Finn’s Paleontologist Birthday Party

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The prehistoric animals were dressed and ready to go long before I was:

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But the birthday banner was up, (created by some of my amazingly talented student volunteers after school)…

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…and Finn’s welcome sign waited outside the front door.

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Out back, tiny dinosaurs were arranged on tables already covered with paper I had sponge-painted with therapod footprints and decorated with either kid-made volcanoes,

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…or prehistoric ferns:

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We also had a dinosaur drawing table ready with crayons, paper, and step-by-step instructions on how to draw a variety of prehistoric herbivores and carnivores.

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Finally, as guests were starting to arrive, my sister and a friend (thank you Sunshine and Lisa!) helped me to get the food and drinks on the table. We had fossil mix, Dino Bone breadsticks shaped out of pizza dough, whole-grain jurassic dinosaur and ordovician sea-shell pasta, and a plate of sauropod-shaped sandwiches and chopped vegetables I called brontosaurus bites, for which Finn reprimanded me after the party. “Brontosaurus isn’t a real dinosaur name. It’s called an Apatosaurus. You should have called them BRACHIOSAURUS BITES,” he said, even understanding my alliterative designs.  Oops. Sorry, Finch. I forgot.

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The coolest thing on the food table, though, was my sister Sunshine’s fruit dinosaur masterpiece, with beady red-grape-eyes and sharp watermelon-rind-teeth:

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Outside, the beverages were ready…

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… and a serious Jurassic Adventure awaited:

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But first we had a fossil hunt to embark on. In preparation, child paleontologists received fossil specimen collection bags and paleontologist hats.

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Each bag contained a sharpened dinosaur pencil, a blank fossil report fastened to a clipboard, a prehistoric animal fact sheet identification book, a brush, and a rolled-up map that was tied with string. The rest had to be discovered — or actually uncovered — by the young scientists.

The kids unrolled their maps…

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… and began their quests:

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The first destination was Dino Skull Tree — our Royal Poinciana — under which they found rocks embedded with various dinosaur skulls. Daddy had baked them into rocks himself using a dough made of coffee grounds, flour, sand, and water.

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They then made their way to the Ancient Fossil Pit, where they dug through mulch to find fossils of ammonites, trilobites, fish, crabs, and other ancient creatures:

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The final dig site was the skeleton bed, where they had to excavate bones of dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles buried within a taped-off section of Daddy’s raised-bed vegetable garden.

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After collecting all three specimens, each paleontologist returned to “Base Camp” for clean-up and “inspection.”

Daddy helped the young scientists to break open the rocks to reveal the hidden dinosaur skulls,…

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…and then the kids cleaned and worked to identify their three fossil finds.

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They filled out their fossil reports…

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…and then ran off to partake in a Jurassic Adventure…

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Some also took a prehistoric swim, luckily without any Liopleurodons,…

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…unless, of course, you count this one:

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The only thing that stopped what Finn would call “the rumpus prehistorica” (yes, his phrase) was, of course, DESSERT!

We served some fun fossil rock cookies,…

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…but the real star of the dessert table was the spectacular cake made by my sister Ilianna and her husband Brian, who have amazed us in years past with a 3D Firetruck cake, 9 cake Solar System, and 2-foot tall WALL-E cake. This year, Finn had apparently made specific arrangements with Aunt Ilianna and Uncle Brian months in advance, because when I raised the topic with them, they said that Finn had already put in an order for this Triceratops skeleton in dirt:

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It was pretty unbelievable, especially when it started to roar (literally). I wish I had video…

IMG_7778 BlowingOutCandlesFinn was awed; he collected all of the fondant bones and asked us to put them away “to play with later.” Then he ate the dirt.

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It was delicious.

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2 thoughts on “Finn’s Paleontologist Birthday Party

  1. Unbelievable. I feel like I was there. All of you are sooooo creative. I’m sure everyone had a fabulous time. Belated Happy Birthday to Finn

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