Idea No.


Dino Theme -4yr- Life Size Protoceratops Mural



August 2004


Karen in Dumas, Texas

Special Mention

Dinosaur Party

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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