Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Green T-Rex birthday party

For nearly a year Our Little Helper has been asking for a green, T-Rex and trucks birthday party. I wasn't quite sure how I'd incorporate the trucks, but I knew I could do the dinosaur part. Earlier this summer we had a nice bbq outside and Mr. W made ribs and called them dinosaur bones to encourage Our Little Helper to eat them (not that he needs any encouragement when it comes to meats!) We thought it would be a great thing to serve at his birthday party and as we enjoyed our outdoor meal we came up with a menu and had different dinosaur inspired names for everything:
  • Dinosaur Bones- Ribs
  • Dinosaur'd Eggs- Deviled eggs made green with food coloring
  • Brontosaurus Beans- baked beans with smokey goodness from the rib drippings
  • Jurassic Salad- green salad
  • Triceratops Tortellini- pasta salad with peas
  • Pterodactyl Punch- fruit punch with green food coloring
  • Herbivore food- watermelon wedges and corn on the cob
  • Fossilized Amber- orange jello with plastic flies inside. This was Mr. W's idea which I thought was really clever and creative and I fell in love with him a little bit more when he suggested it.
I also planned to make a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting and green colored frosting between the layers. I thought I could fashion a T-Rex for the top out of fondant. I also planned to buy a T-Rex cookie cutter and make cookies as favors, with green icing of course!
So with this in mind I was kick started into party planning mode.
Our Little Helper was constantly asking us to draw dinosaurs for him and, more often than not, cut them out into paper dolls for him. I thought this would be a good craft idea for the party. Crafts were something I had read about on line the year before, but felt like my son wasn't really into crafts nor did he have his fine motor skills for drawing well developed. I thought I could incorporate all the parts of the T-Rex he loved, like sharp teeth, with googly eyes that could be glued on. I love Kraft caramels at Hallowe'en and have been saving the Popsicle sticks that come with them for years. I could glue the cut out T-Rexes onto the Popsicle sticks to make T-Rex puppets that the boys could decorate while waiting for everyone to arrive. I set up the decorating station on the front porch.I had a sample of an assembled T-Rex puppet for the boys to use as a guide. I ended up with colored pipe cleaners and used those for tiny, moveable T-Rex arms.As always I searched the internet to fill in some of my ideas, especially for games and things. A favorite place for inspiration is Kara's Party Ideas which had several dinosaur themed parties with ideas. My favorite was this one because I loved the idea of the dinosaur dig, what a great way to occupy time for the little boys. I also loved the table set up with all the little boys making roar faces beacuse I have a galvanized tub that same size and I could envision our fence as the backdrop for the boys sitting at a long table.
I was able to find the moulds to make the T-Rex skeleton here. I bought plaster mix at Michael's craft store. This Mr. W di d well in advance of the party. We filled up our wading pool with sand that The General had at his house. I found the shovels at the Dollar Store.Here are the bones just below the surface of the sand.Speaking of the Dollar Store, I decided to go check it our for party favors. As I pushed my cart through the aisles looking at cheap plastic toys I found lots of dinosaur options. Then I turned a corner and literally gasped and did the Home Alone face. I found an entire shelf with moulded dinosaur hats! So completely adorable and there were several different ones. And a dollar each. I was quickly becoming a big fan of the Dollar Store! I had to have them as party favors/party hats! They worked out so well, look at how precious the children look doing the dinosaur dig!Dinosaur bones assembled
I found some cute cartoonish dinosaur stickers which I used for the invitations. Then I decided to use them on food tags and the favor bags and the green with orange played right into our color theme. This was my first attempt at the 3 layer invites with printing on the transparent paper and brads holding it all together. I am happy with the way they turned out. Then I used them on the favor bags. I set up the favors in the dining room.Here is what was in the favor bags.
Somehow I managed to get no good photos of the table all set up before the children sat down. I found a cute dinosaur banner that was juvenile enough to tie into our theme and strung that along the fence behind the built in bench where the boys were seated. I filled my galvanized bucket with some wheat grass and covered up the dirt with decorative moss and arranged some of My Little Helper's tiny dinosaur toys to make the center piece.One of the online inspiration parties had arranged the food into two categories: Carnivore and Herbivore. I thought that would be perfect sicne we already had come up with dino names for the food AND we have two built in tables flanking the bench where the boys would be seated. I decided my oil clothe table cloths would be tropical enough to tie into the prehistoric theme.I had a hard time coming up with a good green punch recipe. My Little Helper doesn't like carbonated drinks and I couldn't get him to try white grapefruit juice either. In the end I ended up using this green punch recipe which gets its color from lime jello. I did half the recipe and omitted the sugar entirely. I don't think any of these 3-5 yr olds drank it, but I sure enjoyed it!Mr. W used the __ recipe from __ for the ribs. You can see the tray underneath to catch the drippings for the beans.After they ate, we presented the birthday cake. He was so happy with his cake, which made me happy since he had been talking about it for so many months.One day there will be cake for you Baby Boy.We moved the boys back to the front yard to play a game of hot dinosaur egg (just like hot potato) with a bean bag that he had on hand. Then more time to dig for bones and we opened gifts.A baby dino on the loose.

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