DinoMite Party -6yr- Volcano Cake
Bev in Topeka, KS USA
My 6 year old son wanted to have a dinosaur birthday party. He also is a pretty good artist for his age.
For INVITATIONS, he drew a picture of a dinosaur that I scanned and then used as the cover of his invitation. I used a cracked font to write ROAARRR! on the picture. Then, on the inside, I typed up in the same cracked font: For a Roaring Good Time, come over to Robbie's Dino-Mite Birthday Bash. Don't be Extinct. RSVP to the prehistoric parents.
The DECORATIONS were simple. We put out anything about dinosaurs that we had in our house, toy dinosaurs, dinosaur puzzles, dinosaur books. In our dining room, we covered the table w/ a black plastic tablecloth, set out clear plastic cups, green paper plates, green napkins, and orange spoons. I made green volcanos for each place around the table out of playdough The playdough volcano held a paperclip. The paperclip held a card with a picture of a dinosaur and corresponding dinosaur facts. On each chair hung a dinosaur mask that I premade. I got these out of a book that I found at a garage sale. The masks matched the place cards. The centerpiece was a Volcano Cake and 4 toy dinosaurs.
Additionally, I hung fake ivy on the chandelier and draped green curling ribbon so that it hung down from the chandelier in lines. The effect was nice. We also put a fake ivy plant on the side table. I tucked the goody bags in and around the ivy plant. The goody bags had dinosaurs on them so they made their own decoration. I also put toy dinosaurs around the ivy plant. In the kitchen, I attached green, orange and black balloons from a dinosaur for the center of the table and set out 3D foam dinosaur kits for the boys to put together during the party. Above the kitchen table on 2 plate racks, we placed 6 clipboards holding dinosaur pictures that my son and I had colored together.
On the front door, I hung another dinosaur picture that his brother made. On the door to the basement, I hung a sign that said Welcome to Jurassic Park Enter at Your Own Risk. I painted them on packing paper with brown paint. My son said it made them look old. That was the affect I was after! On the patio door, I hung a sign that said Excavation in Progress In the basement, we have a train table that we had cleared and set up my son's Hot Wheel T-Rex track. We moved around the furniture to make room for a relay race.
ACTIVITIES AND GAMES: As the boys arrived, we worked on a dinosaur puzzle and played with the T-Rex Hot Wheels track. Our first planned activity was putting together the 3D foam dinosaurs. We found these at Michaels for $1/two-pack. After that, I gave them each a brown paper sack that I had colored a T-Rex onto using a rubbing technique (I placed a T-Rex stencil under the bag and colored over it with black crayon.) It gave it a fossil-like appearance. At the bottom of the bag, I wrote PALEONTOLOGIST: and then each boys name. They were invited to go out to the excavation site and see what they could dig up. They put their findings in the paper bag.
My husband created the excavation site filling a baby pool with sand. We then buried bones, eggs and fossils. The bones were from 2 whole chickens that I had cooked before the party. I clean up the bones and boiled them so they were safe for the kids. I also put in some pork rib bones that were treated the same way. I made batch of homemade playdough and formed it into an egg shape around a small toy dinosaur. I let these dry for a couple of weeks ahead of time. I also used the same playdough to create fossils. I made imprints in the playdough with the small toy dinosaurs. And, then, let them dry too. The eggs were still soft in the middle which made it easier for the boys to break open. And, the fossils became moist after being buried in sand. It reabsorbed moisture from the sand. But, all in all, the boys had a great time digging and finding the bones especially.
We were lucky that it was a particularly nice January Day and were able to do this outside. Our original plan was to do it in the garage. After the excavation, we went to the garage where my husband had hung a pinata egg. We told the boys it was a fossilized egg. We made it ourselves so it did look fossilized! They took turns trying to break it open with a bat. It held candy, grow dinosaurs and stretchy dinosaurs. We made sure the boys each got a share of the contents of the pinata. They put their stuff into the Paleontologist bag.
We went inside to the table where we had the volcano cake. I poured Lava Juice which was Hawaiian Punch Orange Ocean. While we prepared the cake, the boys played with the dinosaur masks. I took a picture of each with the birthday boy in their masks. They also played with the toy dinosaurs on the table, looked at the dino fact cards and played with the playdough.
We then had a live volcano cake. I used six 8 inch cakes which were cut in tiers and then frosted with chocolate frosting. In the top two layers I put a hole about the size of a juice cup. I lined the whole with aluminum foil. You can do this by covering a juice cup with foil. Then remove the juice cup and you'll have a foil cup to insert into the hole. I crumbled up some of the extra cake that was cut off to make tiers. The volcano cake was placed in a sheet pan. I used the crumbled cake to line the sheet pan to give the effect of dirt. Then, I placed six toy dinosaurs around the volcano.
For the eruption display, my husband put a small chunk of dry ice in the hole. I then added an egg mixture: egg white from one clean egg beaten to a froth but not stiff peaks with added sugar and orange food coloring. We put the egg mixture on top of the dry ice. And, then slowly poured hot water over that. It should bubble and spurt for quite a while. Ours didn't work so good but we tried it after the party again and it was cool! So, my suggestion is try it out beforehand to get the technique down! We did the live eruption while the boys were sitting at the table and then ate cake.
The next thing was opening gifts. Our last activity was to go outside to make their own volcanoes. We took a 3 oz plastic cup and taped it to a paper plate. We covered the cup/plate with foil and poked a hole so we could fold the foil around the cup make a hole in the center. For our volcanoes we used a squirt of liquid soap, a squirt of baking soda, a teaspoon baking soda, half cup of water and half cup of vinegar, in that order. The soap makes the eruption last longer and foam more. I had planned some dinosaur relay games to do in the basement, but we ran out of time. Here is the instructions for one that I found at familyfun.com.
DINO EGG RELAY For each foot, simply tape closed the open end of an empty cereal box (or cracker box for small feet), then cut a 4 1/2-inch-wide circular foot opening in the front panel. Next, cut out a dinosaur footprint from craft foam (it should be bigger than the box) and make two 5-inch crisscrossed snips in the center of the print. With a low-temperature hot glue gun, attach the print to the box surface so that the cuts in the foam are directly over the circular opening in the cardboard. For a finishing touch, hot-glue foam claws" onto the dinosaur toes.
Divide the kids into two teams and set a chair across from each group at the far end of the racing area. Have the first person from both teams put on dinosaur feet then hand each of them a wooden spoon with a plastic egg (a rubber ball will do in a pinch) balanced on it. On cue they must quickly stomp around their respective team chairs and back to hand off the spoon and then the shoes to the next runners. If a child drops the egg en route she must retrieve it before going on. The first team whose players have all successfully completed the course win the relay.
GOODY BAGS: My son handed out goody bags when parents came to pick up their boys. The Goody Bag was a dinosaur gift bag that I found at the Dollar Store. It was filled with bounce putty a dinosaur pencil a Jelly Belly dinosaur gummy and dinosaur stickers. Along with that they had their 3D model candy and toys from the excavation and pinata. Some of the boys took their masks too.
It was fun planning My son and his brother along with our guests had a great time! "