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What's this on the cake???
Last year it was WORMS...this year it's DINO EGGS!
Our own little Enzosaurus hatched 4 years ago...
Since then, we have been slowly collecting other little egglings as friends along the way.  The guest list grows and changes.  Every year, we reflect on our life with our sweet boy... How he came to us, who he is, what he has and will become.  Apparently, he became a dinosaur at some point between 3.5 & 4 years old this year.

My ideas always start simple...
then without fail, like a welcomed weed, they grow.  I go from a "small cake cutting" to a full blown carnival.  My mind just takes off.  Not wanting just a frilly sugar fest, I designed the activities to engage the kids so they can learn, observe, and have a great time.  I know, I know, it's a party.  But who says having fun and learning are independent of each other, right?  RIGHT???
Below is the party programming.

Kids LOVE to dig!  We set up our train table with sand and fossils for our Fossil Dig!  The inspiration came from seeing some plastic dino fossils on Amazon.  With their dino names at the bottom, this was a fantastic option to bury the bones and have all the kids excavate them!  We threw in some rocks, leaves, and extra seashells to flush out the loot.
Ingredients :
1)  Train Table
2)  2 - 10lb Bag of Sand
3)  24 Dino Fossils
4)  Large Canvas Drop Cloth
5)  Various rocks, bay leaves, and seashells
The Observation Table
We set up an Observation Table for our young archaeologists to explore their findings.  Brushes, magnifying glasses, labels, bags, and markers were provided as part of the Lab Work.  

After the sand...we threw in the WATER!  A very textural party so far, we wanted to stimulate all senses!  These Dino Capsules took over an hour to grow, so it was a sensorial lesson with patience built in:)  We asked the kids to label and leave their experiment cups on the shelf so they can check in on them throughout the party and take them home at the end.  We did a "sample" at each station so the kids can visually "self-serve" without any adult assistance.
1)  Tray
2)  Pitcher with Water
3)  Clear cups
4)  Dino Sponge Capsules

Have a kid that prefers some quiet time on his own?  We set up a small reading station with a bucket of Dino books in both English & Chinese.  Next to it, a coloring station with a stack of Dino coloring sheets, crayons, markers, and dino stickers to decorate.  A large cork board was provided with laundry clips to hang the finished pieces.

Our own Enzosaurus takes a quiet moment at the reading corner.

OK, nuff of the learning and reading.  Let's RUN!!!
This is a guarantee crowd pleaser.  Now run AS A DINOSAUR?  No way.  We handed out dino masks and asked the creatures to line up for a RACE TO EXTINCTION! Guess you would actually want to loose this race for survival purposes?  Any-Hoo...
The tot claws came out at the line up.  This is going to be one tough race.
A fight to the finish!

Phew...We are famished!  After the race, it was cake and grub time!  Each year, I design the cake and Dalee creates it.
1)  Low sugar
(minimal to no icing)
2)  Easy to make
3)  Fun!
With all the organic wave patterns, a "Tiger Skin" roll cake was the perfect base our Jurassic tort.  The natural bubbles and toasty stripes is a great backdrop.  Dalee kept the top of a pineapple for some prehistoric foliage.  We flushed out the display with a dino nest using coated peanuts:  A crunchy outer shells with a peanut in the middle.  Fantastic for giving the illusion of biting into real dino eggs!

Dalee pumped out the Choco Dino Minicakes with their own egg nests.

...wanna try one?

And with that, the Dino Fest came to an end.
We sent the kids packing with their choice of a box of Dino Puzzle or Dino Origami to continue the fun at home. Coloring books were given to the younger siblings to eat, tear, or to color.  Yes, some parent participation IS required, but again, the LAB loves interactive play!  As a rule of thumb, one large favor/activity always works better than a bunch of small trinkets.  Or you can say, I just got lazy since it's way more simple than putting together a goodie bag.
Minimal Work + Bigger Impact = One Happy Mama.

So for next year's birthday...
I'm thinking a nice small cake cutting.

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