We had a fun party for my son's 5th birthday over the weekend. I scoured the Internets and particularly Pinterest to find some ideas for kids' activities. The three that we implemented were 1) decorating paper dinosaurs using empty paper towel rolls, 2) a dinosaur dig for these cool-looking dino skeletons, and 3) a dinosaur egg hunt (which was a cross between an Easter egg hunt and a scavenger hunt: each kid got a picture of the specific egg s/he was supposed to find). The last two ideas were found here.
The kids enjoyed themselves a lot, and the parents were great. The parents said they really liked all of the activities, which basically means we were on the same wavelength. :-) I think each of the activities struck a good balance between structured time and unstructured creativity, and it was easy to flow from the paper crafting to eating the buffet lunch, then to the egg hunt and dino dig, then to playing on the climber or hanging out at the sandbox with the beach shovels. This gave us time to defrost the ice cream cake a bit before singing happy birthday and blowing out candles.
|Just a fraction of the decorations (sadly, I didn't have the presence of mind to take photos right before people started arriving.)|
My husband took care of all the food and photography while I served as the point person for the guests and oversaw the activities. Some of the parents helped as we moved along from activity to activity, so it was fun for me as well since I could watch and laugh with them as the kids did their thing.
It was such a gorgeous day -- sunny and partly cloudy, warm, and with very little wind (the last of which is almost a miracle here) -- that at least half the party was set outdoors. If the weather had been inclement, we could have done all of the activities inside the house. I was really happy, however, that the kids were able to play on the new climber.
|On the hunt|
|Taking stock of their egg treats|
|Digging for fossils|
|My husband did a fantastic job with the decorations both indoors and out, and it turned out perfectly.|
|Yummy ice cream cake from Cold Stone Creamery, although we did the dinosaur decorations ourselves since they don't have a dinosaur theme for their cakes.|
|You can see the cool dinosaur mouth on the arm of the kiddo's hoodie.|
|Two of my favorite ladies|
This was the first time we threw such a structured birthday party. It was almost like throwing a baby shower. Usually our friends just come over and we chat and eat while the kids run around and go crazy over the toys and games in the house. Sometimes, like last year, there's a piñata. But I did it differently this time because I also invited a couple of the kiddo's classmates, and I wanted to make sure there wasn't a lot of downtime for the "new" parents to get bored. It's hard to know how two different groups of friends will mix together. Since these two families were super-prompt to arrive (while our seasoned friends were over a half hour late and some of them more than that -- we're pretty casual as a group), I had the chance to talk with the moms while my husband talked with the dad that came, and he and I both really enjoyed our respective chats. These parents were also really helpful, and they were able to talk quite a bit with our family friends after they arrived. I'm glad that my son has made friends at school whose parents are great people, too.