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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dinosaur Dig Birthday Party

My son's 5th birthday was at the end of May. He is obsessed with dinosaurs so a dinosaur dig was the perfect party for him! We ordered really cute invitations and invited all his friends to come join lead Paleontologist Ethan on a dinosaur dig. I usually go way over board on parties and spend way more then I need to. So we decided to cut back this year and do everything as cheap as we could. As I am sure almost everyone else in America is doing too! ;) It turned out great and reminded us you don't have to spend a lot of money to have a great party!

 I setup a simple buffet table. I made the bunting banner out of fabric and ric rac I already had so it cost nothing, but looked great! The cake stands & drink container I had purchased for the girls circus party. I have already used them a lot, so they have more then paid for themselves. Everything else, lazy susan, bowls, mason jars, etc. I already had. So we spent nothing on this setup except the cost of food & a $1 pack of straws!

Since this was a dinosaur party we had the different food groups. For the carnivores we served dinosaur shaped nuggets & chicken strips. For the herbivores we served fruit & veggies, and for the sweetivores {yes, dinosaurs loved sweets too!} we served chocolate dipped pretzels, oreo truffle cake pops, & cake batter bark! All the desserts were topped off with orange and grey sprinkles to match the party. Which not only tasted yummy, but made mommy happy too!

I ordered a dinosaur printable set & party plan from One Charming Party, which we used for the invites and party table. I'm crafty, but not party printable design crafty. ;) You got to know when to outsource a project! I loved the colors. It set the color scheme for the whole party. Grey, orange, green, & white. I loved that this dinosaur set didn't look babyish but actually looked like a big boy dinosaur party. The dinosaurs were skeletons and went great with the paleontologist dinosaur dig theme. One Charming Party, has different party plans to choose from. They are great b/c they come as a downloadable file that you can print out. It comes with the printables, and all the info you need to plan your party. Down to the activities, games, food, etc. I love planning my own parties, but I loved their printables and the diy activities. You can order their party plan, and still add in any of the ideas that you like, which is exactly what I did. I loved how it turned out!

We setup a dinosaur dig area. Even had the little tent setup to shade the kids while they dug just like a real paleontologist dig site. 

I ordered dinosaur sand molds online and used plaster of paris to make Trex skeletons. They are super thick and very sturdy. We still have them setup in our sand box outside. The kids love to dig for them! I bought the paint brushes from Lowe's, spray painted them green, and added orange ribbon to make them coordinate with the rest of the party. 

We had different activity stations. The dino dig, bounce house, and fossil making. I planned on having a few kids at each that way they could rotate through them. But nope, the kids all loved the dino dig. They all piled in there and could barely move, but they LOVED it! 

Every little kid loved the dino dig. 

EXCEPT for this little girl. 

My little OCD clean freak daughter. Who had an absolute fit once she sat down and realized that it was actually sand in there. lol As soon as the sand stuck to her that was it. She had to scream for help to get out, so she wouldn't have to get anymore on her. Love her and her clean obsession to death. I know I am really going to appreciate it when she's older. Since right now her way of cleaning things is throwing away anything she finds on the floor or out of place and making me carry her to the bathroom to wash her hands a million times a day.

Our bounce house actually coordinated with this party. It's usually just a giant eye sore during our PINK parties! ;)

Our fossil making station had some bumps in the beginning. At first we couldn't get our homemade fossil mud recipe to harden like it was supposed to. But after sitting a little while in the sun it hardened up and the kids were finally able to make their hand prints. The fossil hand prints were the kids party favors and they all got to take one home! We haven't gotten so tired of the cheap party favors that either break before you get to the car or pile up in your house like Mcdonald toys. So now we try to come up with fun new party favors that people can actually use or keep as a keepsake.

It was really hard for me to find creative dinosaur parties online for inspiration. Mostly all of them were very babyish or cartoony. So hopefully this party will help someone else out there like me who was stuck on idea's for a while. This party cost us around $250. It was the cheapest party we have ever thrown and it was great! That included all the food, desserts, sand, sand molds, plaster of paris, brushes, party printables, table clothes, and party ware. In the end the kids had a blast and that is all that matters!


  1. can you post the recipe for the fossil mud please?

  2. We've also made something similar :
    I hope you'll like it !

  3. For kids age 7 and up...
    To extend kids' fascination with dinosaurs into useful life skills (money + time management, entrepreneurship, etc.) in a fun iPad game, see the writeup from USA Today, “Best new dino-themed iPad apps for kids”:

  4. Is plaster of paris the brand name or just the product itself? Does it matter where you buy it? I have one mold and don't want to wreck it. Afraid of cracking it if mold doesn't slide out nicely? Any advice?

    1. Plaster of Paris is the name brand, but that is actually what most people call it too. So you can buy another brand. We picked ours up at Lowes. It did crack some of the molds because it is hard to get out. You could try to coat the inside with something like bees wax my husband said to prevent cracking. He said they used it on other molds before, but I am not too positive how it would work with this seeing as we haven't tried it before. Good luck!

  5. Can you post the recipe for the fossil mud please? Thanks, beautiful Dinosaur party!