I bought almost all the decorations and party favors online at Oriental Trading Company. Best.Party.Site.Ever. Really great stuff. And one-stop shopping. When you don't have the time to blow your nose, much less shop 15 stores for party gear, this site is a lifesaver.
We decorated our screened-in porch, and this is where we had the food and drinks. I loved these hanging dinosaur swirls.
We played three games with the kids. First, I hid dinosaur eggs all over the backyard. Inside each was a baby dinosaur. The kids had an egg hunt to find them.
Then, we did a "dinosaur dig." We hid tiny, plastic dinosaurs in our sandbox and the baby pool (filled with sand), and had the kids pretend they were paleontologists and dig for them.
Finally, we did a "lava flow" game, where we divided the kids into two teams, and they raced to fill a bucket by transferring water from each other's cups. Trying to explain and then help execute this game with a group of four-year-olds was a bit like herding cats. There was some confusion and lots of team-crossing, but I think everyone had fun.
Then it was cake time. Here is my masterpiece. Isabella requested a red (no surprise there) stegosaurus. Instead, she got a pink dragon/pig hybrid.
This cake represents 7 hours of my life I'll never get back. In case you're wondering (and I know you are), the spikes are food coloring-sprayed saltines, the claws and nose are raisins, and the eyes are pieces of gum that I colored with a black marker.
Fortunately, she loved it, and took many of her friends to see her cake as they arrived.
When it was served, she requested the head.
Isabella was sad to see the party come to an end, but that also meant she could dive head-first into her toys. This was definitely something that had changed from her birthday last year. Where last year she would spend time with each gift, and not hurry to move on to the next one, this year she wanted to open and play with every single gift she received, one right after the other.
But before that happened, a little goodbye to her peeps.
Isabella was so excited about having her friends come to her house for the party. Having the party out would be a whole lot easier and less stressful, and it's something I will probably do in the future. But I really like the idea of a casual home party. It was a TON of work, but worth it to see her joy.
Can you believe she turns four on Sunday?