Dinosaurs are a topic of interest for toddlers and preschool children and are often used as a birthday party theme by child request. To save money on carrying out this theme, use items you may already have on hand to create activities for a dinosaur-themed party. Enlist your child's toys to be used in games, or create games that do not require you to purchase many additional supplies.
Encourage children to sit in a circle and play Hot Potato, but with a stuffed toy dinosaur. The children pass the stuffed dinosaur around the circle to a dinosaur-themed song, and when the music stops, the child holding the toy stands up and roars like a dinosaur. Hand-make another game by drawing a Triceratops onto a piece of poster board without his third horn. Draw and cut out one additional Triceratops horn for each party guest to play "Pin the Horn on the Triceratops." Use a cloth napkin or scarf as the blindfold.
As each guest arrives, hand the child a printed picture of a different type of dinosaur. For the duration of the party, the child must attempt to act as that dinosaur. For example, a pterodactyl will "fly" around the room, while a Tyrannosaurus rex uses long, stomping steps and has short arms. Take the party guests outside to play "dino tag." One child is "it," acts like a dinosaur and tags other children. To "un-freeze" the child, another party guest must crawl through his legs. Encourage the children to take turns being "it."
Use a large stuffed or plastic Triceratops for a ring-toss game and purchase a few large rubber washers from a home improvement store as the rings. In another tossing game, draw a dinosaur onto a piece of heavy cardboard and cut out the open mouth. Children take turns tossing bean bags or balled-up socks into the dino's mouth to feed it before it attacks! Allow a guest to take steps closer to the dino if it is apparent she is having difficulty.
Arts and Crafts
More advanced children may have fun making their own "dinosaur egg" by covering a balloon with papier-mache. To create a papier-mache mixture, mix 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of water. Help kids dip torn newspaper strips into the mixture and layer them over an inflated balloon. Allow the "egg" to dry completely before painting it. Kids can also create dino eggs or dinosaurs with play dough to take home after the party. For an edible arts-and-crafts activity, bury small gummy dinosaurs or candy bones in paper cups full of crushed chocolate cookie crumbs and chocolate pudding and let guests spoon them out. This activity resembles an archeological dig.
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