Moms everywhere know that kids love dinosaurs! No matter how many years pass or how many generations go by, kids have always been fascinated by these big, scary beings that once roamed the Earth. They know all the names of the dinosaurs, especially their favorites. They can tell you everything, from what they probably ate to where they live and how they got around. Does that sound like your child? Then why not have a prehistoric theme party?
Children’s parties aren’t what they used to be where everyone would come, play a few games, open presents for the birthday child, and then go home. Now parents everywhere are looking for themes to make their parties much more fun and entertaining – and it makes things easier and more organized too, since party planners are focused on what type of party to create. Let’s all get prehistoric!
- Use printed out images of dinosaurs on card stock as the invitation.
- Volcano graphics can make great invitations with a phrase like, “The party’s erupting at (name)’s house. Don’t miss their dinosaur birthday!”
- Dinosaur footprints can make simple, easy to make invitations too. Simply make a template of a foot, cut it out and write details on it.
Don’t forget to tell the kids to come in play clothes, or maybe their best adventure gear. Your child can wear his or her own cute kids dinosaur costume.
No party would be complete without great decorations. From simple to extravagant, decorating for a prehistoric party is full of options. Here’s a few to get you started, but don’t forget to have some fun with it. Ask your child, too! He or she might have some great ideas of their own.
Draw chalk dinosaur footprints on the driveway that create a walkway to the house
- Tropical leaves and vines from your local craft or party store can make for a great jungle setting. For a cheaper, craftier option, draw some plants and put them up on the walls.
- Posters or pictures of dinosaurs definitely set the theme. Don’t have any? Print out some photos and cut them out.
- Use refrigerator boxes to make a dinosaur cave and draw or glue dinosaurs and big leafy plants on the inside.
- Decorate the table and floor with leafy plants, rocks, and plastic dinosaurs.
Most of all, have fun with it. Decorating can almost be as fun as the party itself.
Party Games and Activities
Nothing makes a party like the games and activities. They’re a great way to keep kids entertained and add to any theme.
- Prehistoric Dig: Prepare a sandbox, kiddie pool, or even a large bucket by filling it with sand. Hide plastic dinosaurs, decorative rocks and jewels and plastic bones as you go. Give each child a small shovel or large spoon and let them dig for fossils. Whatever they find, they keep!
- Bone Drop: Give each child five bone-shaped cookies or dog biscuits. Have them each kneel on a chair facing the back. Put a jar at the base of the chair and have them hold their “bones” out and try to drop them in the jar. Whoever gets the most in wins!
- Dinosaur Tail: It’s like tag, only so much more fun! The birthday child is “it” and as they tag each of the children in the party they have to hold hands, making a long tail trailing behind the person who is it. The game is won when there’s only one person left.
- Dinosaur Egg Relay Race: Color or dye a hard-boiled for each team you plan on having. Divide the kids up and hand each team a spoon. They have to carry the egg on the spoon to the other side of the room and back without dropping it, and then pass it off to their next team mate in line. The first team to finish wins.
- Dinosaur Egg Hunt: Much like the classic “Easter Egg Hunt”, you start with a collection of plastic eggs, and/or eggs with dinosaurs hatching. Hide them all around the party space in little nests. Have the guests find all the eggs. Whichever eggs they find, they keep.
- Dinosaur Scavenger Hunt: Write a list of different kinds of dinosaurs-related things that are hidden around the house. Have each child or each team search the house to find all the items on their list. The first team to find all their items wins. This can also be done with children who can’t read yet by using pictures of the items rather than writing a list.
- Making fossils: Give each child a small bit of clay to make their fossil. Have each child choose something to make an impression and wait for the clay to dry (or cook it in the oven as directed by the clay you choose). Each child gets to keep their fossil at the end of the day.
- Erupting Volcano: There are tons of science kits for this on the market, but you can also do this simply enough with a Dixie cup wrapped in clay or sand pushed up to form a mountain. Doing this yourself you can have or make one for each child. Let each child put a couple scoops of baking soda into their cup. Then give them each a small cup of vinegar to pour in and let them watch their volcanoes erupt!
For additional fun, paint each child’s face or hand with a dinosaur or a dinosaur footprint. Don’t forget to play dress up. Kids always have fun in dinosaur costumes!
Creative naming of party foods can provide for some great snacks. Chicken legs can become T-Rex legs (they even sell dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets in the store!) Tomatoes in a salad can become dinosaur eggs in a nest. Then there’s the ever popular cup of dirt desert made by sticking gummy worms into a cup of chocolate pudding and coating it with crumbled chocolate cookies. Yum yum!
Here’s a couple other fun prehistoric food ideas:
Volcano cake: Make a chocolate bundt cake. Cover with chocolate icing – make it a bit sloppy, so it looks like craggy cliffs and rock. Add orange or red jello to the middle. Using orange icing, have it “spill” down all the sides of the cake.
Fossil bones: 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 2 egg whites and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Mix it all, and roll into small, 2 or 3 inch lengths until they look like logs. Slightly flatten them until they look like bones. Bake on a floured cookie sheet at 350 for 20 minutes. Bones!
Don’t forget to keep a dinosaur book handy! It never hurts to have a resource on hand, especially as kids love to learn and ask questions.
Co-written with Erica Rhodes of HalloweenCostumes.com