4 would also work) & taped green construction paper leaves to them to make a series of chris crossing vines on the ceiling. I used green streamers on the doors to also make vines.
To make the room less scary & more inviting for the younger girls, I also made several tissue paper butterflies on hung them from the walls, trees, doors, & ceiling. I also made dinosaur faces out of foamies on put them on the wall. OT has masks that could also have been used for decorations, games, & favors. I didn't do this though, I just made a few for deco. The laundry room leading to the garage was converted into a cave using streamers at the entrance to be vines & garbage bags for the cave. The garage was decorated with all the live & fake plants that I had around. I also painted a fairly realistic dino scene onto a 9 by 6 foot canvas drop cloth. I made blue sky with clouds & green pterdactlys flying. I then made mountains & trees. I then made a sandy layer using the canvas itself as part of the coloring & sponged more taupe colors on top.
I painted a life size protoceratops & her nest with a few unhatched & hatched eggs & three smaller baby protoceratops. I surrounded the mural with plants & hung it on the wall. I then took my son's bouncy horse & covered his head with a black pillow sham & body with black sheets. On the pillow sham I glued three pary hats to be horns & large googley eyes. I stuffed the top part of the pillow sham & put it on top. Voila, instant triceratops. I placed the triceratops in front of the mural. I would later take pictures of kids on the triceratops & use this as a thank you. I also put down red plastic table clothes for lava & covered up the oil leak in my car. I then used all my son's thousand other assorted dinosaur toys for decorations throughout the house. I also made a series of two different colored construction paper footprints to be used for a game & decorations.
ACTIVITES: When guests first arrived, I had them make two art projects. One was a dinorub. I cut out dino shaped figures out of bumpy paper & glued them onto larger paper. Kids took a white paper & crayon to rub over the dinos. I also had a table with construction paper, dino foamies & small plastic leaves. Kids glued themselves a picture. Then outside I had two dino digs going. Each child was given a dino bag (OT). I told them to collect dino fossils from one sandpit using paint brushes. I made these using playdoh that I let dry. In the other sandpit, I made dino bones out of foil, I took shells & easter eggs surrounded with a nest of foil, & glued them all onto a board. I then covered the entire site with plaster of paris & covered with sand. I had paint brushes in each sandpit for the little ones to uncover their treasures.
Once everyone had arrived, we played a series of GAMES. We had a dino egg hunt (OT). We also had a dino hunt. Two teams of kids searched for a certain colored dino footprint that lead them throughout the house & into the backyard where I had two pinatas (birthday express). I filled them with easter egg shaped chocolates and OT dinosaurs plastic & gooey, bouncy ball eggs, and dino stickers & tattoos. (Last year all, but one child had a chance to hit the pinata, so this yr we had 2). We had another dino hunt were I placed several small plastic dinos in large container & covered with plastic leaves. Kids stuck their hand in & picked out dinos.
We had a tex rex stomp with balloons attached to their legs. (This did not go over well with the little ones & some adults, so we just had them run through the grass) We played egg stealers. I had inflatable easter eggs (OT) & told kids to find ("steal") one each. Then we looked for the friendly dinosaurs. We went into the play room & found the tissue paper pterdacytal & nest with egss (nest was net toy holder). I climbed up & got down paper mache eggs. I couldn't fit too many, so we continued our hunt. The next dinosaur with egss - I forgot to include this in decorations. I took my infant son's bassinet, a swim noodle, & pillows, & a sock. I covered all this with sheets & pillow cases, glued on eyes, & voila - a friendly long neck. The friendly dino gave the remaining children an egg.
We then went through the cave & into dino land (garage) & opened eggs. Inside I placed a stuffed dino, 2 dino tattoos, 2 dino stickers, 2 gooey dinos, 1 bouncing egg ball (all OT). We then took each child's picture on the triceratops to be used as thank yous. Kids stayed away from the hot lava & loved this idea. While the others waited, they exaimed dino slime (flubber). I gave each child a container full to take home with a plastic dino inside. I decorated the fourwheeler to look like a triceratops & we planned to give them rides, but we had a flat. My son had a little one which I also decorated to be a baby triceratops, so they took turns riding this. The CAKE was decorated with plastic volcanoes,trees & dinosaurs. The cups, plates, tablecoth, etc. were dinos & purchased at a party shop on sale.
FOOD mainly cake, chips, & dips. I also had chocolate easter eggs in a bowl & gummy dinosaurs in another. When my son opened his presents, I handed out dino coloring sheet thank yous & a package of gummy dinosaurs. I know that I am forgetting some more activites, but those were what worked well & what didn't work. One parent said she was leaving with more then what they brought & another has signed me up to do decorations for VBS. I went all out on decorations (although I didn't spend more than $10) & prizes. But my son was having a playgroup birthday party at our house the next day with a medieval theme. So I simply changed the dinosaurs to be dragons & put up castles in a matter of minutes.
I took their pictures on the bouncy horse (I took down the triceratops) in front of the dragon (Now with flames & a castle). We had dragon egg hunts (OT dino eggs) & the friendly dragon gave them a plastic easter egg with a dragon (dinosaur) inside. We had a treasure hunt - candy, coins, & jewerly. We made flags, princess hats, crowns, fairy houses & treasure chests. We hunted the mean dragon (Birthday express dragon pianta). Girls were given (OT) wands & charmed the dragon & boys used their blow up (OT) swords to slay the dragon. Played with dragon slime (flubber). We hunted for socerer's stones (candy wrapped in tin foil). We had a bounce around "castle" that we bought at walmart. We helped the tooth fairy find her lost money. We played other tournament games too, but this is about dinosaurs & how to make two different party themes out of mainly one theme. Happy Planning.
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