Finn recently turned three and we threw him a dinosaur themed birthday party. I think this will be the last year we can get away with a small gathering at home (why are even these small gatherings so exhausting?!) with just a few pals over- next year we will need more space and have to hire somewhere out. It was great fun planning it (that is spending a lot of time on the internet, my favourite pastime) and you really don't have to spend too much money or do too much to have an effective theme. I wanted to share some great finds I came across - there are some amazing party websites out there. It's easy to get carried away (dinosaur tattoos? Dinosaur garlands?) when buying several bits (add to basket) and it all adds up but the best, most inexpensive things were the helium foil balloons and homemade dinosaur cake which went down well.
Helium balloons are worth investing in, we got our grinning dinosaur from the Original Party Bag Company here. They have a great selection of animals and characters (we love the unicorn!) and with prices starting at £2.50 it's really reasonable, you just need a canister of helium or we inflated ours at our local newsagents. Number balloons are also always effective (available here in a variety of colours). Finn and his friends had hours of fun with them and they make for great photos, in fact they are still going strong in our household a couple weeks later!
Lightboxes are really effective - great for birthdays, easter, christmas, milestones...whatever you want to spell! We used it as a centrepiece on the table. Ours is from This Modern Life for £30, a lot of places sell these now. You can also buy extra symbols, letters and pictures to use with it. They also look great in kids bedrooms so are well worth the money and you can buy cheaper smaller ones too if you like for £18.
3. Party Fun
We bought Dinosaur party cups, by Meri Meri for £3.75 and Green Stripy Straws by My Little Day for £3.25 for a pack of 25. Party blowers were a hit - really recommend these for fun along with these Dinosaur masks I got from Amazon for a bargain £2.95 for 6. In fact Amazon is a brilliant resource for party pieces, just type in your theme and you will be overwhelmed by what you can buy!
Molly Meg have a gorgeous selection of party ware - they stock Meri Meri and My Little Day - who make the most gorgeous but pricey stuff including liberty printed product (yes baby Violet I have a feeling we will be getting these for you one day!).
H&M are also a good place to buy inexpensive party hats, napkins and plates etc, they have some bright colours at the moment.
I decided to make a homemade chocolate dinosaur cake after much discussion with Finn over which character we would have this year (it was between dinosaurs and monsters, original I know!). Homemade birthday cakes were always a fond memory from my childhood so I'm going to make the effort to do one every year (famous last words!). It took a couple of days (having a newborn hanging off you) and a bit of a labour and love but was well worth it and appreciated by all. The cake itself was this yummy Nigella Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe but I looked at Betty Crocker's dino cake for the rest of the inspiration, using mini eggs, chocolate buttons and smarties for the decorations. Pinterest is excellent for cake ideas and inspiration as well.
Some other ideas I was tempted by were these incredible animal glitter footed cake toppers by Lola Beau and these custom name cake toppers by Clara Ivy. Also these candles from Molly Meg or these inexpensive dinosaur ones from Amazon look fun.
5. Party bags
I have to confess we didn't do party bags (I think I can get away with it for another year) but we did hand out these cute mini dinosaurs. I also saw these pre made dinosaur party bags which were tempting from The Original Party Bag Company.
I also think this company is amazing - check out Cotton Twist for original party bag ideas. They have themes such as superheros, stars and space and fairytales - nostalgic crafts that even you will want to make!
We got our number tee from Bob and Blossom who have the best selection of colours and number tees in long and short sleeve, nice to find long sleeves for winter babies. They do come up quite big but after washing and a bit of growth it actually seems to be a pretty good size for him. I also did a blog post a while back on other number tees I love here.
I was tempted to get him this Mini Rodini T-Rex tee. Boden and Next also have a good selection of dinosaur clothing.
Top presents were this dinosaur torch and projector from The Natural History Museum who also have a great range of dino inspired pressies. This Maps book, dinosaur pants from Mini Boden, a Kids CD player and party music and a BKD monster cupcake baking kit.