Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dino Party Time!

Recently, I was asked to help plan a dinosaur party for one of our Kaleidoscope Kids. Of course, I jumped at the chance! I knew it'd be a ton of fun to make this little girl's 3rd Birthday a blast!

Her mom is pretty darned crafty, so for an activity she created dino tails for each attendee. She used brightly colored sheets, which she cut into triangles and sewed together. Along the top seam she sewed ribbon in, to look like spikes. She stuffed them with newspaper and attached ribbon to hold them in place around their kids' waists. At the party, everyone used sparkling foam stickers to decorate their tails. It was a big hit!

To complete the dinosaur outfit, I made a pair of dinosaur foot stamps. I simply used a template of a foot to trace the shape onto some scrap plywood. Then I used a jigsaw to cut it out and a bit of sandpaper to take off the rough edges. I painted the tops of the feet with acrylic craft paint. Once that was dry, I traced and cut the template out of craft foam. Using E6000, I attached the foam to the bottom of the feet and trimmed as needed. I weighted these with a book and allowed them to dry overnight. In the morning I just attached elastic with a staple gun, so that kids could slip their feet into the elastic and wear them as "shoes."

At the party, I squirted Crayola Sidewalk Chalk Paint onto plates and had the kids step into it while wearing the dinosaur feet, then they stomped around making footprints on the pavement. The younger children needed some help getting the hang of it, but once they did, they created tracks everywhere!

After we were done playing dinosaur, it was time to dig for dinos. First we cracked open "rocks" that contained miniature dinosaurs inside! To make the rocks, I used a recipe I found at Surviving a Teacher's Salary. Simply combine the following:
1 cup used coffee grinds
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup sand
up to 3/4 cup water

I doubled the recipe to make 12 rocks. Be very careful adding water! I added too much at first and had to add more flour. To make the rocks, I just grabbed a chunk of dough in my hand, placed the figure inside, and wrapped the dough around. It'll be sticky. Then I shaped it and place it on a lined cookie sheet. I baked them at 170 degrees for about an hour, flipping them once, until they were dried well.

The day of the party, we used tongue depressors to crack open our rocks and find the prize inside.

The last activity was a dinosaur treasure hunt. I used a long, low rubbermaid bin (the type for storing clothes under a bed) and filled it with two 50-pound bags of  multi-purpose sand. Then the all kinds of dinosaur figures, special rocks and plastic plants were hidden in the sand. Our young paleontologists just LOVED this activity. The older kids enjoyed identifying all the dinos!

When the fun was winding down, the mom brought out her fabulous dinosaur cake. She cut her's free hand, but there are great cake pans available that make it even easier.

Finally, we handed out gift bags. The bags were just plain white paper gift bags, which I sprayed with liquid watercolors (green) and some Perfect Pearls Mist (heirloom gold). Then I used a metallic bronze Sharpie to write each child's name on the bag. I used dinosaur foam stickers to decorate the bags. Inside I added a "Prehistoric Fern" plant and a handful of stickers. 

Mom also made sure each attendee got a super cool dinosaur temporary tattoo as well.

It was a really fun day, and I thank the Kelleher Family for making me a part of it!

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