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Many young boys go through a dinosaur stage where they learn the names of the most common beasts. A dinosaur birthday party that happens during this stage will delight the birthday boy as well as his guests. The decorations should scream dinosaur and, at the same time, do double-duty with the cake, the props for the games and the favors that the guests will take home.
Invitations and Entry Decor
Birthday party decorations serve to build the expectations of the guests and give a preview of the party. Decorating starts with the invitations. It is easy to make dinosaur invitations using a computer or by hand. Start by downloading a clip art dinosaur. Either print enough copies to glue one to each hand-made invitation or copy and paste the dinosaur onto a computer-generated invitation. If you have the skills, paste the face of the birthday boy (or girl) on the head of the dinosaur. Make a gigantic poster-size version of the invitation to decorate the front door on the day of the party. This way, every guest will know for sure that they are at the right place.
Set the Table
Setting the party table is a very important part of decorating. Each guest needs a place mat, a place card, and a party hat as well as a plate, napkin, fork and cup. Buy dinosaur stickers at a teacher supply store to decorate the outside of the white Styrofoam cups. Use the stickers to decorate plain green birthday party hats available at party supply stores. Buy plain green plates and napkins. Make a place card for each guest that resembles the invitations but, instead of putting the birthday child’s picture on the head of the beast, put a picture of each guest. This can be made ahead of time or each guest can make their own as one of the party activities. Buy a small plastic toy dinosaur at a dollar store which you can set at each guest’s place for a favor which they can take home.
Make a birthday cake in the shape of a dinosaur which you can use as a centerpiece on the birthday party table. Bake several different-shaped layers of any flavor of cake that you want. You can use box mixes or make the cake from scratch. Lay out the layers on a large foil-covered piece of cardboard so that they make the approximate form of the dinosaur. Then use frosting to unify the image. Add candy to cover over any gaps. Pre-position the candles and — voila! — the cake becomes a feature of your dinosaur decoration scheme.
Create a pin-the-horn-on-the-triceratops or pin-the-tail-on-the-brontosaurus game. Start with a large piece of poster board on which you draw the outline of the dinosaur. Use poster paints or markers to color the picture. Then cut out the same number horns or tails from construction paper as there are guests. Label these pieces with the name of each guest. Hang the poster in a prominent place surrounded by balloons. During the party, blindfold the guests turn them around and see which guest places the horn or tail closest to the correct place on the poster. Use double-sided cellophane tape to attach the horns or tails.
The most effective way to decorate a dinosaur party is to consider how to make every feature of the party serve as part of the decorations. Other suggestions include buying or making a dinosaur pinata, making dinosaur masks, and including dinosaur sound tracks to create the right ambience. Of course, you should not forget to hang crepe paper streamers and balloons all around the room where the party will happen.
Food Ideas for a Dinosaur Theme Party
A dinosaur theme party is fun to plan and attend, especially when the host takes the time to remember the little details. Decorations, party favors and games are fun details, but the one detail that can make or break a dinosaur theme party is the food. Not just any food will do. The food should be fun, big and tasty. Here are some food ideas for a dinosaur theme party.
Have your guests build their own Brontosaurus burgers. At a dinosaur theme party, lettuce becomes a prehistoric plant and, for those with strong stomachs, catsup is the blood of a not-so-lucky-dinosaur. You can even use dinosaur-shaped cookie cutters to mold your hamburgers.
Cookies are easily cut into dinosaur shapes. Add candy for the eyes and noses. Add a little green or brown to your sugar cookie batter to make the dinosaur-shaped cookies more realistic. Or, you can frost the cookies instead.
You cannot have a dinosaur theme party without a dino-cake. Bakeries can easily create these or you can do it yourself. Use different shaped cake cans to make your own dinosaur. Bake a Bundt cake and slice in half to create a dinosaur’s tail and head. Attach it to a round cake. Place this dinosaur on a sheet cake frosted blue to make it look like the dinosaur is eating under water.
Give the juice, soda or punch of your choice dinosaur names like “Raptor Raspberry,” “Diplodocus Drink” or “Compsognathus Cola.” You can even add small pieces of fruit to the ice to have something floating in your guests’ glasses. Make ice out of the actual drink so you won’t have to worry about having watered-down drinks.