Prehistoric Party - actual wild animals... almost!

Wow!  What a challenge that was!  It started off just fine, I left the den to set up the hall for my oldest fox's 6th birthday party.  I was happy, excited, a little anxious but on the whole satisfied that everything was planned and we were ready to go.  I had made special pteradactyl bunting which I strung up on sky blue crepe paper 'ribbon'.  I had the wonderful backdrop which had been painted for the Cowboy and Indian party.  I had the mammoth I had painted for 'pin the tail.'  I had my triceratops pinata.  I had the caveman for the children to be photographed as.  I had the prizes all wrapped up, pass the parcel was ready, food was organised... I had dinosaur balloons blown up for the party games, I had even stuffed plain balloons (dinosaur eggs) with the party favours ready for the faceless caveman to protect... what could go wrong?

Ok - 3pm, the 'guests' arrive.  They are mostly 6yrs old and there are 21 of them - 5 are girls.  So yes, we are Mrs Fox's and our children are obviously wild animals but I am clearly a naive Fox and I had not expected the other parents' children to be wild animals too.  They looked like normal children to me but I swiftly removed my rose tinted specs.

Upon arrival, for a prize, they were to match their invites to corresponding cards which had been stuck up around the hall.  They took up the challenge and charged around like rabid dogs, laughing as they knocked each other over, snatching and popping any balloons which came into their view.  I feared for the 'dinosaur egg' balloon favours and hid them away - the caveman was unemployed.  Clearly, he needed some attention.  He got it and within a few minutes, his spear had been snapped and he had been pushed over and rolled on - I feared for his survival but as if by magic, somehow in the forray, the rabid pups found their invite match cards and I managed to herd them all outside for some organised races.  These were fun races, they seemed to enjoy being organised too, they won pterasaur gliders and dinosaur pens and I thought I had cracked it.  They were under the party spell.

But the races finished and we had to go back inside.  They stormed in and carried on, wild, where they had left off.  My smile slipped again.  I shouted loudly that we were about to bring on the pass the parcel and abracadabra! - magic.  They sat in a circle and turned back into young children.  Two parcels went around and we managed to string it out to keep them all in one place.  They didn't mind, they enjoyed it - not too long a time and not too short.  And then food.  I put my rosie specs back on and felt confident that food would keep them still a while and while they waited on food, they had a little scratch dinosaur kit each to doodle on.  Not bad, they seemed into this before taking a few bites of this and a few of that, then one by one, they joined the first child who had got up to run around - wildly.  We rushed the fruit cups out and some showed mild interest.  We rushed the desert round out, surely they would sit still for chocolate bites and flapjacks?  I hadn't thought this through - bite sized deserts fit nicely into the hand of a child so they grabbed and ran.  At least we got to clear the tables away sharply.

Pin the tail - yes, have them stand neatly in a line.... but of course, once the tail has been pinned, that child leaves the queue, then the 2nd, then the 3rd and chaos reigns again.  As quickly as possible, we got things ready for musical chairs.  Joy for a while, they were focused - but children have to drop out.  We can't keep all the chairs there in the hope that they will run round and round indefinately but thankfully, parents started to arrive to pick up their wild pups and take them home, where they would no doubt morph back into the cherubs they appear to be at the school gates.

Before they went though, they had to break the pinata.  My girl cub (#2) was attached to the pinata, she had seen it constructed and had love for it.  She gave it a gentle kiss before out of no-where, a boys foot hoofed it several feet away from her.  Another boy stamped on it and they descended like vultures.  Cub #2 was devasted, she had wanted to give it it's first gentle smash, bless her.

Then off they all went with their 'eggs' to pop, their prizes and their cakes.

So, shall I write another essay on how to save yourself the stress of dealing with a pack of wild pups?  I have learned a lot and surprisingly, the answer is not 'DON'T EVER DO THIS YOURSELF!'

Rather than an essay - some tips.

- Keep them organised, my agenda worked well for the most part but in retrospect, I would have split the children in half for pass the parcel and pin the tail, then there would have been less waiting for the next activity.

- Maybe think of a game that will channel the energy.  If boys want to fight, they can stand at each end of the hall/room and throw rolled up socks or ping pong balls at each other from a set distance.  They could well do this for 20 mins and have a great time without any physical contact.

- Have a low maintenance, low mess activity for the first arrivals to get on with while you wait for the final guests to arrive. Maybe the scratch dino's would have been good to give out at the start.

- Remember, these children usually see each other at school where they are 'trained' to restrain and channel their energy.  When they get together in an informal environment, they will behave differently, they want to let loose and have fun.  Expect this and let them get on with it to a degree.  With effort and your own friends to help, you can do this with structure and control, they can jump up and down, cheer each other on and tussel, scream and yell.

Why young boys en masse need to play fight when not being organised, I do not know.  It was a wonder to behold and slightly disconcerting... but according to #1 cub and his friends mums, the young beasts had an absolute blast.  They went home exhausted with huge grins on their faces, they had done battle and come out friends.  I'll admit to fretting about the energy levels at certain times but in retrospect, unneccessarily.  Wise Nanna Fox pointed out that perhaps I should have thought to worry only if, in the moments between games, they had been standing around looking bored.  I think she is right.

For these great dinosaur cup cake toppers I used to make the birthday cakes, CLICK HERE

example running order for children's prehistoric party

CLICK HERE for Example Running Order for Prehistoric Party

"The best Cowboy party ever!

“The best cowboy party ever...” Una May, 6 

Howdy there Cowboys and girls, what a great theme for a party this one was.   

For the invitation we created a “Wanted” poster featuring the children as outlaws from the wild, wild west.  Louis loved his 'tash!

When the guests arrived they "signed in" with a handprint on a totem pole that we had painted onto craftpaper and stuck up on the wall. In return they received a sherriffs badge sticker. And the fun began.

The local scout hut was decorated with a wild west backdrop painted onto a sheet, a wigwam, cardboard cacti, a cardboard box bank, with saloon doors, and an old tin bath full of sand for the guest to “pan for gold”.  This created an imaginative free play area for the children.  And when they found the gold nuggets in the sand they could exchange them at the bank for gold ingots of chocolate.  We had a “bank manager” to police the chocolate consumption.  He was very busy.

Strings of silver stars across the hall, chilli-pepper lights and stars and stripes bunting decorated the hall.  The table was laid out for tea in a wild west theme.  The tableware is available from our shop; checkered table cloth, plates, napkins and plain red cups.  And wonderful cardboard cowboy hats.  We also dressed the table with our Belle & Boo Treat Time Donkey and Cart and made cardboard cacti in mini terracotta pots with stars and stripes flags.  The food was kept simple; hot dogs, corn tortilla chips and pop corn, cherry toms, carrot sticks and cucumbers.

We made Native American headdresses before tea. And played party games afterwards.  For party games we played Pin the Tale on the Donkey, musical chairs and pass the parcel.  The prizes for the Pin the Tale game were Belle and Boo's cowboy badges, for the musical chairs it was a handmade hobby horse (details on how to make in a later post) and the pass the parcels were  wrapped in brown craft paper made to look like stetsons.

The children had a fine hoard to take home with them from the party; along with the Native American headdresses they had made, and the cowboy hats from the table, they received a party-bag created from a red or blue bandana tied with string and a thankyou tag.  Inside was a slice of birthday cake, a  chocolate half-dollar, cow and milky bar and a metal sheriff's badge.

If you'd like us to throw you a party like this one get in touch


And relax...

It has taken this long to recover, even for a professional like Mrs Fox!

A weekend of parties, two more to be delivered for this weekend, birthdays, book day, science week and Mother's Day in between have all kept me from updating our blog.

So, I thought it was only fair to make sure we really do our best to cover the fantastic Cowboy and Prehistoric Parties we have just thrown.

Over the next few days we have some great posts for you including:

The lowdown on "the best cowboy party ever"

Dinotastic Prehistoric Parties or how to throw a party for 21 six-year old boys with out losing your mind

How to make paper bunting.  (So, much easier than cloth bunting)

And remember Mrs Fox can run one of these parties for you, just get in touch  Or look out for the details of our new Cowboy and Prehistoric Party Boxes, that will allow you to run one of our parties yourselves.

So, stay tuned and please let us know what you think!

One more week to go...

Our last weekend before the Cowboy Party and it's all hands on deck, the children have been called in to help.  Louis has been painting cacti.  Una has been painting flags and stars and gluing flames for the campfire.   It's lovely for them to be involved in the party preparation.  And the excitement is only growing as a result.

Every spare surface of the house is covered with drying, cacti, flags, silver stars and flames.  

Hobby horses await being fitted to their broom sticks.  

A wild west backdrop has been painted on a single sheet picked up from the charity shop.

And Mr fox and I have tied 72 feathers and beads to short lengths of green wool for the make a Native American headdress craft.

The same weekend Mrs Fox also has her first Prehistoric Party and an amazing triceratops is due to be sacrificed as a pinata to the children's delight. 

Back to Top