How do I do a dinosaur party for a 4 yr old?

(18 Posts)
babybouncer Sat 01-Jun-13 14:48:21

I'm slightly panicked as I've invited 14 kids to my house for DS' 4th birthday. The other parties I've been to have all had entertainers and most were in a hall so I'm not sure if I've got enough/too much planned. I've gone with a dinosaur theme and I have a plan to do something like this:

2pm kids arrive, colouring and dot-to-dots while waiting for everyone to get there.
Organised games - what's the time mr dinosaur? Throw the ball in the t-Rex mouth, pin the horn on the triceratops, (musical dinosaurs if time) pass the parcel (to calm them down).
3ish food - jam, ham and cheese sarnies, crisps, carrot and cucumber sticks, dinosaur biscuits for pudding,
As kids finish eating they can go off and play with the sandpit in the garden (with dinosaurs in it) and other general playing
Another couple of games all together, then line them up and hand out party bags and hope parents take the hint to take them home around 4pm

How does that sound?
When do I do the birthday cake?
What do I do about anyone who brings a younger sibling?
Is that enough food? Have I missed anything obvious?
What other games can we play?

It sounds great! My ds would love it! You could always have a dinosaur story to calm them down if needed. Will parents stop?

It's enough food, they only ever eat cake and biscuits anyway. I'd do the cake with the food I think.

Will have a think about dinosaur games but sounds like you've got plenty and children this age just enjoy playing with their friends anyway.

It sounds great. 2 notes of caution - don't assume 4yos know how to play party games (you may well have to teach them), and don't be offended if they don't all join in. I would have colouring out throughout, as an option, and a suitable DVD on emergency standby.

How many adult helpers do you have?

LondonJax Sat 01-Jun-13 19:41:11

Cake as soon as you've finished eating - you'll never gather them all together again! As stealthsquiggle said, don't assume they all know party games. And be prepared for some to say no when you do any pin the tail type games. I tried that at DS's fourth birthday party and two of the kids sobbed when Imtriedmto blindfold them - hadn't taken fear of the dark into account...

babybouncer Sat 01-Jun-13 21:53:32

I assume one parent will stay with each child (although I'm happy for them to go if they want) and I have 4 grandparents and DH helping. I'm going to get one grandparent just to be in charge of getting tea, coffee and biscuits for parents.

All the kids are at nursery at least 2 days a week and having seen them at other parties I was amazed at how well they responded to someone organising them! Although I was already worrying about the blindfold...

Also, what about name stickers for the kids? All the entertainers I've seen have done them and I like the idea, but is it a bit much?

invicta Sat 01-Jun-13 21:58:56

Great plans for the party.

I think entertainers only have name badges because they don't know the children. If you know the children, it's not necessary.

Name stickers are useful if you /the other adult helpers are not 100% confident of identifying DC correctly. I did it for each (autumn born) DC's first party after starting school, but now I know them all well I don't bother any more.

Don't worry about it being too much, though - DC aren't bothered about being labelled, and at 4 mostly enjoy picking out their own name.

Sounds absolutely perfect, I love the dinosaur themed games.

Other game ideas: kids love musical statues/bumps. But make sure its not the competitive "you're out" version, you'll have upset kids. Better to just call out the name of the best statue or best dancer each time. (best dinosaur impression?)

- Simon says (T-rex says?)

- Limbo - two mums/kids hold a cane and all the kids go through, getting lower. A good one if you've all gone outside.

- Tommy smartie. Need a packet of smarties and a plate. Put handful of smarties on the plate. One kid goes out of earshot. Other kids and you choose one of the smarties to be Tommy smartie. Kid comes back, he eats each smartie in turn until he picks up Tommy, everyone calls out Tommy smartie and its the end of his turn and someone else has a go. (with a new handful of smarties on the plate). This game seems to go down really well and gets all the kids "working together". Though also I've seen it go very raucous...

Agree cake-and-sing-happy-birthday happens just after they've eaten (even if you have to temporarily call back those who have already run off to play).

This might be controversial but I would make a few spare party bags so that if younger siblings do come, they also go home with a party bag. Getting a party bag is a really big deal for kids (well it seems to be for mine and all kids I know) and you can do them quite cheaply. (or even do the spare ones as a cheap version)

jansmum Sun 02-Jun-13 11:15:08

Here's a good tip to stop the kids from turning into a herd of literally rampaging dinosaurs!!!!

At the start of the party gather the children together and adopting a serious expression, tell them whenever they hear this warning noise (blow a loud, preferably funny, noise maker like a duck blower or clown horn), it means: "There are low flying potty dactyls passing by! Everyone must sit down as quickly as possible and make themselves tiny, until the danger has passed."

Practice this with the children so they understand what to do on hearing the Warning Noise and then use throughout the party whenever you feel you are losing control - works like magic!
Got this tip from one of The Chelsea Party's Ultimate Guides www.chelseaparties.co.uk. They're also having a dinosaur sale at the moment.

jansmum Sun 02-Jun-13 11:27:17

Here's a good tip to stop the kids from turning into a herd of literally rampaging dinosaurs!!!!

At the start of the party gather the children together and adopting a serious expression, tell them whenever they hear this warning noise (blow a loud, preferably funny, noise maker like a duck blower or clown horn), it means: "There are low flying pottydactyls passing by! Everyone must sit down as quickly as possible and make themselves tiny, until the danger has passed."

Practice this with the children so they understand what to do on hearing the Warning Noise and then use throughout the party whenever you feel you are losing control - works like magic!
Got this tip from one of The Chelsea Party's Ultimate Guides www.chelseaparties.co.uk. They're also having a dinosaur sale at the moment.

babybouncer Sun 02-Jun-13 13:23:17

I love that idea! Thanks!

Jdub Tue 04-Jun-13 17:03:23

This sounds ace - it has filled me with confidence! We are doing 2 home parties this year - a September 7 yr old one and a November 4yr old (it would be lovely to get an outdoor party in November!) Will keep an eye on this post!

preeti222 Sat 08-Jun-13 06:05:59

When we had football theme birthday party for kid, We Played Like hot potato/musical chair.As the music played,they stood in circle passing around football and when the music stopped the one with football was out.The last one in won the prize.The other game was we made two lines and had someone hold two hola hoops and they had to take turns throwing the football through the hola hoops.if they made it they went to end of the line until only two were left and they both got prize.

Party Princess Productions

orderinformation Wed 12-Jun-13 21:30:52

I always have some spare party bags and, even more controversially, a party bag for each of my own kids as they prefer party bags to main presents.

intheshed Sat 15-Jun-13 11:57:36

I ordered these colur in dinosaur masks fron yellow moon for DD's 3rd birthday party- they arrived yesterday and I'm really pleased with them!

Maryz Sat 15-Jun-13 12:03:30

I had a dinosaur party for ds1 when he was four [nostalgic]. He's 19 now.

If you play party games with kids being "out" like musical dinosaurs, have a tiny prize for everyone when they are out.

I got a load of plastic dinosaurs at a parish fair and buried them in the sandpit. They were allowed to take one home each.

The best game we played was dinosaur stomp - where you tie a balloon to each person's leg and they run around trying to stamp on each other's balloons. Thankfully none of the children were scared of bursting balloons.

babybouncer Sun 30-Jun-13 21:53:32

I've done it! And it went rather well (good weather definitely helped)!

Here's what I learned -
1. The top tip from jansmum rocked! Every time I needed to get kids together I did three blows on a loud quacker thing (and shouted 'quick, get down!' If they weren't quick enough) and they came running to throw themselves on the floor in front of me.
2. As kids arrived they picked out their name on a sticker which was really useful as a) I could see who hadn't arrived yet and b) I (and all the other parents and helpers) could use a child's name without having to think about it
3. I was amazed that a lot of the party guests were 10-20 minutes late, so the colouring and sandpit were made good use of and there was quite a lot of running around in the garden. When I started the games after half an hour the kids were very pleased to be being directed.
4. I did put out out dinosaur books on a rug, but except for a short time at the beginning, this wasn't used.
5. The feed the t-Rex game and pin the horn on the triceratops game were good, but it would have been better to split the group in two and have them do one game then swap to avoid having to wait for so long to play.
5. Musical dinos (with stickers for the best dino impressions when the music stopped) and 'what's the time mr dino?' worked brilliantly (and will be worked into the theme for every future party!), but I gave up on 'stegasaurus says' as it seemed too complicated.
6. I bought cups with lids and straws and wrote each child's name on their cup and that worked very well to avoid spills and meant they kept the same cups for drinks all party. So it's my new top tip!

Thanks everyone for the advice - it gave me the confidence to do it!

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