Dinosaur Birthday Party

My son turned six on July 4th. SIX! I still can’t believe it. It certainly does not seem like six years have passed since I sat in my hospital room overlooking the Susquehanna River and watched firework on the first night of my son’s life.

He cried through most of his first fireworks show, as I rocked him in the hospital chair and strained my neck to try to watch the colorful display out the window. I was tired and weepy and anxious over my fist few hours of motherhood, but I was also so very happy to be holding my son as we participated in our first family activity together. Fourth of July fireworks will always remind me of my son’s first night in this world.

excavationThis year, we celebrated his birth with a dinosaur themed party with close family. We do parties simple around here … running around in the yard with cousins, splashing in a small pool or running through the sprinkler, eating snacks, and singing happy birthday over a homemade cake.

I usually try to have at least one organized activity for the little ones. The highlight of this year’s party was our dinosaur excavation.  Each child received a sand bucket with a shovel, paint brush, pencil, and a pad of paper. I purchased the bucket and brushes at a dollar store and ordered the dinosaur patterned paper and pencils from Amazon. I made labels with a clip art image and attached them with twine.


On the morning of the party, the kids and I buried 60 small plastic dinosaurs in the sandbox.  I think they enjoyed burying the dinosaurs as much as digging up the dinosaurs!


I wrapped the area in caution tape I had leftover from a previous construction themed party, and placed an excavation site sign I made near the sandbox.


Unearthing the dinosaurs took forever because the kids did not listen to my suggestion and buried the creatures deep in the sand. I’m sure there are still some our there!  My son loved it, though, and was one of the last ones out there digging for dinosaurs. He was quite serious about the task at hand.


Afterward, he diligently recorded the numbers of dinosaurs he found in his notebook. Sixteen!


I didn’t go crazy with decorations, but I did make these cute herbivore and carnivore labels for the table. I used stickers I found at a craft store. Although my son is obsessed with everything dinosaur, he is also very picky about the fact that they have to look like real dinosaurs – not cartoon dinosaurs.

The kids made the toothpicks to stick in the bologna by cutting out squares of paper and putting stickers on them. I just used my hot glue gun to attach the paper to the toothpick.

P1050735      P1050730

My four-year-old daughter helped me decorate the cake. We iced two yellow cakes with chocolate frosting, dumped a ton of chocolate sprinkles on top, outlined the cake with chocolate malt balls, and then placed dinosaur fossils on top. It was not perfect, in fact, it was far from perfect. We didn’t quite have enough icing thanks to some generous taste-testing on her part, but the most important thing was that my son loved it!


And, yes, of course the kids argued over what dinosaur bones they wanted on their slice to eat!

Overall, my son was happy with the dinosaur themed party. I could have gone a bit overboard because there are soooo many fantastic ideas out there, but for everyone’s sanity I’m glad that I kept it rather simple. We ended the night with fireworks in the back yard. He cuddled up with some cousins on a blanket, and I watched my six-year-old boy soak in all of the magic of that moment.








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