Little Man turned seven last week and we decided to have a birthday party at home with family and a few friends. Even though there was so much planning, organising and prepping that went into it, I’m so glad that he thoroughly enjoyed himself.
Food was prepared by his grandma as she runs her own food business called P’s Place and I made small bites, desserts and snacks for the kids. We had a bespoke dinosaur birthday cake made by my good friend and exceptional cake designer Dinah’s Desserts. We played a few party games, smashed up a pinata, had a good time with karaoke and sang happy birthday to the B’day boy. 🙂
He had so much fun at his party
Planning A Dinosaur Birthday Party
We started planning for the party about a month before the big day. We tried to keep the cost down as much but we still had to fork out a lot on catering as we had a lot of hungry people to feed. The day went pretty well according to our guests – I felt like I was rushing around like a headless chicken so felt like it was very chaotic but I’m glad the guests felt relaxed and were all having a good time.
Digitally send Party Invitations to save money and time
To cut down on cost, I made Little Man’s invitations online using Canva. It was simply a flyer (A5 sized) design and I just typed in ‘dinosaur invitation’ and Canva did the rest of the work for me. I edited the invites to how I wanted them then saved them to my PC as a PNG image. On Canva you can also choose to save as a JPG, PDF and GIF for any animated work. I created a little broadcast message on Whatsapp and attached the image along with the party details. To me, this was the fastest and cheapest way to get people’s replies. I could also tell who hadn’t replied and was able to follow up on those people easily.
If you don’t have enough time to design your own on Canva or aren’t so tech-savvy, you can download our invite and edit it with your own text on the computer using Windows Paint or something similar. Just hit the ‘download template‘ button below for the full-sized image.
Food Planning: always make more than you think you should
When sending out the invites, you’ll get a general idea of who’s coming and who’s not. If you’re still waiting for people to reply I’d suggest still factor them in when planning how much food to prepare – it’s better to have a surplus than not enough. I’d recommend plan for 10% extra in case you have some extra-hungry guests.
We had the following dishes:
- Hot Mains – chicken wings, pasta and fried plantain, for adults we made them seafood boil (prawns, lobster tails, crab meat, fried plantain, chicken wings and pasta)
- Cold Mains – cheese sandwiches, turkey dinosaurs, hummus and carrots cups (crudités)
- Snacks – popcorn and sweeties mix, African fried biscuit bites (chin-chin), tortilla chips with salsa dip, and fresh berries fruit cups
- Dessert counter – lemon creme posset, chocolate creme pots with oreo ‘dirt’ crumbs – I’ll upload my own recipe soon, mini Eton Mess pots – will upload my own recipe for this soon too, and different flavoured jelly pots
I set out the food in four sections; Carnivores (meat -based food), Herbivores (veggie-friendly food), Sweetivores (the desserts) and Dino Bites (snacks). Real Housemoms has a good list of snacks and bites that you could make for the kids and a little list of printable designs for your party. I made my own dinosaur-themed names for the food which I placed into these Ikea menu frames (50p each!) which looked so sweet.
We didn’t lay out any sweets or candy because we had these in the pinata and wanted to limit the amount of unnecessary sugar available to the children. The desserts and fruits are obviously sweet and varied enough and actually, doing it this way no-one complained they didn’t have sweets so it’s a ‘healthier’ alternative if I can call it that. 🙂
If you want to minimise cooking and prepping, I would say opt for ready-made dishes. M&S do a fantastic selection of party food and I’m sure the supermarkets do too but if you want to save money then doing it yourself is the most cost-effective way. Even just a selection of sandwiches (bread and fillers) can work well. Fruit pots and jelly pots are super easy and you get more for your money with them. The fancier desserts above are super easy to make and prepare then they just need chilling time so you can do these overnight but be warned, they can take up fridge space and won’t do so great at room temperature as they’ll start to turn to mush.. especially the Eton mess pots.
Order the Party Decorations in advance
We got nearly all of our party decorations from Amazon simply because it was easy with next day delivery. I started ordering these as soon as I could which was about 3 weeks before. The 214 piece balloon set was such good value for money. It even comes with foil balloons so I didn’t need to buy any extras but I did because I wanted loads of foil balloons around the house for Little Man to play with. Ebay was another great go-to place for party ware. I felt bad for not going to the party suppliers directly but I had to save on cost and wanted to make the most of my free PRIME delivery.
Even if you couldn’t afford a lot of party decorations, the massive party decoration sets they have on Amazon will have you sorted. All are around £13.99-17.99 and you get around 200 pieces so really you can’t go wrong! When putting the party decorations up, aim to do it the night before so you have less work on the day to sort out. Setting the room up the night before can also give you a clearer picture of where you’d like everything to be placed.
- Giant dinosaur foil balloons set (8pcs), £9.99
- Auihiay 48 pieces tropical leaves decoration (48pcs), £7.99
- 214 piece dinosaur party decoration set, £13.99
- Disposable palm leaf tableware (25pcs), £10.99
- Disposable wooden cutlery set (150pcs), £8.99
- Ginger & Ray dinosaur foot print stickers (6pk), £3.99
I decided on having eco-friendly biodegradable party ware this year and so glad I made that choice. It would’ve been a lot of plastic wastage and because the palm leaf plates looked so good, people were happy to reuse them again instead of getting a new one. Woop woop! Do bear in mind that because the palm plates are a natural material, they won’t all look the same and some have different colourings and markings on the plate. I loved it as it made it look really unique and individual but some people are perfectionists and they are not perfectly uniformed plates.
Include fun Party Games to pass the time
When playing fun party games, the time goes by. Everyone joined in for pinata smashing, pass the parcel, pin the tail on the dinosaur, bingo and loved it. I’d highly recommend adding those to your party games list – for the pinata we gave each child 7 goes as it was Little Man’s 7th birthday just to give it another fun element. When the pinata broke, all the kids went crazy and it was like carnage! Such good fun but so crazy too LOL 🙂
If you’re stuck on ideas for party games, Pinterest and Google are your best friends. Seriously, there’s so many dinosaur themed games on there that you can easily pull off and enjoy. Most you can make too so you don’t have to buy them. The only game I bought was pin the tail on the dinosaur but you can easily make that too. Don’t forget to pick games where everyone can have a turn or win a prize ie. a small sweetie bag if your budget allows.
Here are the games we played:
- Pass the Parcel – passing around a parcel and stopping to the music where the child holding the parcel would unwrap a layer. Continue until there’s a winner. For ours, every layer wrapped had a small sweetie bag or mini gift
- Tricera-Toss – toss the rings around triceratops’ horns. I got my inspiration from Mom Trends and used plastic cones for my triceratop’s horns and plastic rings to toss around them which I bought from Amazon, you can make your own horns using toilet roll card and cardboard cut-out rings
- Feed the T Rex – a mini bean bag throwing game, I made our T Rex look scary like this one, I completely forgot to take photos of the finished game but it looked pretty awesome
- Pin the tail on the Dinosaur – bought on Amazon, you have to stick the tail on the dinosaur whilst blindfolded
- Pinata Smash – I made my own DIY pinata from following a Youtube video which didn’t take too long to make the box and fill the sweets but cutting and sticking on the tissue paper was a big fiddly and time-consuming however I saved myself £15 plus P&P by doing so
- Dinosaur Bingo – I love this version from The Okie Home which is printable and FREE! If you want to use their game, pass by their blog and simply download
Opt for a themed Birthday Cake
It wouldn’t be a roar-some birthday without a themed birthday cake. I scoured Pinterest once again for an idea of how I wanted Little Man’s cake to be. We sat down together and spoke about it – we eventually decided on a round cake and with his toy Carnotaurus and Allosaurus as the cake toppers/centrepieces.
Dinah’s Desserts made our dinosaur cake with chocolate sponge cake filled with vanilla buttercream frosting and edible gold around the outside. The cake was topped with our toy dinosaurs, chocolate eggs and luscious green sugar paste leaves. It looked like a masterpiece, I didn’t want anyone to cut it let alone eat it! If you’re looking for some cake inspiration, have a look at my Pinterest board below.
Don’t forget to hand out the Party Favours
You can’t forget about the party favours! These are handed out at the end of the birthday party and can be anything you like from a single gift to a bag full of treats. We got our coloured cotton bags from Ebay and filled ours with a range of treats; a dinosaur pencil and eraser, sweets, mini notepad, crayon pack and a punch-balloon. Along with the party bag, we also offered our guests a chance to ‘adopt a dinosaur’. I got the idea from Rhiannon Bosse‘s blog and it went down a treat, all the guests loved it.
- Party Favours / Photo Credit: Rhiannon Bosse
P I N T H I S P O S T
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