Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dinosaur Train Birthday Party

Dash turned 5 while we were on our California vacation. We finally got to have his big party last weekend. He had been asking for a "Dinosaur Train" party all year, ever since he had his Pirate Party (click back there to also read about his birth and see pictures of him growing up). He actually had been asking for a dinosaur party, and it was my idea to make it a Dinosaur Train party - since he likes trains, too, and we could get a big, trackless train for the kids to ride just like we did for Tornado's 4th birthday. I was actually basing it off the children's book by Deb Lund. Months after we started talking about a Dinosaur Train party (me thinking how creative I was being)...we see a commercial for the NEW Dinosaur Train television show on PBS (which is now, of course, his favorite show). Seems like I was not the only one who thought this idea needed to be expounded upon.

I only found out the week of the party that we weren't going to be able to have our "train." I was suuuper bummed (even though, of course, it was fine without it). This guy didn't think our land was smooth enough or the roads in front of our house were safe enough. :(
I had all of the decorations put up by the time Dash woke up from his nap on party day. He made me feel like every second of effort was fully worth it. He walked around the room several times, very slowly, stopping at every little detail, examining it and admiring it. I don't know what it is about little kids and dinosaurs. He is obsessed. Tornado always loved them, too, but Dash loves them even more. I don't know if an hour goes by in our day in which there is not some mention of dinosaurs - a book he wants me to read to him, a dinosaur fact he wants to share with me, a sighting of him playing with his dinosaurs, or the sound of dinosaur roars coming out of his mouth.

Cute story about my little sister Tracy from when she LOVED dinosaurs, too: awhile back, I found a cassette tape she (now age 28) had recorded when she was 9 or 10, and I was around 16. She was interviewing me, asking me questions about a boy I liked and things like, "What do you think is the best thing about yourself?" She said, "The best thing about me is I know a lot about dinosaurs." I love it.

The Decorations and Food
(You can't tell what this's fossil ice.)
I found a dinosaur ice cube tray from Online Science Mall.
party favor bags, which included a dino glider, Dinosaur Train/dinosaur/train stickers, dinosaur pencil, dinosaur fact cards, Magic Color scratch dinosaur ornament, dinosaur pinball game, and a Yummy Earth sucker...(you know - really important stuff)...bags tied with train material cut into strips

Party activities:
painting wooden dinosaurs or trains (my nieces, Clara and Grace)
My 3 kids (that's Tornado, with my nephew Owen) were wearing Dinosaur Train t-shirts, which I ordered from They have all sorts of character and specialty t-shirts, and they have the BEST customer service.
Apparently, all I REALLY needed as an activity: invite a bunch of 5 year olds, throw in some inflatable dinosaurs and wide-open spaces, and you've got yourself a party.
This is almost the whole kid crew (minus a few little ones). They had to run around our 1.25 acres and find "dinosaur eggs." Most of them contained dinosaur stickers, but there were several that contained money or a dinosaur puzzle.
Owen was one of the lucky money finders.
Ryan had dug a pit in the backyard, filled it with sand, and buried a bunch of plaster of paris dinosaur bones at different levels in the sand. The kids had to really dig to find them. We ordered these plastic molds from Discount School Supply (one of my favorite online stores). $16.49 for 6 complete mold sets. In hindsight, I think we could have made the pit long and narrow so the kids could be more in a line; there was a bit of a problem with flying sand.
"Shiny" herself
The paleontologists even brushed off their dinosaur bones and worked at piecing together the skeletons.
Happy birthday, my fabulous, smart, creative, energetic, inquisitive, tender-hearted, compassionate, loveable boy.

This blog post is dedicated to my husband, my mother, my father, my brother Matt, and my sister-in-law, Michele. I could not have done it without your help. Please forgive me for rushing you around an hour or two before the party started. And thank you, Tracy, for the Kroger errand.


kdguice said...

wow- you really go ALL OUT for their parties! i hope i can pull off such successful kiddo events with violet! thanks for the creative inspiration/motivation!

Anonymous said...

I wish I could be one of your kids! You guys are amazing!!! Your kids will look back on their life and marvel at the memories you made for them and I am sure they will say, "My mom and dad worked HARD to make sure life was VERY VERY SPECIAL!!!" I love the theme and the cake and applaud you for letting him have so many kids come to his party!!! I am exhausted just looking at all you did especially since you have been traveling so much! Great job!!

Anonymous said...

wow,Its absolutely beautiful.My son would have loved to be there.he loves dinosaurs.he talks,walks dreams of dinos I think..His bday is in June.Did u make the cut outs and can u tell me some links where i can find the stuff?Amazing...

Jenny said...

Who wrote the second Anonymous comment? I can help you - perhaps even give you our leftover decorations! I got most things from Oriental Trading Company, (who have super fast service/shipping!), and our local party stores.

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

What an amazing birthday party!! Wow!!!! I love the dinosaur sandwiches -- so clever!

Jenny said...

Thank you, everyone!

Karie Lee said...

What great fun! You did such a great job organizing and creating all of that, FANTASTIC! Wish we could have joined : ) What a wonderful memory he will have of this birthday.

Sharanya said...

Hi jenny:
Sorry i forgot to sign in my name.I live in Nj so will def check the party stores out.Thank you for the tips.Awesome,i must say.You are one terrific MOm!!!

Anonymous said...

what a neat idea! Love the egg hunt, that is always a hit, nice way to use it for birthday! Your kids are very blessed!!
Marcia Harmon

Jeannie said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! My boys love the Dinosaur Train but there is very limited merchandise out there so I was struggling with how to achieve this. I had already found many of the items you used, but had not found that AMAZING T-rex mold. I purchased it the moment I saw it and I can't wait to get it in the mail. This is going to be a great party thanks you your link and creativeness. Thanks again!!

Anonymous said...

My boys will be 5 in November & we are already planning a dinosaur party. We, too, go ALL out! I must know where you got the hanging decorations. They would be so great hanging around for the party..the boys would LOVE them!! Thanks you so much for posting...I now have some great ideas to go from. Oh, & the big red inflatable dinos, too...where did you find those?

Jenny said...

I believe the blow up dinosaurs were from Oriental Trading Company. Most of the other decorations were from Oriental Trading Company and The t-shirts were from - they were sooo nice, really great customer service. Thank you for reading my post!

micachica said...

I'm so glad that I found your blog! I'm planning a dinosaur train party for my son and I now have so many good ideas. Where did you get those crazy cool green dangling dinosaur decorations that you hung from the ceiling? I'm looking for something like this and didn't see them on the decoration sites you listed. Many thanks!

Chris Visperas said...

So happy to see your blog. I got so many great ideas from you. Wish I had the energy to sponsor one. Thanks for sharing.