They’re gigantic, ferocious and mysterious beasts with big teeth, heavy stomps and booming roars… And even more amazing, they were real! Dinosaurs are endlessly fascinating to kids, and we can’t imagine a better theme for a birthday party filled with adventure and excitement.
Dinosaur parties are also excellent educational opportunities… You may even consider taking your guests to a natural history museum or dinosaur theme park before the presents and cake!
Dinosaur Party Invitations
Dinosaurs are a very popular theme and you’ll have little trouble finding the perfect invitation for your party. Cut-outs of dinosaurs shapes and jungle themes are popular designs, and you can even send a personalized photo invitation with a picture of your child dressed as an archaeologist, explorer in safari hat or even a caveman against a faux-jungle backdrop. Choose a bold and “primitive” typestyle in bold colors for the text and be creative in your writing. Tell your guests to “stomp on over” and have a “roaring good time!”
Dinosaur Party Favors
Do you want to send your guests on an archaeological dig, a dinosaur safari or a trip to prehistoric times… Or all of the above? There are many ways to celebrate at a dinosaur party and you’ll want to choose favors that best fit the games, crafts and activities you’ll be planning. Provide pails and shovels if the children will be digging up fossils, compasses and inexpensive pith helmets if they’ll be hunting through the jungle or scraps of animal print fabric, kid-friendly face paint and foam clubs if they’ll be pretending to be cave-people. Along with the standard party supply shops a great place to buy favors, decorations and prizes for games is a natural history museum gift shop or an educational toy store.
Dinosaur Party Decorations
Simulate the jungles of the Jurassic age by hanging streamers of all shades of green and brown from the ceilings and doorway. You can even add strands of plastic ivy and construction paper palm leaves to enhance the look. Balloon bouquets of green “leaves” and brown “coconuts” resemble palm trees, and of course any real of artificial plants you may have will enhance the your “jungle” as well.
Green, brown or even camouflage makes a great table covering. Cover with toy plastic dinosaurs, fake plants, a dinosaur centerpiece to look like a jungle scene. Paint boxes to look like rocks, and red, orange and pink confetti strewn on the floor makes great volcanic ash. On the walls, hang posters of dinosaurs, or, if you’re artistically inclined, a landscape painting of a volcano.
Outside the house, welcome your guests to the prehistoric jungle with a trail of dinosaur footprints, drawn with sidewalk chalk or cut from brown construction paper. Hang warning signs reading, “Please don’t feed the dinosaurs!”
As the guests arrive, play sounds of the jungle and roaring dinosaurs to get them in the mood. Mix the soundtrack to Jurassic Park or the Ice Age with other popular songs as the party goes on.
Dinosaur Party Activities
Your archeologists and paleontologists will love to dig for fossils in a sandbox or large plastic tub filled with fine sand or flour. Make fossils ahead of time from plaster of paris, or use plastic bones such as dog toys. Give a prize to the child who finds the most fossils. As an alternative, if you have a talent for sculpting, try to make complete dinosaurs from modeling clay or dried dough that the kids can piece together later.
Another fun game is to have a dinosaur hunt. Hide toy dinosaurs, or plastic eggs containing candy or trinkets like small rubber dinosaurs all around the house or yard. You can use dinosaur footprint cut-outs to give them little hints as to where the eggs are hidden. If the kids are a little older, hide a dinosaur piñata filled with candy and trinkets for them to find, working together or in small teams. Make a treasure map to the piñata ahead of time giving directions that require the use of a compass to find (for example, “two paces due north from the back door, three paces east from the largest tree.”)
You can also play dinosaur variations of popular party games. Play “Musical Chairs” using large cut-outs of dinosaur footprints placed on the floor. Have a “Dinosaur Egg Toss” by tossing water balloons in a dinosaur nest make of straw, rags and other spare household materials. And “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” becomes “Pin the Tail on the T-Rex.” Have a “roar” sound ready to play when the kids get it right!
If you’d like to unleash your guests’ creativity, unroll a large reel of craft paper and let the kids draw a dinosaur mural with paints and markers. Or create a “cave” from empty cardboard boxes, light with flashlights or a portable lamp and let them paint caveman drawings on the walls. It would help to have books or printed articles about actual cave paintings on hand as reference (and they might even learn something!) Younger guests may simply enjoy coloring dinosaur pictures or sculpting dinosaurs from kid-safe modeling clay.
Having a slumber party? Push the furniture in the party room to the edges and cover with sheets to resemble the interior of a cave, and let your little dinosaur fans gather their sleeping bags around the television to watch dinosaur movies like “The Ice Age” or “The Land Before Time.”
Dinosaur Party Refreshments
Cut your child’s favorite sandwiches, cookies and rice cereal treats in dinosaur shapes with a cookie cutter, or shape them with dinosaur molds. Serve dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, along with hard boiled eggs dyed with marbled patterns to look like dinosaur eggs. Regular food can also take dinosaur names, like “brontosaurus burgers” and “fossil fries.”
Amaze the children with “Volcano Punch” by filling a bowl with tropical punch and slowly adding a “mountain” of sherbet. When you’re ready to serve, pour lemon-lime soda over the sherbet and it will foam over like an erupting volcano!
If you’d like to make a simple cake yourself, ice a sheet cake with brown or green frosting and decorate with toy dinosaur and palm tree toppers. You can also make a chocolate bundt cake, lined around the center with red and orange frosting to look like the mouth of a volcano. If cupcakes are more your style, imprint the frosting with dinosaur tracks or even draw a dinosaur face. Serve with a “mountain” of chocolate ice cream covered with strawberry sauce lava!
After the Dinosaur Party
When the party is over you’ll want to send your guests home with bags of goodies to remind them of their dinosaur adventures. Plastic pails or paper sacks decorated with dinosaur prints, stamps or stickers make excellent containers. Magnifying glasses, dinosaur books or fact cards, small toy dinosaurs in plastic eggs and dinosaur stencils, stickers and sticker books are just a few of the gifts you can enclose along with gummy dinosaurs, jelly bean “eggs” and other candies. Be sure to take plenty of pictures at the party to send with personalized thank you notes!