Tea Rex Party: Fun and Games

What’s a party without amusements, right? We had our usual entertainments: Petra’s swing (with extra big and dangerous dad swings)…

A little sojourn to the river…

Flarbles…

Giggling at everyone’s antics…

And, inevitably, playing “cutelopes” (Cutelopes have a lot of meetings, apparently)…

We had some dino-themed activities.

My mom and Gary found these “dino fliers” at the dollar store. I didn’t get a good picture of one close up, but they’re little gummy/stretchy dinosaurs that you can shoot like rubber bands. They bought a whole bunch for the kids to play with. Petra suggested shooting them into water, so we filled up the washtub, which has featured prominently in many of our parties, beginning with Silas’ Winnie the Pooh party back in 2012. It turns out, it is super fun to shoot these things, which the kids call “grazzles” for some reason. Even for adults! And much harder than it looks.

We also had two T-Rex heads around. JC bought one last year just for fun, and then picked up another one this year. Esau and Arthur were a bit obsessed with them, but most everybody had a turn…

Incidentally, I really wish we had had the T-Rex head in Michigan for GISH. Maybe next year…

I also learned, amazingly, that you can order fossils in bulk on Amazon. They aren’t polished and pretty, but if you want a couple pounds of hundred-million-year-old mollusks delivered to your door in a couple of days, that is now a thing. Oh brave new world. Petra kept saying she wanted to have a fossil dig at her party, and so we ordered some fossils, mixed them with a couple hundred pounds of play sand, and threw the whole thing in The Pit.

A word about The Pit. It started as a science experiment involving electric fence grounding. And then I dug it out a bit more, intending to make a pond. And then I was pregnant and life kind of was happening, and I finally got out there with a shovel the last bit of the summer and made some real progress! I think actually pondifying it, in the sense of adding a liner and a pump, etc, will have to wait until the spring, but I have a sizeable hole out there. And it’s perfect for a paleontology site.

The kids added the rock border as part of their digging play.

I was so happy with how the whole thing turned out, and Petra was too, which is the point of course.

Sometimes I think I must be out of my mind to do these parties this way. The kids would be just as happy, probably, if I just ordered a pizza and invited their friends over. But the party ends up being a big part of their gift for that year, and I think it’s a great gift. Nobody remembers what Petra got for her fourth birthday–but everyone remembers the Totoro Party. When they say that experiences are more valuable than things, I think this is the perfect example.

Plus, it is super fun for me (I honestly wouldn’t do it otherwise). My work is all about creating events and experiences. Why not do it for my own family once in a while?

See also: Tea Rex Party: Decorations! and Tea Rex Party: Food!

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