It is a rite of passage for almost every parent: When your child is between the ages of three and seven, at some point, you will be hosting or attending a Dinosaur Party. Most likely, you'll be attending many.
According to a report on CNN, a child's obsession with dinosaurs (or trains, or trucks, etc.) is an essential learning behavior for children of this age, both for boys and girls. Still, doesn’t it seem like today’s kids are even more obsessed with dinosaurs than previous generations? Perhaps, the article surmises, but probably because so many species have been discovered recently, 30 new ones in 2016 alone.
Given that such obsessions are important for cognitive development, that's even more reason to go all in when it comes to dinosaurs and Dinosaur Parties. While the following ideas will most likely come in handy for hosting parties, don't let that limit you. For the dino-obsessed, they can turn any day into a fun event.
We love this suggestion from Watermelon.org — a fruit bowl cut in the shape of a Tyrannosaurus Rex head. Kids typically won't touch a fruit bowl (especially if a cake is available) but parents have to eat something, too.
Impressive as the watermelon carving is, we know it is just not a party without cake. That's covered, too – in chocolate-gooey lava. As party-cakes go, the great Rice Krispie Volcano Cake found at Birthdayinabox.com is the supreme triple-threat: Rice Krispie squares PLUS chocolate icing PLUS jelly beans. Three items that, ever since the Mesozoic Era, no child has been able to resist.
What's the best way to excite guests as they arrive at your Dinosaur Party? Let them believe there might be a Tyrannosaurus Rex rampaging through the living room. Check out AtmosFX's Dinosaur Encounter Digital Decoration Collection. Using a projector or TV, you can display a cadre of animated dinosaurs, making it appear these prehistoric creatures have also made the invite list. Keep the decorations going throughout the party as you can be certain the kids will ask for it!
Something that can both be a great project and a great game are these fossils inside of rocks, which kids break open. Instructables has a great how-to post on these clever "rocks" made from flour, coffee grounds, sand, salt, and water. Plus, of course, whatever dinosaur surprise you want to hide inside.
Similarly, this Spanish-language blog SoyMamaynomeCompadezcas.com showcases some clever uses for painted chicken eggs, as a way to present small toys and snacks.
Another theory about why kids love dinosaur parties is because they know they're almost certainly going to get the chance to dig, break stuff up, and get messy. The classic sandbox dinosaur dig (hidden plastic or plaster dinosaur fossils) is always a hit, whether you are in the backyard or a nearby park.
We really like an idea put forth by ADHDNaturalMama.com — dinosaur dig sensory bins. Kids dig through sand to find fossil-like treasures. You can even create other primordial oozy substances for kids to paw through using things like jello, dry beans, rice, or cold oatmeal. They'll be digging for quite some time.
If it is warm outside, an easy outdoor game (especially for younger dinosaur hunters) comes from Mamaguru.com. Simply place small plastic dinosaurs in muffin tins, fill with water, and freeze. Then, during party time, dump them into kiddy pools and everyone is magically transported to the ice age.
Speaking of warm-weather dinosaur parties, you'd almost certainly want to go big — really big! — with this inflatable Tyrannosaurus Rex sprinkler.
This is the summer of dinosaurs so including these "terrible lizards" in your celebrations can almost guarantee a successful party!