{Dinosaur Birthday Party Food}

Dinosaur Party Food

For Herbivores, Carnivores, and Sweetivores

green dinosaur shaped birthday cake with colourful confetti sprinkles

Sweet Pea loved her dinosaur birthday party for her 4th birthday! And I had lots of fun creating crazy dinosaur-themed food for the party menu!

For the cake (yes, it did take me all day! and no, I'm not good at cakes at all!) I pretty much followed the directions in this pin but added spikes from small triangles of cake that I attached with frosting blobs. I didn't bother printing the template and just did it freehand instead, which may have been a mistake but oh well! To decorate it, I used colourful confetti sprinkles, a spot of frosting and a candy dragée for the eye, a line of frosting and mini chocolate chips for the mouth, and brown mini M&Ms for the toes [affiliate links]. This was my first time making a shaped cake and I have to say that cutting the cake to make the dinosaur shape was pretty easy. It was frosting it that was hard for me, but I always seem to have trouble with frosting.

Some of the other treats we had include:

Dinosaur Dig Jello Cups

Dino Dig Cups

Layered jello cups with crumbled chocolate Oreo cookies on top, topped off with a gummy dinosaur candy and some watermelon jelly beans as dinosaur eggs [affiliate links].

Dinosaur poop chocolate covered marshmallows party food

Dino Poop

Gross, but let's face it - four year olds love gross! And they love marshmallows! So these chocolate covered marshmallow treats were Sweet Pea's special birthday party food request. And I'm sure real dinosaur poop wasn't nearly this pretty!

Vegetable sticks dinosaur party food

Herbivore Platter

Gotta get some veggies in them, right?

dinosaur shaped cheese party food

Dinosaur Cheese Plate

My original plan was to make dinosaur-shaped sandwiches with this adorable dinosaur sandwich cutter I got specially for the party (similar but not quite the same as this one [affiliate link]). But as it turned out, our bread is smaller than the cutter, so I had to scrap that plan at the last minute and make normal sandwiches and dinosaur shaped cheese slices instead!

Dinosaur party carnivore sausage rolls

Carnivore Rolls

Our little carnivore loves sausage rolls, so we have to find a way to fit them in to any party theme! So carnivore rolls it is!

Dinosaur party food marshmallow eggs in silicone cupcake nests

Dinosaur Nests

A handful of coloured marshmallows (I did mention that Sweet Pea's special request was to have lots of marshmallows at her party!) in mini silicone cupcake holders [affiliate link] made easy-peasy nests full of dinosaur eggs.

Four year old girl blowing out candles on her dinosaur birthday cake

If you have a dinosaur lover, too, you might also like these posts:

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{Salt and Watercolor Painting Dinosaur Party Invitations}

Salt and Watercolour Painting:

Dinosaur Party Invitations From Kids' Art

dinosaur birthday party invitations made from kids salt and watercolour art work

The kids loved the process of this salt and watercolour painting, which we then turned into dinosaur party invitations for Sweet Pea's dinosaur birthday party. Easy, colourful, and pretty!

 child making salt and watercolour paintings

First the girls did a watercolour wash over pieces of white paper in various colours.

salt and watercolour painting

Then while the paint was still wet, they sprinkled some salt onto the paper. It makes an interesting textured appearance in the paint. Sweet Pea got a bit carried away with the salt and we ended up having to brush off lots of excess salt afterwards! 

dinosaur birthday party invitations made from salt and watercolour artwork

Once the papers dried, I cut them out into dinosaur shapes. I started by making templates first on cardboard, which I'll try to make into a printable for you and add it later. Then we glued the dinosaur shapes onto coloured card stock - beautiful, colourful invitations made from the kids' artwork!

Stegasaurus art from salt and watercolours

If you have a dinosaur lover at your house, you might like these posts:

And I'll be posting more soon from our Dinosaur Party so check back again, or subscribe by email and get the posts directly to your inbox.


{Egg Decoupage for Preschoolers}

Egg Découpage for Preschoolers

(For Easter or Dinosaurs)

This easy way to decorate eggs (great for Easter or for dinosaur play) is fun to do and results in beautiful découpaged eggs! 

We used a paper maché egg [affiliate link] for the large egg, and wooden eggs [affiliate link] for the smaller eggs. I got all of these eggs at our local craft store. We used the big one as a decoration for Sweet Pea's Dinosaur Birthday Party, and the little ones were a decorate-your-own-egg play station at the party to make eggs to take home. The wooden eggs we got came with holes drilled through lengthwise, so we threaded through some plastic craft string [affiliate link] to hang them. (The dinosaur egg theme was perfect for her spring birthday party because now they all have decorated eggs to hang up for Easter!)

For the large egg, we first painted it with washable paint [affiliate link] and let it dry. For the wooden eggs we skipped this step.

Once it was dry, we mixed up a solution of 1 part glue to one part water. We usually use white school glue [affiliate link] for this mixture but this time we used clear liquid glue and it worked just as well.

We cut up squares of tissue paper [affiliate link] in bright colours and glued them on by painting a glue 'wash' onto the egg then sticking on the tissue squares, overlapping here and there. (I recommend painting the glue wash on a small area at a time as the glue dries quickly.)

Finally, we painted over the entire egg with the glue wash to make a shiny finish. We just adore the results!

For a similar technique with real eggs, see how lovely these blown eggs turned out over at Red Ted Art!



{Hands On One to One Correspondence Counting Practice}

One to One Correspondence

Playful Hands-On Counting Practice

one-to-one correspondence counting play practice

One to one correspondence is an important skill in early math and early literacy development. It refers to the ability to understand that each item represents one thing and to maintain the one-to-one match while counting objects or while reading words on a page. 

In math it is the ability for kids to count along objects without skipping any - to count one more for each object. Many kids can rote count numbers, but counting objects without skipping any is more difficult. In reading it is the ability to follow along with each word on the page, understanding that each visual word they see corresponds to an individual word with its own meaning and to maintain that one-to-one match while reading.

For some fun, hands-on practice with one-to-one correspondence, try this simple count and stick activity. You'll need:

* foam sheets or pieces of paper (I used foam for a more sensory tactile experience)
* glue
* various small objects that you have pre-counted 
* bowls

I set out a bowl for each different type of object, but you could challenge your child more with one bowl containing all the items to 'find' first. 

Label each foam sheet with a number from 1-10.

Your child needs to count out the number of objects that match the number on the sheet (if they can't read numbers yet, you can tell them the number) and glue them on.

We used small items that we had around the house. Try these suggestions:

*foam shapes
*craft sticks
*cotton balls
*squares of tissue paper
*dried beans
*dried pasta
*leaves or flowers from the garden
*pine cones

child counting objects for one-to-one correspondence practice for math and reading

Other ways to practice one-to-one correspondence:
*Egg carton math
*Playing board games (counting along the spaces) [affiliate link]
*Counting out spoonfuls as serving dinner or playing tea parties

More playful math learning:
*Playing With Symmetry
*Simple Preschool Math Play
*Pool Noodle Patterning
*Number Recognition Travel Game



{Rainbow Dinosaur Hunt Sensory Play}

Rainbow Dinosaur Dig

Sensory Play

sensory play with rainbow coloured rice and dinosaurs - dig and hunt

For Sweet Pea's 4th birthday we had a dinosaur themed party. I wanted to keep it easy and not too organized for the kids (all three and four years old), so I tried to have a balance between party games and less structured 'station' type activities. This rainbow dinosaur dig sensory bin was a huge hit! Digging, scooping, pouring, rummaging, squeezing, sifting - the sensory table was the centre of the party action!

To make it, I simply poured in lots of rainbow dyed* barley, rice, tiny star-shaped pasta and lentils, buried some little dinosaur figurines (some regular hard ones and some squishy gummy-style ones [affiliate link], too, for extra sensory stimulation), and tossed in whatever else I could find on hand - some feathers, pipe cleaners, large wooden beads, some wicker balls, and some fake petals. I added a couple of wooden scoops like these [affiliate link] and that was it.

rainbow rice, dinosaurs and scoops for sensory play

Colourful, playful, sensory play - a preschool party hit!

*To dye the grains, simply put some in a resealable plastic bag, squirt in some food colouring and hand sanitizer and shake like mad. Then lay out in as thin a layer as possible to dry.

Subscribe to Mama Pea Pod for more simple play ideas directly to your inbox - including more dinosaur-themed ideas coming soon!


{DIY Dinosaur Costume}

Easy DIY Dinosaur Costume

(From Old Pyjamas)

child wearing a DIY homemade dinosaur costume for dress up play

Do you have a dinosaur lover at your house? Sweet Pea is into dinosaurs these days. She turned four yesterday and we are busy preparing for a dinosaur-themed birthday party! Her birthday request was for me to make her a dinosaur costume for dress-up play. As a beginner sewer, this sewing project seemed daunting at first! I turned to Pinterest and saw this and this example, got some advice from a friend, looked through my box of fabric bits to see what I had on hand, and then set out to see what I could come up with on my own. What I discovered is a way to make a DIY dinosaur costume that is actually quite easy, even for beginners, and I just love the final product!

First I took a pair of Sweet Pea's favourite old pyjamas that were too small (as it happens, they had a dinosaur printed on the top, which is why they were her favourites.) I used just one leg of the pyjamas to make the tail. Then I found some shimmery green fabric from an old costume that didn't fit. I used that fabric to make the spikes, but you could use the other PJ leg if you wanted to. 

To make the spikes: To cut out the fabric for the spikes, first I cut a triangle out of cardboard (I used an old cereal box from the recycling bin). I traced around it on a double layer of the green fabric to get my first spike. Then I trimmed about half a centimetre off each side of the cardboard triangle and used that to make the second spike slightly smaller than the first, and so on so that each spike was slightly smaller than the last (see photo below.) I sewed the spikes (right sides in if there's a right side to your fabric) along two sides and left the third side open. Then I popped them right side out and poked the corners straight with a blunt pencil.

To make the tail: I cut the pyjamas up the middle seam, separating the two legs, and continued down the seam to the bottom of one leg. Although the leg fabric was more or less triangular when laid flat, I trimmed it to make it come to a narrower point at the bottom by simply folding it back into its original 'leg' shape and then trimming freehand. 

I laid the open edge of the spikes along the cut edge of the PJ leg - on the right side of the fabric and with the spikes protruding inwards, not upwards in the spiky fashion they end up in. The spikes were in order from the smallest at the end of the tail to the largest at the top. (Be sure that the spike's edge sticks out further than the edge of the PJs.) Then I folded over the PJ fabric so that the two edges were on top of one another, with the spikes inside, and sewed along the whole length together. 

Then I turned the tail right side out and stuffed it loosely with a bit of batting. Finally I just sewed straight across the top to close it up, but I sewed it so that the top lies flat across her back, not flat along the centre seam of the tail, if that makes sense. This way when she wants to wear it, I can just pin it to the top of her pants and it will fall flat and be more comfortable.

To make the top: I was going to use the dinosaur pyjama top, but since it was already too small I thought she'd get more use out of her dinosaur costume if I used a larger top, so instead I used an old t-shirt of her sister's. I cut it open up the centre of the back, and followed the same procedure with the spikes as I had for the tail - laying the spikes in size order on the right side of the t-shirt with the spikes poking downwards, then folding the other edge of the t-shirt fabric on top and sewing along the entire length. 

Finally, I turned it inside out and was relieved to see that I had a super cute dinosaur costume for my little dino lover!

Homemade DIY dinosaur costume made from kids old clothes

Have a dinosaur lover in your household, too? Here are some great ideas for dinosaur-themed birthday gifts and party themes - and a sneak peak at what we're doing for Sweet Pea's birthday! [affiliate links]



{Simple Canada Flag Nature Craft - Maple Rubbing}

Canada Flag Nature Craft for Kids:

Maple Tree Rubbing

maple tree rubbing canada flag craft for kids

For Canadians feeling patriotic or for non-Canadians learning about Canada, here's a fun nature craft to get your creative kids outdoors.

We made this Canada flag craft last summer for Canada Day, but it would be great to do anytime! All you need is some paper, a red crayon or coloured pencil, and a maple tree!

Lay your paper in landscape format and using a maple leaf, mark out thirds with vertical lines down the paper. Make a leaf rubbing in the centre of the paper (notice that nice Canadian spelling of 'centre' ;-p ) by laying the paper on top of the leaf and gently rubbing the crayon at a sideways angle over the paper where the leaf is underneath.

child making a bark rubbing on a maple tree

Then, lay the paper on the trunk of the maple tree and make bark rubbings over the outside thirds of the paper to fill in those sections completely.

child in the forest drawing

Enjoy the time outdoors and perhaps take the opportunity to also check out some other types of barks and leaves and make comparisons.