The Great Idea
"Mum, can I have a Mr Spinosaurus, Dinosaur Train party?" this question was asked just after our son's 3rd Birthday, my answer, "sure you can" .... thinking "he is 3, he will change his mind after all he just had a dinosaur party at Sea World!" But he didn't, so the birth of the "Dinosaur Train Party Ideas" board on pinterest and the posts on this blog. The next few posts are to inspire you to, not only celebrate your child's birthday, but to share with you how I planned and made each element for the afternoon.
|Old Spinosaurus from Dinosaur Train interactive toys - a big hit in our family.|
So the theme was decided, now the venue and in contrast to last year's dinosaur birthday celebration, which was held at Sea World, Australia, this one was to be held at home. So home in the front yard, it is, in the afternoon, so I can get a sleep in (haha great idea though!). The front yard will be in dappled shade and accommodate a dozen children, their parents, family, God parents and family friends. Note I did not count on rain, perhaps I should have because it rained all day :-(
Planning for the party started in early January, so the next thing that needed attention was Ben's interactive, sensory garden, built by Ben's god father for Ben's 2nd Birthday (I designed; he funded and created). Dead trees were removed (broke my heart to remove 2 gorgeous trees, a Grevillia killed by a black frost, and the other, an acacia simply split in two from the activity of borers and the final act of heavy rains) and remaining trees were trimmed ensuring there weren't any poking hazards; pavers were cleared to ensure that there were minimal trip hazards and broken garden ornaments removed. New dinosaur plants (ferns) were purchased and planted along with a couple of other Australian natives for scent and texture and lots and lots of seeds were planted...several times leading up to the day. My strike rate with the seeds - very poor to say the least.
|The garden is elevated and has a twisting path from one end to the other with various animals and sensory plants dotted along the length. A great place for children to explore.|
With any given theme, there is generally set colours; for example Halloween - orange and black; Traditional Christmas - red, green and gold; Dinosaur Train - orange, green and blue inspired by the colours of the main characters, I presume.
|This is Shiny at the rear, Tiny to the left, Don the right and Buddy at the front. I LOVE the use of bright colour, making the dinosaurs (Pteranodons and Tyrannosaurus Rex) appear visually appealing and very friendly.|
Birthday celebrations, in my opinion, should be memorable, fun and educational to some degree - especially when children are involved. Ben and I talked about why we were having the celebration at home and we agreed we just wanted to share his wonderful garden, his love for Dinosaur Train and getting outside and making discoveries with his friends and extended family.
We wanted the activities to bring out the excitement of adventure, the amazement of discovery and nurture curiosity in all of those that attended, and who knows, maybe engage an adult or two LOL. It is also an opportunity for my husband's family to meet Ben's friends and catch up with those that are a part of Ben's life; this included his beautiful Kindy teacher, and have the family see what a gorgeous personality Ben has, and what a fantastic little boy he has grown into.
Ideas for the activities were inspired from a number of people who (thankfully) post on blogs and pin 😊. Ben and I agreed on the following activities
a dinosaur train for the children to "ride" in
dress ups - who does not love a mask, a dinosaur tail and some feet!
craft activities - colour ins, fossils on paper and dot to dots.
dinosaur and egg hunt
cutting of the cake - a Mr Spinosaurus cake
opening of presents
giving of party favours which ended up being dinosaur eggs filled with goodies
|It rained on the day so we only got to do the dress up, paper craft activities and Dinosaur & fizzy egg hunt|
We then looked at food and drink ideas and agreed on the following Gluten Free low sugar menu
volcano cakes - carrot cakes and chocolate
fossil biscuits - plain biscuit base, cacao impressions
fossil slice - chocolate macadamia brownie
dinosaur eggs - one of two options boiled eggs or rice bubble eggs
dinosaur scales - Gluten Free vegetable chips
dinosaur fingers/ T rex digits - sausages
Mesozoic worms - onions
pteranodon wings - honey marinated chicken wings
dinosaur claws - cashews
dips, biscuits and chips for the adults
drinks - punch for adults, water for the children and adults
|It was so nice to know Ben could choose almost anything on the table to eat. He asked three times what he could have and his gorgeous big blue eyes were so amazed and excited knowing he could have anything bar the dips, bread and punch.|
The next thing was to plan where the activities would occur in the front yard and where the tables of food would be located - I probably should explain, our front yard is many times larger than the backyard, in fact there is very little back yard, just a small patio/pergola area. Again no plan for rain and should have!
Deciding on what sort of decorations was the most challenging for me; Ben had a number of pictures he liked and a number of characters he really wanted pictures of but other than that, pinterest was again my inspiration. We both had a wish list as long as our arms but time and money would dictate what would come to fruition. I started with designing the birthday banner, then decided on the location for the balloons, designed signage for the activities and then the dinosaur train station banner. Food labels were the next thing to design and table sprinkles and dinosaur toys were chosen; streamers, cellophane trees and dinosaur lanterns would finish the decorations.
|The Banner was to go across the front of the house, luckily the feature wall under the pergola was just big enough!|
So now you know what I have been up to over the past two months and for more detail on any of the activities or creations please click on the links, search within my blog or scroll to the next post.
The execution of all that was planned was not as planned. As you have read, I envisaged a beautiful sunny afternoon with a front yard full of activities, decorations, food and cake. It drizzled and rained ALL day and did not let up. So what to do? I was, to say the very least, numb with shock and sheer exhaustion and believed the sky would clear and the sun would shine after the BOM said it was not going to rain all the way up to the night before, then it said showers. We set up the food, paper activities and dress ups under the pergola in our very small back yard. We were so lucky it was not cold or windy. I think I would have had a melt down if it had of been. So snug and cosy it was and much of what we had planned did not eventuate. Why did I not postpone I hear you ask, simply... the cake.
|The Ol Spinosaurus was melting away with the humidity and weight of the construction.|