Patrick turned 5 on Friday, the same day my mom turned 39! Funny, she turned that age the year he was born, too... At any rate, we wanted to have a birthday party with friends, so we let him invite 5 friends, just like last year he invited 4 and the year before he invited 3. I figured we would keep up the tradition until he turned 8, because more than 8 kids is just too many! But I changed my mind. We are stopping the tradition at 5, because 5 invitees is PLENTY for me.
He invited friends from each area of his activities, which was fun and kinda weird since nobody knew each other - one from church, two (brothers) are our neighbors, one is babysat by another neighbor but doesn't actually live near us, and one a friend from our previous ward in Pueblo. Then Eli, of course, and Patrick made 7 kids is total, and THANK GOODNESS Joe was there and Kari took Caroline during the party because it was crazy madness.
We had a Dinosaur-themed party, based on Patrick's burning desire for a Spinosaurus cake. Many months ago he drew me the Spinosaurus he wanted on top of his cake, and he's referenced it often since then, like, "Mom, when are you going to make my spinosaurus cake?" Me: "Patrick, it's November, I won't be making it for quite a while." So I couldn't let him down and have, say, and Avengers Party where all the supplies are readily available at Target. NO. Had to be dinos. Since we've already DONE a dino party (his 3rd birthday, it was awesome) I wanted this one to be very different, all new activities. While we aited for everyone to arrive we had the table covered in butcher paper, with dino stencils and markers set out - the kids really got into it!
I was happily surprised, it killed 15 minutes when I thought it might take 5. For our first activity I created a scavanger hunt where the clues were taped to toy dinosaurs that I hid around the house and the yard - pretty entertaining! The final clue led to the freezer, where I had frozen itty-bitty dinosaurs and snakes in big tupperware containers, so I handed the kids some excavation tools (okay, butter knives) and they had to chip the toys out. Once out, these went into the goodie bags. I would not recommend this activity to anyone planning a party with high-energy kids (of which we had 2), the tools were abandoned in favor of throwing the ice on the ground; ice chunks were flying and some of the frozen toys actually broke. The non-high-energy kids had a really good time, though, and kept at it, even when ice chunks were flying their direction. No pictures of this, I was too busy being a body shield and yelling at the 2 boys to knock it off (like I said, I don't recommend this unless your kids are mellow! I didn't see it coming! See if you can spot one of the high-octane culprits by this photo).
Next we played "T-Rex, May I?" which is, of course, just "Mother, may I?" by another name. We renamed steps to be "flying pterodactyl leaps, giganotosaurus jumps, stegeosaurus stomps" and the like, and it was really fun! Then some free play time because I was tired of herding the boys into one activity, although that kind of bit me on the rear because Joe and I had to be diligent about watching them, the high-energy kids were pretty determined to hurt themselves and everyone else by whatever means available (climbing and jumping out of trees, throwing the hippity-hops balls, swinging swings into other kids, etc - HOW DOES anyone handle these guys on a regular basis?!). We brought them inside, away from trees and swings, but instead of playing with toys it was a mass pile-up on the slide.
Everyone, even the more timid kids, was laughing and having fun, so I DID take a couple snaps of that. Thankfully we only had to wait for the pizza to be cooked so we'd have another activity for distraction! Patrick did NOT get his desired Spino cake, you'll see why, but I substituted a
Spinosaurus pizza. I thought it turned out pretty awesome, uncooked AND cooked.
The Brachiosaurus pizza was an extra, you never know how much 7 kids might eat. After pizza, instead of cake we had ANOTHER excavation activity! We buried small (but not tiny, we didn't want anyone choking) dinosaurs in layers of chocolate pudding, topped by crumbled oreos, then the kids had to eat to dig them out!
I thought it was a work of genius! Some kids got into it more than others. This cutie declared it "the best party ever!"
While this one was pretty grossed out.
I had visions of kids finding their toys and licking them clean, then playing with a sticky dinosaur while still at the table... of course, nobody did this. As soon as they unearthed their prize they carefully placed the goopy thing in the pan and woudn't touch it until after it was washed off in the sink.
Goes to show, I should NOT have visions or expectations! They never quite pan out. Still, a fun activity that I would recommend. We followed dessert with gifts, of course, and Patrick got some GREAT stuff, from markers to legos to nerf guns - he's been so busy trying out his new loot!
And this is further confirmation that we don't need stuff at Christmas, he gets plenty at other times of the year. We had a great party, take from it what you will if you're considering a dinosaur party, and now on to a year of being FIVE! Yay!