Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dinosaur Party! Come on Over!

J turned four recently. FOUR. Oh, my. We had our first birthday party, all about dinosaurs!

Luckily it was just warm enough for outdoor play, although everything could have moved inside if necessary. The kids and I made dinosaur bones based on this Frugal Family Fun Blog post (and originally from Martha) Instead of paper mache and paint, we just wrapped them in cheap painting masking tape and buried them in the sandbox. J supervised the creation quite carefully, specifying what bones we would need for our skeleton. It gave us a good chance to look at all our dinosaur books and talk about fossils, science, and different kinds of dinosaurs. This guy was a definite meat-eater - look at all those teeth!

I bought a bunch of 99 cent brushes and the kids "uncovered" the skeleton, just like paleontologists! It helped that several of them had been to the Maryland Science Center where you can do this on "real" bones, on a larger scale.

After uncovering (so carefully! Amazingly for four year olds!) they got reburied and re-dug-up a couple more times - loads of fun.

We had a "dinosaur egg" hunt - a few of the eggs even had gummy worms hidden in them. Because everyone knows dinosaurs can't resist gummy worms.

After a meal of dinosaur mac and cheese (green) we decorated tar pit dinosaur cupcakes!

These were really so easy and they came out looking so awesome. I'm not really a huge fan of frosting, especially after the gummy worms and with all the chocolate. The cupcakes were from our favorite zuchini chocolate cake recipe (they are so good for you! Eat more!) The tar pits were vanilla yogurt with a bit of Ovaltine powder - chocolate-y without all the sugar of pudding and with the healthiness of yogurt. Sprinkled with Ovaltine on top it really looked like dirt - totally cool! We colored coconut green with food coloring for grass and placed chocolate granola on for boulders. Finally, an edible sprig of mint stood in for a prehistoric fern and each child got to pick a dinosaur to trap in the tar.

Then back outside to burn off all that chocolate power!

Happy Birthday, J. I love you buddy.

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