Sunday, April 11, 2010

Next year, it's monster trucks. Gah.

Four years is perfect for a dinosaur birthday party. Ben is interested in every dinos, and I get to hear him tell us that his favorite is the "dynosauraus rex".

This is the one and only time he wore the hat, although his father attempted to wear three in imitation of a triceratops!

These same boys (the girls are all big sisters who tagged along) were at Ben's Thomas the Train birthday party last year. LAST year, I had some games ready to play, but ditched all but one in favor of letting the boys just play with trains. THIS year, it was obvious that some of the boys are in preschool, and that all of them are a year older. They sat so nicely and listened to the directions, raised their hands for turns, and followed the rules. Even if they didn't really get the point of the game, they had fun and played nicely.
Moms, if you'd like a few minutes of peace & quiet (and let's face it, we ALL do), here's the game: Don't Wake the Dino (or whatever). One kid is the dinosaur, and they curl up on a towel (as the nest) with plastic eggs around them. The other kids try to steal an egg, one at a time, without the dinosaur hearing them and waking up. If they ARE caught, they are the next dino.
The hilarious thing about our version is that NONE of the dinosaurs woke up! And the egg-snatchers were stealthy, but not THAT stealthy. Next time, I may put a bell in each egg or something. As it was, it was basically one kid being really quiet and still, while the other kids were really quiet and stealing eggs. Definitely a low-energy game.

Instead of a cake this year, I put my dinosaur cookie cutters (and my mom) to work.

Aren't they adorable?

The big activity was excavating dinosaurs. Two nights before, Aaron was nice enough to mix up a big batch of plaster of paris for me. We filled large plastic cups & buried a plastic dino in each one. My mistake was not removing the plastic cup the next morning, because they still weren't totally dry when the kids cracked them open. By the way, are you in awe of our bravery? Seven little boys, all armed with hammers. And then the plaster started flying. Thanks to the dampness, it also stuck - to hair, jackets, pants, and our sidewalk. Oopsie.

But they had fun. After they mini-archaeologists found their fossils, they played some dino-tag (T-rex tries to catch the herbivores!) and then dug in the sandbox, hit some golf balls, or played on the swingset for awhile.
Goodie bags were genius this year: a bag of dino fruit snacks, a packet of Dinosaur Egg instant oatmeal, and a booklet of dino stickers.
After the official party, Grandpa & Grandma came over for lunch, and so did my cousin K, her hubs B, and the baby, little B. Little B and Adam are about 3 months apart in age, and we are predicting that they will become close buddies. Have you ever seen two babies more snarfle-able? Me neither.

So there it is. I obviously like low-key parties - there was no decorations, except a balloon bouquet. There was no craft, no project that took me all week to complete. I didn't even sweat over the cake for 2 hours the night before!
All in all, an awesome party.

What the most outrageous party element you've ever PERSONALLY witnessed?


Noel said...

So has B. been to the dinosaur museum in Dickinson yet?

My fourth birthday is the first one I remember. One element was going to the top of the Foshay Tower in Minneapolis. At that time, it was the tallest building in the Twin Cities.

Beth R+V said...

I love it! The cookies look great (and look like a lot of work!) and the mini-archeological dig is super creative and fun. Who doesn't love smashing stuff with hammers? Are you going to Walking with Dinos? My hubby is super excited about it - me, not so much. I get it, but not too pumped to sit through a couple hours of it. I know. Party pooper.

Lyz said...

Noel - No, no trip to the museum yet. Maybe on one of our trips West this summer!

Beth - No, we are skipping Walking with the Dinos, since I have a major thing at church this weekend, and $75 is too much to gamble on the chance that the kids won't be totally freaked...or have nightmares for 3 days. Party pooper right here, too!