Step one: Design the invitations.
|(I gotta give Pinterest credit where credit's due... I totally stole the whole "ROAR means Happy Birthday" thing!)|
Step two: Goody bags.
|Those dinosaur eggs are actually jelly beans. Yum!|
|Dino egg close-up.|
Step three: Food.
|I did a carnivore, herbivore, sweetivore, snackivore theme. Turned out a little heavy on the sweetivore/snackivore side, but hey... it's a party.|
I had Bugles as dinosaur claws, pretzels as dinosaur bones, grapes as (healthy, non-jelly bean) dinosaur eggs, and PB&J cut into Brontosauruses (Brontosauri?). I also had dinosaur chicken nuggets, fossil cookies, and Jurassic cupcakes.
|Made the fossil cookies, but bought the cupcakes. Best. Decision. Ever.|
Step four: Activities.
Knowing that four-year-olds have a very short attention span, I tapped into my teaching roots and set up stations around the backyard. We had a table to make "D is for Dinosaur" crafts.
|Here's an example of how a stuffy adult makes a D dinosaur...|
|The kids took this very seriously.|
|Like, need-a-mid-crafting-juice-break seriously.|
Must've been tiring adding that fifth leg to his dinosaur.
There was also a dino dig where the kiddos could channel their inner archeologist and unearth dinosaur skeletons.
|I underestimated how popular this station would be. |
I may have even seen a few adults get in on the dino dig action.
|Hands down, the most stylish archeologist I've ever seen.|
The final station was a dinosaur relay race, using a claw grabber to transport a plastic T-Rex back and forth across the yard. I don't have a picture of this, so I'll paint one for you. Close your eyes.
Go ahead, I'll wait.
Okay, imagine a gaggle of preschoolers who 1) don't have a lot of experience with relay races, 2) are still developing hand-eye coordination, and 3) are all hopped up on sugar. Pepper in a few encouraging shouts such as "No, no, run over *that* way!" and "Okay, sweetie, your turn is over now."
Yeah, it went a little something like that. Moving on.
Step five: Goofiness with good people.
Start with some of these:
|Pack of 12 for under ten bucks? Thanks, Oriental Trading!|
Add the world's best godfather and a few new Hot Wheels:
And you've got yourself a recipe for awesomeness, my friend.
When the time came for cupcakes, Ethan was stoked.
|Those "washable" dinosaur stampers? Yeah.|
Took three days and two baths to get rid of. ;)
All in all, I'd call it a success. Ethan keeps asking if it's almost time for his next birthday, and has started putting in requests for themes. Every so often, he'll bring up his dinosaur party from a "long, long time ago" and thank us for making it so much fun.
Melts my heart every time.
Melts my heart every time.