In the lead up to his fourth birthday, our son became utterly obsessed with the ‘once world of dinosaurs’ and simply HAD to have a dinosaur party. With my background in archaeology (albeit some eons ago), no dino party was going to happen without a prehistoric dig of some sort, and in this case, a dig that turned out to be quite the production.
Before I start, I should note that some special friends of ours own a farm populated by a herd of noisy cows out Mudgee way. These beautiful people were blissfully unaware that with a bit of rearrangement, weathered hilltop cow bones can look remarkably like those of a prehistoric velociraptor…at least in the eyes of four-year-olds.
We had been umming over creating a new sandpit for our totters for some time, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to kill two pterosaurs with one stone ;-). We purchased four big pine sheets and screwed them together into one huge temporary sandpit in our driveway. We then ordered what I remember as being a tonne of sand (really??) that was tipped directly onto the laid out bonesies of the aforementioned bovine, the late Madame Buttercup. I should say at this point that the bones were completely clean and in fact spray painted white with an anti-bacterial spray paint, just in case any of our bigger guests turned their noses up at the adventure.
On the day of the big dig, our little archaeologists tumbled up the driveway past the large sandpit (hiding our secret fossil), carrying assorted spades and looking around eagerly for dinosaurs. A path of red tyrannasaurus footprints painted up the street led the dino diggers to our back door, where they happily donned themselves in an assortment of home-made dinosaur outfits (yes, I really went to town with this party).
After a feverish hunt in our garden for dinosaur eggs (choccie Easter eggs do the trick nicely), our dino diggers had settled in to their new environment – did I mention that we scattered two bags of ruby autumn leaves over the garden for an instant prehistoric forest effect?
At long last, the hour of the big dig arrived. We called our budding archaeologists down to the great pit where they eagerly commenced work, furiously digging and scraping and creating archaeological havoc with our driveway.
And then it happened…I will never forget the moment that little Emmy’s spade struck a note on the elusive fossil. After more feverish digging and scraping, she unearthed the giant sized head, complete with raptorian fangs and gaping eye sockets. The roars of utter delight and the ensuing digging frenzy for more pieces of the puzzle from our diggers was precisely what we had hoped for.
Once all the bones were accounted for, the dino diggers laid out their prize on the lawn in the shape of a mighty velociraptor and stomped around it whooping and graffawking until cake time silenced their jaws. Grraaawwwwww!
Keep it on a shoestring tips