Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dinosaur Train Birthday Party! Frugal & Fun!

This past weekend, we celebrated our Twins' 6th Birthday with a "Dinosaur Train" Birthday Party! We had a very Fun & Frugal party! I spent less than $50 & everyone had a wonderful time! Normally, it's difficult to plan a themed birthday party for my boy/girl twins. But this year, it was very easy, because as soon as I asked them "What kind of Birthday party do you want, they both said, "Dinosaur Train" in unison! Dinosaur train is a TV show on PBS, and it is definitely one of their Favorites! I thought I'd share this party with you, because if you have a pre-school or Kindergarten aged child, chances are they might like to have this frugal party as well. I hope that my "Thrifty Birthday Party Idea's & Tips help you to have a fun, frugal party too!
There are not any "Dinosaur Train" themed party items, or toys on the market yet, so I had to be very creative with this party! For invitations, I sent FREE e-mail invites from MyPunchbowl. Sending e-invites saves you money on postage! It is Free to sign up for MyPunchbowl Here. I have a premium account, so I was able to upload a picture for the e-invite, and I uploaded a picture from Dinosaur train. You can also print out the invite, if you invite someone that does not have e-mail access. I paid nothing for the invitations! Sorry about the bad picture, I took a bunch and this was the best that I could get!
As each Child arrived at the Birthday party, they received a dinosaur nose (purchased at Party City, and I had a coupon!) They also received a dinosaur tattoo. (My MIL purchased these! She found them on clearance at Toys R Us for $.68 ea.)
They looked really silly with the dino noses! I had tables set up & after each child got their nose & tattoo, they were directed to sit at the table. They were provided with plenty of Dinosaur Train coloring sheets (that I printed Free Here) and crayons. My lovely sister also video taped episodes of "Dinosaur Train" onto a video (FREE) that the kids watched as they colored and waited for everyone to arrive!

As for decorations, we decorated with streamers ( I already have a bunch, that I found at a yard sale a very long time ago for only 10 cents for a whole bag full of unused streamers, so I paid nothing, but you can get streamers for $1 at dollar store) and we draped them throughout the house to look like vines. We also purchased a bag of balloons for $1 and hung them up throughout the house! My wonderful & artistic step-father also made these really cool posters that we hung up too, pictured above! These are Priceless & they are still hanging in their bedrooms!If you decide to purchase a Happy Birthday banner, make sure that it is generic (no theme) so that you can re-use it year after year for all the birthdays in your family. It is a much more frugal way to go!

When it comes to food & drinks for a birthday party (or any party) I always think Easy, and I always use what I already have in my pantry from using sales & coupons, that I have gotten Free or almost Free. It's also cool to name the foods & drinks to the theme- the kids really get a kick out of this! One of our Favorite things that we had was, "Lava Jello!" I just made red jello & put one of my son's play volcano's in it! The jello was Free after sale & coupon sometime last year & I stocked up btw!
We also had-
*Cheese & crackers-aurus
*PB&J-asaurus sandwiches (peanut butter & jelly cut into dinosaur shapes with a cookie cutter)
*Dinosaur bones (pretzels)
*Dino snack mix (chex mix)
*Dino horns (bugles)
*Gold fish crackers (Because Pteranadon's favorite food is fish, my daughter told me so!)
*For drinks the kids had Capri suns & Kool aid jammers that I got for next to nothing after sale/coupons not too long ago!
*We also had 2-liters of pop for the adults.
All of these foods/drinks were free/almost free to me after sale & coupons & we already had everything on hand, so I didn't spend any extra money on the food or drinks!

A kids party isn't complete without games! We had a few fun, frugal, and homemade games & all the kids enjoyed them a lot!
For games we played, "Dino Adventure Bingo" first. My kids really wanted it to be Dinosaur train bingo, so first, I printed out the "ABC" blocks printable found Here. Then I printed out this template Here. I cut out all of the blocks & then my MIL taped, then photocopied the letters in different orders to make several different dinosaur train bingo sheets! I just called out the letters & they used M&Ms as the cover pieces. When they got 3 in a row they yelled, "Dino Bingo!" We played until every child won, so that nobody felt left out! To make it easier you can print out all of the pieces for this dinosaur bingo Here if you don't want to hassle with what I did!

Next, we played "Hot Lava Rock!" This game was played just like the classic game, Hot Potato!
I made the rock by crumbling aluminum foil into a ball. (I have a huge stockpile of aluminum foil that I got Free a long time ago!) We played until there was just one child left, which was my Birthday Boy, pictured above!

We also played, "Pin the Tail on the T-Rex!" I printed off the T-Rex for Free Here. Then my kids colored it & we glued it to a poster board! Then I traced & cut out several tails out of green construction paper. The kids were each blindfolded and took a turn, and they loved it!
We also played "Hatch the Dino Egg!" I blew up several balloons and put a small dinosaur inside. Each child had to sit on the egg (balloon) to hatch it to get their dino! It was loud, but the kids liked it a lot!
You could also play "Fly Like a Pteranadon." Played like musical chairs, but they have to flap their arms like wings while the music plays. We didn't get to this game, but I always have a back-up game planned!
I also wanted to make a dinosaur egg pinata, but we were stuck inside due to the cold Cincinnati weather in February & not enough room in my small house!

For the cake, I made a Dinosaur train cake with this train cupcake kit HERE! ( I used my Swagbucks to get the kit Free, but it's only $13 and I also use these muffin cups for muffin tin monday often!) I added some of my kids toy dinosaurs, and I made some extra cupcakes to spell out their names with M&Ms! I am not the Best at cake making, (maybe I'll take a class someday) but everyone at the party enjoyed it, especially the kids!

We also added these dinosaur candles, and they looked awesome!

After cake, it was present time & they got a lot of stuff! They really enjoyed the MP3 players that I got them for Free with Swagbucks as well! By the way, I also got them the Dinosaur train t-shirts that they were wearing at the party as a gift that they received on their actual birthday! I ordered these t-shirts Here. They were $15 each, which is not completely Frugal, but they love them & they do not sell anything dinosaur train in the stores yet!

Each child also received a goody bag as they left the party!We didn't do prizes for the games, they were told that they were all winners, and the goody bag is for a Thank You for coming to my party gift, and for doing such a good job at the games!
Each Goody bag included:
*A dino pencil & a small dino note pad (a couple dollars at Party City)
*A dino- shaped thing to easily draw dinosaurs (not sure what it's technically called!LOL!) $1 for 12 at Wal-mart
*A lollipop ( Around $1 for a big bag at the Dollar store)
*A dinosaur fruit snack (less than a $1 for a box of Betty Crocker fruit snacks after sale/coupon)
All of this was tucked into a clear cellophane bag ($1 for 20 at Wal-mart)
They also received the dino noses & tattoo's & coloring sheets too!
All in all they had a very fun birthday party & it didn't cost me an arm & and a leg!
If you are interested in learning about more frugal birthday party tips go Here. You can also check out my son's Star Wars birthday party Here!

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  1. Sounds like a great party! Thanks for the reminder that it doesn't have to cost a lot to be a big success. I've been to some really lavish birthday parties lately and the temptation to "keep up with the Joneses" is strong sometimes. :)

  2. One thing that I teach to my kids, is that "It's the thought that counts, Not how much money it costs!" They enjoy it very much when I throw them "the coolest birthday parties (from there mouth's)and to them it doesn't matter if I spend hundreds of dollars or just a few! We did have a great party & I hope that this inspires someone else to have a fun, creative, and frugal party too!

  3. dinosaur birthday party is cool......

  4. I love your ideas! I was just searching for Dinosaur Train B-day ideas for my B/G twins who have a birthday in May! Thanks for the great tips!

  5. A great big THANK YOU!!
    My boys turn 6 and 3 next month, and we're going w/ a Dinosaur Train theme. I am SO grateful for your post!
    They will love this stuff and you just made my planning so much easier. :)

    Happy Belated Birthday to your twins!

  6. Thank you so much for posting these party ideas. My b/b twins turn three next month and they have asked for a Dinosaur Train and Thomas birthday party. We are going to do Dinosaur Train for their friends and a Thomas Party for the family members. The frugal tips are very helpful since I'll be planning two parties. I love your blog.

  7. I am planninig my son's 1 yr birthday and I wanted the Dinosaur Train theme, this helps so much, I was having a hard time findiing anything!!!!

  8. I am having a dinosaur party this May, and I was lucky enough to buy two different types of eggs at Easter. One was 6 packs of eggs with dinosaur on the outside. I plan to fill these with candy (dragon chocolate eggs from the dragon 3d movie) 1 egg each for their treat bags.

    Also, there were sets of eggs with little painted crackles all over and I plan to put little plastic dinosaurs in them and to hide the eggs everywhere to have an outdoor dinosaur egg hunt!

  9. Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas!

  10. Loved the ideas! My son Evan is celebrating his 5th birthday in July and he loves Dinosaur Train! I was excited to see the new toys, books, and other items that are coming out! Keep sharing the ideas!

  11. You are so clever and so thrifty! An example to us that when something is done thoughtfully and artfully it's a gift to your children's guests (and to your children, too!) that you took time and thought of a really special party. Thanks

  12. I think you've brought a tear to my eye. My son will be two in a little over a month and he loves Dinosaur Train as well. I almost can't wait until he is old enough to play the games and color the decorations (for his friends to appreciate as well). You did wonderful!

  13. Thanks for all the great ideas! We are having a Dinosaur Train party for my kids next week and I got a ton of ideas from you!

  14. Awesome My sons turn 4 and 1 snd your ideas helped out bunches. I can not wait for the party. Thanks

  15. Awsome ideas. My sons turn 1 and 4 the same week so I am looking forward to using a lot of your ideas. Thanks so much.

  16. This site is great, awesome tips is the 1st I see it and your "Dinosaur Train ideas are great"

  17. Thanks for great ideas, my boy is turning 3 next month and this will be the theme. Its my first time in this website had not hear from it before!

  18. We love dinosaurs around our house too! We found some great dinosaur party supplies at very reasonable prices at They had candles, plates, napkins and a huge T-Rex balloon!

  19. This was exactly what I needed to help plan my two-year-old's party next month. Thanks for the great tips!

  20. these are great ideas. my daughter will be five feb. 23 and loves dinosaur train. i was looking for dinosaur pics to use for her cake because while she ikes dinosaurs she can never just be easy. her cake is a t-rex(BUDDY) wearing a crown and playing a guitar. my aunt is gonna make it in 3-d. we are definitely gonna use some of ur ideas. thanks.

  21. So unique and it sure looks fun. I am very sure your kids will love making those materials for their birthday celebration.

  22. Thanks for the wonderful ideas. My son will be 3 this July and I got him a ton of Dino Train toys after Christmas for 1/2 price, so we want to do a Dino Train theme birthday. I will definitely be borrowing some of your ideas. You did an awesome job!! Thanks for sharing!

  23. We are doing a Dinosaur train birthday for my son's 3rd birthday. We are going to do it very simple. We rented a picnc area at a local park (has the playground steps from the party) I looked on line to see if anyone near by makes a dinosaur train cake and found a store that will make it but I have to order the kit on line for it(im not a very good cake maker) Drinks we are going to do cans of soda( I have coupons for .55 off pepsi 12 pks that can be doubled) juice boxes and bottled water, chips and we will make sandwiches(turkey, cold cut and ham) Then I saw that a store close by has dinosaur gummies that I will buy ro give out or leave in a basket. I also made my own invites ( I will copy them in black and white and pass them out) I think with everything we may spend about $125.00 for everything(thats with inviteing about 95 people and children. we have a large church and family and friends. Its nice to come toogether to celabrate my sons birth) Thanks for some advice your childrens birthday looked very nice


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