Tag Archives: Birthday party

Doing it up- dino style!

Well, our little Levi just turned one! And of course, we had to plan a birthday party. It came after a VERY busy season of life and I was out of ideas and had no time to peruse Pinterest in the time leading up to his birthday. So my friend Heather threw out a few ideas- one of which was a “Dino-dig.” I immediately latched onto that idea because we already had tons of dinosaur things and, well… who doesn’t love dinosaurs! (well, maybe not the real thing, but you know what I mean…)

Soooo, I took some cute pics of Levi with his little stuffed dino for the invites and got those out.

SOOOO excited to celebrate!

We have such a hard time when we have parties… we have so many friends! I don’t say that at all to boast and I also don’t want that to sound like complaining, because we truly know how BLESSED we are to have so many people who love us and our family. But we have friends from so many different realms of life and many have been our friends for a LONG time, so naturally, we want to invite them ALL! The issue is that our house is only 1,000 square feet and we don’t have space for everyone- it is a logistical battle. We had about 50 people RSVP to this party so we had to cut off the invites (of course, not everyone ended up coming), but we still had a LOT of people here!

Getting Ready:

Anyways, in the few weeks before the party, I looked at Pinterest and got to crafting. Some things were really easy and a lot of things we already had. I always love to have photos of everyone and particularly like photo-booth style pictures, so I almost always have things people can choose from for pictures. So, logically, this is where I began. For Jedi’s superhero party, we had an awesome backdrop and so I thought of some ideas for a jungle-type background. I looked online and found several fun images for props and dug through our existing things to scrounge up some awesome Dinosaur sunglasses, binoculars, expedition hats, and a “camera.

Some fun sunglasses we happened to have
Lots of fun things to choose from!

We already had a fun Power Wheels jeep (without a working battery) that we got as a hand-me-down that was perfect for the kids to sit in and do some “exploring!”

Haha! I like to call this one “that face you make when you get a flat in dino-country!”

Then my only little splurges were on these suuuuper cute dinosaur tails that I found on Amazon (and will resell when I’m done), some dino masks (Hobby Lobby) and two foam dinosaur heads (Dollar Tree). Photo booth, check!

Even the adults had fun with the tails!

When I’m doing a photo booth, I always like to have a little sign as well, so I found a cute font online for the ROAR and then hand-copied a dinosaur I found online. I used a simple stencil for the rest and voila! Sign, check!

Check out the fun we had with this!

***Taking photos of everyone who comes also comes in handy when making thank you cards. I just print out a picture for them and write a little note on the back!***

We also had two special guests at this party. My mom (from Minnesota) flew down to surprise us and be here for Levi’s 1st birthday. It’s been 8 years since she and my dad have been here! She flew solo (literally) because my dad was on a road trip. We missed having him here, but were thankful that “Grammy” could come! Also, my best friend Catherine and her son Elijah returned from China (where we met several years ago) just a few days before the party. They made the trip (totally jet-lagged… AND pregnant) from the Dallas area all the way to San Antonio to celebrate with us! It made our day so extra special to have them here!

Of course, the star of this party was Levi himself. I found this adorable dinosaur costume on Offer Up! for 10 bucks and couldn’t resist a mini photo shoot with my little dino. I then used a few of these images in frames as decorations.

At first birthdays in particular, I think it is so important to document growth! So I picked my favorites of each of his monthly photos (plus a newborn pic and another of when he turned one), printed them off and matted them to hang as well. Here was the final product.

Just look at that little cutie!

I printed off a few signs for around the yard and made a few more to mark off certain areas.

You may not be able to see it, but there is a Jurassic Park sign on the fence behind the playground. PARK being the operative word here.

We also made a sign and some dinosaur footprints to put out front so people would know which house was ours.

I had printed out a dino footprint online, cut it out, and traced it on cardboard. Then I cut out the print and made myself a stencil. I put the boys to work making prints leading up to the house… they turned out pretty cute if you ask me! Thanks guys!

We also asked our sweet friend Kathy (who had to work so she couldn’t make it to the party) to make Levi a party shirt. She was able to take the same “1” I had created for his birthday invitations and put in on a onesie. It turned out so cute and used all the colors we were using for the party!

Isn’t his shirt the cutest!


At kid’s parties, I try to keep it simple… what are the things kids love to do??? PLAY. I put out some dinosaur coloring books and crayons and markers for kids to color with. I had a tub of dinosaur books for families to sit and read. I set out balls and toys, chalk and bubbles, a “ball pit” with a dinosaur that “eats” the balls. I even set up a game of “cornhole” for the kids or the grown-ups to play with.

The kids (and adults) enjoying themselves!
Apparently the dinosaurs wanted to color too!

I set up the sand box as a “dino-dig” by putting a wooden apatasaurus dinosaur puzzle (disassembled, of course) in there along with some “dinosaur eggs” for the kids to dig up and “discover.” My goal was for the bigger kids to actually try to put the dinosaur together, but some of the bigger kids I thought would want to didn’t end up coming. I put out a bunch of shovels, paintbrushes and sifters for the kids to use while “excavating.”

The dinosaur “eggs” and dinosaur “bones” for the kids to dig up
Digging for fossils!


I did use Pinterest a bit when thinking of food ideas. The party was from 3-5, so we didn’t necessarily need a full meal, but we ended up with TONS of food anyways. The biggest staple… dinosaur chicken nuggets, for the “carnivores,” that we found at Costco for like 12 bucks a box! Throw in some fruit and veggies for the “herbivores,” chips/snacks, dinosaur fruit snacks, brownie bites- aka “dino droppings” and some Jordan almonds as “Dinosaur eggs” and you’ve got yourself a dino-mite set-up!

For drinks, we ended up just having bottled water and juice boxes for the kiddos, then sweetened and unsweetened tea. I was originally going to make some “Jungle Juice,” which was basically just going to be a repeat of our “Hulk Punch” that was a big hit (pun intended) at Jedi’s birthday party, buuuuut… time… money… extra work… all that, and my mother-in-law volunteered to bring the tea. So, we went simple. But if you were to want to make punch, it’s equal parts lemon-lime soda (whichever you prefer) and “Green Berry Rush” Hawaiian Punch, then just add a few scoops of lime sorbet and give it a stir! It’s suuuuper yummy!

For cake, we kept it pretty simple. Of course, I had grandeur ideas, but nothing ever materialized. I ordered a cake from Costco… because, when you have as many people over as we did, you need a BIG cake! Costco cakes taste great and are very well priced! Anyways, they didn’t have dinosaur decor and the only colors they had in our color scheme were yellow and orange, so that’s what we went with. I had every intention of decorating it with our own dinosaurs, but the spacing ended up not really working out. The dinos we had were too big, so we ended up using tiny dinosaurs that, in my opinion, were too small. We also had this idea that we could put dino footprints in the frosting… but it ended up just pulling the frosting off. Oh, well!

I made the little “ONE” banner hanging in the background and decorated the cake table with another stuffed dinosaur and a cute frame.
You can see the little blue and green dinos we added to the cake, and the attempted dinosaur footprints in the lower left-hand corner.

Levi had never really had cake before, so it was fun watching him go at it! He wasn’t sure about it at first, but once he had a spoon, he was all about it! He even shared with “uncle” Zach!

Party Favors:

Party favors were pretty simple. I found a big bag of inexpensive and environmentally friendly dinosaurs online and divvied them up in little baggies along with some dinosaur stickers and cool dino tats. Plop them in a bucket, slap a dinosaur saying “thank you” on it and that’s done!

Well, that’s a wrap! We had a dino-mite time celebrating our little guy turning one!

Oh, yeah… and the dino-fun just keeps coming! The boys run around the house in their dinosaur tails and chase each other! It’s great! SO. MUCH. FUN!

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Posted by on June 4, 2019 in Uncategorized


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Jedi’s third birthday party!

Gosh, y’all, Jedi’s birthday just crept up on us this year!  It was like 2 weeks before his birthday before I realized that we hadn’t even THOUGHT about what we were going to do!  Maybe it’s having a new baby, maybe it’s just our busy schedules, but it came fast and furious!

Jedi is REALLY into Superheroes right now.  He’s all about Batman and Superman and Spiderman… you name it… he likes it (well, except for the Hulk… he’s scared of the Hulk).  He’s also into costumes.  Nearly every day, he asks to wear one of his MANY superhero costumes.  He got a few as a reward for potty training, one was a hand-me-down, and the others we got at a garage sale (a whole box of costumes and masks, all for $5 DOLLARS!  #boymom SCORE!!!).  You can see a Stormtrooper, or Batman or Spidey strolling down Main Street or playing out in the yard on the regular.  

So the day after Halloween, we happened to be in Wal Mart grabbing some essentials, and saw the clearance rack full of costumes.  So I sent Trent to check them out to see if there was anything Jedi would like that he didn’t already have.  He came back with 4 Incredibles costumes… they just happened to have one for each of us in all the appropriate sizes (well, mine was a bit on the small side, but close enough).  Now what are the odds of that?!?  It seemed like it was meant to be!  So we bought all 4 costumes for 20 bucks.  The only problem was that we knew that the baby’s costume wouldn’t fit him next year, so we decided to wear them this year, even if it was only to put them on and take some fun family pictures.   Then an idea was born…

I realized how close Jedi’s birthday party was and we decided to do a DRESS-UP super hero party, with us, as your INCREDIBLE hosts.  🙂

Over the next few weeks, we threw together a party- we sent out invites and started getting things together.  Pinterest became my best friend (oh, how I’d missed you!) and my creative side began to thrive!  We were super busy leading up to his party (aren’t we always), so there were a lot of late nights spent getting things ready.  But here is how it all came together!


We had a few “formal” games and then some other games that the kids could just do on their own.  I found some cute printables that inspired me for some games, others I just added a little Superhero “twist.”

Game number 1: Pin the star on Captain America’s Shield

I bought some red, white and blue poster boards and went to work making Captain America’s shield.  I scoured my home looking for the right sized bowls/cups, etc to make the concentric circles, and then used a star cookie cutter to trace and cut out the star in the middle as well as the stars the kids would later try to “pin” on the shield.  Then I wrote one kid’s name on each star and put them in a bag.  Voila… done with that one!   All I had to do was hang the shield and hand out the stars.  Easy peasy! 

This game was a big hit!  The only thing I would have done differently is hang the shield a little bit lower… as you can see, the little kids all put theirs too low.  I had the kids all line up from youngest to oldest and, as I put tape on them, the birthday boy helped me pass out a star to each kid.  I had the little kiddos just close their eyes (or I covered them for them), the older kids got a blindfold.  I used a scarf I had given my grandma before she passed away earlier this year.  It had butterflies on it- her favorite.  So even though she couldn’t actually be here, she was still here in spirit.  ❤

Game number 2: Hulk Smash

I saw several different versions of this game.  Most used Hulk hands to smash ice cream cones.  We didn’t have Hulk hands… soooooo… I changed the game up a bit.  I had seen somewhere else online that you could blow up black balloons and pretend they were “bombs” that needed to be destroyed in order to save the city.  The kids could pop the balloons however they wanted- with their feet, hands, whatever!

The kids went nuts for this game too.  I did have to warn the little ones that it might be a bit loud.  But even the little ones got into it… just with their ears covered.  

The “Supers” even cleaned up after themselves and all picked up the balloon pieces when they were done.

The other games we had were just for fun and we didn’t do them formally.   These were simply a part of “Superhero Training Camp!”  The kids played these as people arrived, mingled, and ate.

Game number 3: Avengers Throwing Practice

For this game, I bought a 4 pack of thin, red plastic plates at Wal Mart for $.97 cents.  I used paper and that same star cookie cutter to make these plates into Captain America shield frisbees.  Then we used cans and decorated them and stacked them for the kids to knock down with the frisbees.  I got the sign printable free, but added a little extra flare with some clip art from the internet… and because I’m a nerd, I laminated it all.

Game number 4:  Cornhole

I didn’t have to do much to make this game superhero themed.  I just printed off some superhero logos, laminated them and slapped one on each side!  The kids loved playing this!  Grown-ups too!

Game number 5: Ping-pong toss

This game was also very easy.  I just printed off different point values and put them on several buckets.  (I was a teacher for YEARS, so I have all sorts of these things still sitting around.  I used to use them for different learning centers).  Then the kiddos had to try to throw the ping-pong balls into the buckets for points!  The closest bucket was worth 1 point, the second one was worth 5 and the farthest one was worth 10.

We were going to have another “game” but it was a flop… literally.  We have this cool blow-up Captain America weighted punching bag that one of our friends was thoughtful enough to give to Jedidiah after his baby brother was born… but it had a hole in it somewhere, so literally… it was a flop.  This wouldn’t have been so much a “game” as just something fun the kids could have done.

Other than the official games, my mother-in-law (who graciously hosted) had a swing-set and this awesome car roller-coaster type thing (for lack of a more official term).  That was a HUGE hit, especially with the older kids.  They LOVED it! And of course, Jedidiah loved it too.  He pushed it back up after EVERY. SINGLE. TURN. (his or anyone else’s).


For “thematic” foods, again, Pinterest for the win!  Some of my favorite touches were the “Thor hammers” (pretzel sticks and little blocks of cheese) and the Captain America shield fruit platter.  My mother-in-law prepared this one and it looked superb!  I saw several versions of this online- I went with the marshmallows because they were easier, but you could do bananas if you wanted something a little more healthy.  You could also use cherries or raspberries as one of the other red circles on his shield.  I used that same star cookie cutter to hold some vanilla yogurt in the center for dipping.  We also made green “Hulk” Jell-o cups and simply drew an angry Hulk on the clear plastic cups (you will likely notice that my artistic skills do not extend to drawing…).

Some of the other little things we did were simply a matter of presentation.  We had applesauce pouches that I put out in a Batman shoebox (from his superhero shoes that Nana gave him).  Spidey held the napkins, we put silverware in those inexpensive plastic superhero cups you can get at Wal Mart or HEB and of course, we decorated with some framed art as well.

Then we just put out some sandwich and veggie trays and we were all set!

The food table looked great!

For drinks, we simply had bottles of water and little juice boxes for the kids in a cooler.  I printed off a little sign for the lid that said “hero drinks.” 

I also made some “Hulk punch” using equal parts of Sprite (or 7-Up or any sort of lemon-lime soda) and “Green Berry Rush” Hawaiian Punch.  Then I added a couple of scoops of lime sherbet on top and voila!  Hulk Punch!  My pic isn’t awesome… I didn’t even realize my decorative Hulk had toppled over… but the punch was a big hit (pun intended). 

For the cake we ordered a chocolate cake from Costco without any decorations on it.  They didn’t have any Superhero themed cakes, so we just decorated it using his own Superhero action figures.

Photo booth:

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE taking photos.  I’m not an avid photographer by any means, but I sure do enjoy it!  So, of course we had to have a photo booth!  My mother-in-law found this awesome backdrop on Amazon and ordered it for the party.  I bought a cheap pack of cardboard superhero masks at Wal Mart and the rest of the props we either had or I made.  Thor’s hammer was simply a box that I covered with tin foil and the handle was an old wrapping paper roll that I had cut down to size and reinforced with some tape. 

Then I made sure to take photos of each family as they came in.  For thank you cards, I will simply make prints of these and write a short thank you note on the back.  🙂


We tried to keep the decor simple.  We had two signs as people came in. “Superheroes welcome” and a separate sign that Nana made.

Because of my son’s affinity for costumes, we decided to use these to decorate!  We hung them along the fence and trellis as people came in.  They ended up looking pretty cool!  

We kept the other decorations pretty simple- we taped a superhero emblem on each table- the picnic table where people ate, the gift table, the entry table and the kids table.

The entry table was Batman themed.  I used an old coffee can to create a city scape and added the Bat-signal to the top.  I also added one of his stuffed Batman toys, a photo of Jedi and his brother wearing some “super” shirts that one of Trent’s students’ parents made.  Beside that is a little frame that says “Little boys are just Superheroes in disguise.”  Then I just printed off some blank superhero logos and put out some pens and instructions for our friends to leave a note for Jedi and left it at that!

The gift table was decorated with what used to be Trent’s classroom treasure box- a cool Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle chest that we got for 7 or 8 bucks years ago at Ross.  Black Panther held a little “Gifts and cards” placard.

Goody bags:

Well, goody cups, in this case.  We set up a few party favors- superhero stickers, a Batman pencil, Bubbles, a few starbursts and these super cool snap bracelets that Nana found on Amazon.

I printed off little “POW” emblems and put them on the bubbles.

Then Nana set them up on the way out so all the kids could grab one!

That was it!  We opened presents and the kids wrapped Jedi up in a big group hug and then people went home.  

We want to give a very special “Thank you!” to Nana and Popo for helping with the food and decorations and for letting us use their backyard.  It was a wonderful party and Jedi had a SUPER time!

He’s got the best Nana and Popo!

Posted by on November 28, 2018 in Uncategorized


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