Dinos & Dragons -4yr- Crown & Princess Hat Crafts
Karen in Dumas, TX USA
For my son's fourth birthday, we actually had two parties at our house back to back. The first was a dinosaur theme and the second a Knight theme. My son then wasn't into castles, etc., but is now. The reason I choose this enchanted theme was that the majority of dinosaur decorations could double as dragon decorations. All the dinosaur became dragons and the jungle that I created in the playroom became an enchanted forest.
Invites were resume paper printed in a handwriting font, stained, and burnted. At the moment I forget what I wrote, but I took ideas from others from this site and added to my own. I told them dressing up was optional. Some did. I rolled the invites, sealed with wax, and tied a ribbon around it. I hand delivered these invites along with a set of medievalish stamps and ink pad for the kids to play with. (I like to give out presents with my invites & sometimes thank yous, so that even those who may not be able to attend can have something special & it helps set the mood).
Decorations were medieval (fairies, princesses, knights, dragons, griffins, wizards, etc.) coloring pages printout off the net and colored by my son & posted on construction paper. I included facts from the time period & made construction paper castles, shields, and coats of arms too. I was a teacher and dragged out some of my old pictures & posters from this time too. In addition, we had several dragons (dinosaurs leftover) on the walls & a model on that I made out of my son's bassinet. I took a pool noodle & placed inside the bassinet, I placed pillows on top, and cover the whole thing with sheets and pillow cases. I glued eyes to the head and viola a long necked dinosaur - dragon.
For six dollars I converted the playroom into an enchanted jungle forest. I had green vines made from plastic table clothes cut into strips and taped leafs. I chriss crossed a dozen or so across the ceiling and hung tissue paper butterflies from fishing line. The walls I used brown packing paper to create 3D trees & construction paper & tissue paper for leaves again I had tissue paper butterflies on the walls & door. I made about 3 trees per wall.
I also had made dinosaur (now dragon) foam faces on the wall. For a dollar I purchased a dragon tablecloth for the dining table and for another dollar I purchased a royal blue tablecloth for the craft tables. I know that I am forgetting something. Oh yeah, I took all his dragon stuffed toys & fisher price knight set & some of my childhood princess dolls to use as additional decoration - mainly on the dining room table. Total cost on decoration was ten dollars! And truly the house was transformed. When children first arrived, I set up several craft stations. Boys made crowns - left over from my teaching days & purchased years ago from Oriental Trading (OTC). Girls made princess hats using purple party hats & stuff tule on the top. Both boys & girls added jewels (sequines) to their hats & crowns.
Next they made felt flags with felt stars glued on & hung up to make additional decorations. They also decorated treasure boxes from (OTC) per painted gold. Outside kids were given pinecones, paint & glitter in order to make fairy homes. Each boy was given a sword (OTC) & each girl a wand (OTC). My son had tunic (an old blouse of mine) with a sash (an old scarf) & OTC knight set accessories. I dressed in an old bridesmaids dress that really looks like a fairy princess dress. I wore a tiara & carried a matching wand. The kids loved this. Kids also played with flubber left over dinosaur slime which was now dragon slime. Kids at both party were given a container of flubber to take home.
Once everyone had arrived, we had a dragon egg hunt (dinosaur eggs -OTC) and a sorceer stone hunt (candy wrapped in tin foil). Then we had a jousting tournament. I took two cardboard wrapping paper rolls & two stick horses, two different colored ribbons, & two pool rings. I gave each child one or the either of the two different colored ribbons (blue or green), a stick horse, and a lance (wrapping paper roll). Kids had to lance the ring matching their ribbon. We had a quest complete with a map & clues. First kids located the shroud of turin (a white sheet) & returned it to the queen (me). I gave each child a plastic necklace.
Then they had to locate the Holy Grail (clear & gold plastic wine cup) & return it to me. They were given a gold ring from wedding aisle. Then they had to find the friendly dragon (bassinett) & were given an easter egg with dinosaur - dragon inside. Following the construction paper dragon-dinosaur footprints, kids located the bad dragon (Birthday Express red Dragon pinata). Girls charmed it with their wands & boys slayed it with their swords. Loot bags were dinosaur- dragon bags. They hunted for the treasure which was golden wedding favor bags filled with hersey treasure candy & plastic gold coins. Last they traveled through the cave made out of trash bags & green vines (steamers) in our utilty room leading to the garage.
The garage was the kingdom of far away & I made a castle for them to play with out of carboard boxes while they waited to have their picture taken. Using a 6 ft by 9 ft canvas drop cloth, I painted a fairly realistic dinosaur scene with a life size protoceratop mom with her nest of some hatching eggs. In the background were pterdactyls. I added flames out of red, yellow, and orange construction paper & taped it to the mom's mouth & voila a dragon. I also added a construction paper castle. I used all my plants real & fake & addded vines. I clustered these plants around the scene. I placed my son's bouncy horse (realistic looking) in the center. I had larger kids stand near the horse & little ones ride the horse. I took each child's picture in front of the mural to be used as thank yous. We also had a red plastic tablecloth to be lava & cover an oil spill. Each child was given a prize - leftover McDonald toys. Older boys got a pokemon monster. Older girls a Madame Alexander doll. And younger children Ty beanie baby.
For lunch we had chicken nuggets, loaf of bread to be passed around and torn, and grapes. I served cupcakes with minature swords to be pulled out of the stone, and individual ice cream cups. We drank white grape juice from plastic wine cups. While lunch was being served, I asked our babysitter to play the part of a sorceeress and put on a magic show using Kidwizard.com ideas. Talk about simple, educational, and great entertainment for kids and adults. While presents were opened, each child received a coloring picture with a dragon on it thanking them for coming along with a packet of Dragon Tales gummy bites. My son sat in an inexpensive plastic child size lawn chair spray painted gold & with glued on jewels. I had a red velvet cushion for him to sit on. So now he had a throne. We also helped the tooth fairy recover her money.
Each child was then given part of the money as a prize. We played outside and took turns riding his little four wheeler (decorated with foamies to look like a triceratops - now dragon).They played on the deck and pretended it was a castle fort. When it was time to leave, each child took home his or her crafts, wand or sword, treasures and prizes. I know the party was a success thanks to all your great ideas. My son was not into castles, etc prior to the party, but now it is all he talks about. He has two imaginext castles & dragons, etc. He dresses up in his knight custome & I dress up in my princess custome & we go out and slay dragons. For thank yous I found some princess stickers to include along with the pictures. I used the same resume paper & handwriting font. Once again thank you for all your great party ideas.
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