Monday, January 14, 2013

Dino Party crisis style

Homemade volcano cake

"Mama, I want a big boy party, with lots of dinos and my friends and a dino cake and lots of dinos, " says my 5 year old about a month before his birthday.

Gulp! "Ok sweetie mama will give you a dino party...but mama is broke and we can barely afford to keep you fed, but yes, I will give you a dino party, even if mama has to get a second or third job." (Ok, I was only thinking this! I would never say such a thing and of course I gave him the thumbs up smile)

But seriously, times are not as easy financially as they used to be and I was concerned about spending alot of money on a birthday party smack dab in the middle of the most expensive month of the year: December.

No worries, I decided to tap into my creative side and I decided I would just make everything the old -fashioned way, old-school, like how we used to rock it back in the '80's...homemade birthday cake, homemade games, a party at HOME (or McDonald's if your parents were rich).

And actually for you people out there that read my blog that don't have kids and wanna give yourself a birthday party, you can also modify, like instead of "Toss the dino's into the lava" game you could play "Strip toss the dino's into the lava." Or for every dino you get in the lava you take a shot of "lava" vodka or Everclear or if you are in SC Moonshine...

Back to the here I was with a nearly empty wallet and a little boy who wanted a dino party!

First thing was first, the main attraction for any 5 year old...The Cake! Instead of paying $30 on a cake I decided I was gonna make my own cake. I searched the web for ideas and that's when the brilliant idea hit me: I would make a dino landscape cake with a volcano on top. So I simply baked a rectangle shaped cake, mixed green food coloring in with white frosting and voila: the grassy field for roaming dinos. I had a left over bundt cake someone brought over for Christmas, so i placed it on top, frosted it with chocolate frosting and used red cake icing to draw lava flowing from the volcano. I scattered plastic dinos around running from the volcano. I used an old green table cloth for the table and filled it with dino snacks like Dino eggs (grapes), Dino toenails (Bugles), Dino bones (Potato sticks) and Prehistoric trees (bread sticks in cheese dip). We decorated the table with all the Playmobil dino stuff and my son's dino collection and really transformed the table in Jurassic park! Kids loved it!! Total price: $15

And since I had to keep 5 little 4/5 year olds busy for 4 hours, I came up with some games, like Dino Lava Toss. I just put a red towel in the mopping bucket to look like lava was flowing out and the boys had to toss 3 plastic dinos into the bucket for a prize. I also had a pin-the-tooth on the T-rex game I had bought in America and a lava dig. I made a big bowl of red Jell-O and the boys had to dig plastic dinos from the bottom. Messy but they had a blast! They thought it was real lava! haaaa Total price: $2 Jell-O (plastic dinos and T-rex game were from America)
Old mop bucket + red towel = Dino Lava Toss

To go really old-school, I made paper mache dino eggs from balloons. We took them to the neighborhood playground and hid them and the boys had to find them. After they found them, they made a nest and played with the eggs for at least an hour in the playground. We got home and I had printed out dinosaur coloring pages so the boys all sat on the floor and colored for 45 minutes. Total price: $2 for balloons

Of course what's a party with out goody bags to take home to drive parents mad with the sugar highs! I bought birthday gift bags at a cheap shop and filled them with dino stickers, plastic dinos and candy. I just cut up the sheets of stickers so I only had to buy one pack of each. The boys were so excited! Total price: $6

The party even went on an extra 45 minutes since some parents couldn't get their kids to leave.It was a success and I still had enough money to put food on the table for the rest of the month!


  1. Replies
    1. All thanks go to Betty Crocker and the expat shop! : )

  2. I totally want a dino party now for my 35th.

    1. Well just let me know when and I can make you a big boy dino cake, with exploding volcano! And I have a one-size-fits all T-rex costume you can borrow.haaa


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