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Animal Themed Party, Everything You Need to Know

Animal Themed Party, Everything You Need to Know

Animal Themed Party, Everything You Need to Know

animal themed party table decor photo dessert table

Everything you need to know to throw a super fun animal themed party! From animal themed activities, to cake & table design, we got you covered!

When planning a kid’s birthday party, I always have a handy checklist so I don’t forget something important! Here are the main areas:

  • Food
  • Dishes and Utensils
  • Beverages
  • Activities
  • Decor: Table and Front Door
  • Outfits
  • Trash Can
  • Party Favors
  • First Aid and Other Essentials Basket

Keep on reading to get all the details and see some inspirational animal party fun in action!

Skills: 

Ages: 

Prep Time: 

The Party in Action!

Before I get into all of the details, watch this video for a glimpse of our animal themed party in action!

From creepy crawlers to wild animals, my son loves to explore all kinds of living things! Instead of focusing on a specific type of animal theme party like jungle, safari, woodland, or otherwise, we stayed broad allowing the flexibility to include any and all animal types!

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

The Party in Action!

Before I get into all of the details, watch this video for a glimpse of our animal themed party in action!

From creepy crawlers to wild animals, my son loves to explore all kinds of living things! Instead of focusing on a specific type of animal theme party like jungle, safari, woodland, or otherwise, we stayed broad allowing the flexibility to include any and all animal types!

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

animal themed party table decor

Animal Themed Party: Activities!

Whenever I plan my kid’s birthday parties, activities are always one of the most important things to figure out!

We opt for hands on, often sensory-based and arts and crafts experiences over bounce houses and other more costly alternatives. Read on below for the main activities we decided to do for the animal themed party!

Age and interests will also help determine what types of activities you’ll want to set up. For toddlers, and young preschoolers a simple coloring station will provide lots of entertainment! On the other hand, if you have the budget, older kids might enjoy some entertainment like a wildlife show!

Be sure to check out our recent dinosaur themed party too for more activity ideas!

animal themed party activities painting

Animal Lego Building

These eggs are filled with building blocks that create wild animals. I set the eggs up on a wood slice cupcake stand where kids had the freedom to select an egg and build what was inside!

animal themed party table decor

Animal Paint Station

On our other kid-sized folding table, I set up an arts and crafts activity! These animals, paints, and brushes were all part of a kit. So much fun transforming the plain animals into colorful ones!

animal themed party activities play dough

Play Dough Tray

This invitation to play dough is all about using loose parts to create an animal habitat! I included blue glass beads, moss, rocks, and animal figurines in addition to lots of colorful play dough!

animal themed party wildlife show

Wildlife Show

Seeing and engaging with real animals was lots of fun for the kids! Research your local area to see if anyone offers a wildlife show like this where they bring animals and teach kids all about them!

What to Eat at an Animal Themed Party!

We went all out when it came to food for this party – from a beautifully crafted buttercream cake with animal figurines and a cascading waterfall, to cake pops, snacks, and a mobile pizza maker.

I always love to give the cake table extra attention because that tends to be where our best photo opportunities take place!

I was also able to find some fun animal-themed snacks for the snack table. Read about them below! 

animal themed party table decor photo dessert table cake cake pops
animal themed party table decor photo dessert table cake cake pops

Animal Themed Cake!

We go all out with our cakes whenever we have a themed party and this wildlife themed cake didn’t disappoint! No fondant here – just buttercream and realistic figurines create a beautiful edible scene!

animal themed party table decor photo dessert table cake cake pops

Cake Pops

We chose 3 animals to make into cake pops, including a fox, parrot, and alligator! But feel free to mix that up! We also got some wooden cake pop holder trays that had a natural look that worked well with the party’s theme!

animal themed party food

Snack Center

I got my hands on some fun animal cracker boxes, plus some no-sugar added bear gummies! We wanted to keep snacks in individual packs to prevent the spread of germs and to make access easy for the children to do independently.

animal themed party food

Mobile Pizza Maker

We splurged on our main food option and had a mobile pizza maker come to our house to make kids and parents custom pizzas. It was a big hit – not only delicious, but also a great non-buffet option during these times!

animal themed party table decor photo dessert table cake cake pops

What to Eat at an Animal Themed Party!

We went all out when it came to food for this party – from a beautifully crafted buttercream cake with animal figurines and a cascading waterfall, to cake pops, snacks, and a mobile pizza maker.

I always love to give the cake table extra attention because that tends to be where our best photo opportunities take place!

I was also able to find some fun animal-themed snacks for the snack table. Read about them below! 

animal themed party cake desserts

Animal Themed Cake!

We go all out with our cakes whenever we have a themed party and this wildlife themed cake didn’t disappoint! No fondant here – just buttercream and realistic figurines create a beautiful edible scene!

animal themed party table decor photo dessert table cake cake pops

Cake Pops

We chose 3 animals to make into cake pops, including a fox, parrot, and alligator! But feel free to mix that up! We also got some wooden cake pop holder trays that had a natural look that worked well with the party’s theme!

animal themed party food

Snack Center

I got my hands on some fun animal cracker boxes, plus some no-sugar added bear gummies! We wanted to keep snacks in individual packs to prevent the spread of germs and to make access easy for the children to do independently.

animal themed party food

Mobile Pizza Maker

We splurged on our main food option and had a mobile pizza maker come to our house to make kids and parents custom pizzas. It was a big hit – not only delicious, but also a great non-buffet option during these times!

animal themed party table decor photo dessert table

Animal Party Decor

What are we left with once the party is over? The pictures! So setting up a great photo op dessert table is always a priority for us!

I used a leopard print table cloth with a burlap runner that I bought in bulk. I was able to have enough material to make the kids arts & crafts tables in the same style!

I snagged some succulent plants from Trader Joes and a few other leafy plants from Home Depot and dispersed them across the various spaces to integrate living greenery.

Add some green vines, a happy birthday garland, wooden cake pop holder, and balloons (number and cheetah), and everything came together so well!

 

animal themed party activities lego

Wood Slice Cake Platters

We’ve used these rustic cake platters in the past for holding cupcakes, but since we didn’t have cupcakes this time, they were great for holding the prize eggs at our building-block station!

animal themed party table decor photo dessert table

Animal Shaped Planter

We scattered various planters throughout the tables at the party, filling them up with soil and succulents! We found these cute giraffes as well as a pack of other fun wildlife animals!

burlap decor dinosaur party

Burlap Runner

I love that this high quality burlap runner comes in a bulk roll! I was able to use it on 3 different tables and I have more to spare for our next party! It gave the tables such a great texture!

animal themed party table cloth set

Animal and Leaf Print Table Cloth Pack

This pack of 4 table clothes came with a leaf print and the following animal prints: cheetah, zebra, and tiger!

animal themed party cheetah balloon

Animal Themed Balloons

This cheetah balloon went on the wall where our dessert table was located. We also got an alligator and a tiger for the front door area for people to see when entering our home. 

animal themed party pool floats

Animal Pool Floats

If you are having a party during the warmer months, adding some animal themed floats are a great way to integrate the theme to the pool! We planned to do this, but it got too cold, and used these floats in our pool as decoration! We got a giraffe, alligator, and a parrot

animal themed party greenery vines

Greenery Vines

These greenery vines are a great touch to an animal-themed party backdrop! It comes with 12 different pieces, and we had plenty to spare for our next party!

animal themed party plates and napkins

Animal and Leaf Themed Plates and Napkins

In addition to animal themed plates and napkins, I also included some leaf shaped plates and wooden utensils.

More Party Ideas!

Looking for more fun details for your Animal Party? Here are some more ways to have a great time with this theme!

animal themed party party favors

Party Favors

We always opt to spend a little extra budget on a high quality party favor that kids will actually use more than once! Kid’s got to take home an animal-print bag with a bug catching kit, sunglasses, and a felt animal mask!

animal themed party outfits shirts dress

Animal-Themed Outfit

The boys got dressed up in a fun animal themed shirt, and my daughter wore an adorable dress with cheetah print. She even matches the table cloth!

animal themed party costume

Animal Costume

Instead of hiring someone to come dressed up as a mascot, have a family member do it instead! And this fox costume is so much fun, cute, and not scary! Also great to hold on for Halloween!

animal themed party pinata

Parrot Piñata

Piñatas are such a fun way to add entertainment to a birthday party. This parrot shaped piñata isn’t huge, so keep that in mind depending on your party size! We put squishy animals toys and animal themed bubbles inside!

animal themed party number balloon

Number Balloons

Number balloons are a fun way to shine a light on your little one’s new age! Make sure to use a very strong double sided tape to make sure it stays up on the wall throughout the party! 

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Happy Birthday Garland

This happy birthday garland comes pre-strung, which is such a time saver when you are already so busy setting up for a party!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Garland

This tassel garland is the perfect color scheme for a wildlife-themed party! The tassels have wooden beads in between adding for a natural jungle and woodland look!

animal themed party vest dress up

Explorer Vest

This adorable vest and hat set is a fun addition to have the birthday kid wear during their animal themed party! It is made of durable plastic and comes with lots of pockets!

What’s Next?

Thanksgiving Activity for Toddlers – Easy Feather Poke

Thanksgiving Activity for Toddlers – Easy Feather Poke

Thanksgiving Activity for Toddlers – Easy Feather Poke

thanksgiving activity for toddlers turkey feathers

This Thanksgiving activity for toddlers is all about giving the turkey its feathers back! It’s an easy set-up to work on fine motor skills, especially hand-eye coordination!

Transform a Cardboard Box into a Turkey!

It takes all of a few minutes to set up and it certainly doesn’t have to look fancy, but a cardboard box is all you need to create your very own turkey for play!

Toddlers and young preschoolers will be able to visualize the task after seeing those googly eyes and feel inspired to give that turkey it’s feathers back! 

If this is a big hit, like it was for us, you’ll have to try our Poke the Animals activities, free printable included, where kids can use dull toothpicks or cotton swabs to give prickly animals their “spikes” back!

Skills: 

Ages: 

Prep Time: 

Watch This Thanksgiving Toddler Activity in Action!

In this video you’ll see my son, 3 years old at the time, enjoy placing feathers into the cardboard turkey one at a time. The concentration on his face says everything – with his mouth open, tongue slightly out – he is in the zone!

Coordinating his eyes and hands to poke the feathers in the tiny holes is tricky, but he is so proud when he is able to complete the game! 

Watch This Thanksgiving Toddler Activity in Action!

In this video you’ll see my son, 3 years old at the time, enjoy placing feathers into the cardboard turkey one at a time. The concentration on his face says everything – with his mouth open, tongue slightly out – he is in the zone!

Coordinating his eyes and hands to poke the feathers in the tiny holes is tricky, but he is so proud when he is able to complete the game! 

hatch the egg hand eye coordination printable activity worksheet for toddlers

This Thanksgiving Activity for Toddlers Can Be Fun for Babies Too! 

Want to save even more time? Skip the cardboard box and grab a colander or pasta strainer instead! Toddlers and preschoolers can poke the feathers into the small holes, and babies can even enjoy this too! Instead of poking the feathers, they will be able to pull them out!

It’s always fun for young kids to do any activity with feathers because they’re full of a wide variety of textures. On one end, they’re soft, and on the other end, they’re pointy! 

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

Materials

Step-by-Step Instructions 

Step 1

Grab a small cardboard box and poke some holes in it!

Step 2

Cut out a circle for the face of the turkey, add on the eyes plus a triangular nose and red wattle out of felt or colored paper!  

Step 3

Provide feathers and task the kiddos with giving the turkey its feathers back! 

Step 1

Grab a small cardboard box and poke some holes in it!

Step 2

Cut out a circle for the face of the turkey, add on the eyes plus a triangular nose and red wattle out of felt or colored paper!  

Step 3

Provide feathers and task the kiddos with giving the turkey its feathers back!  

More Thanksgiving Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

This Thanksgiving activity for toddles is all about fine motor skills, but let’s have more fun with Turkey Day!

We have a bundle of Thanksgiving worksheets that are great for toddlers and preschoolers to learn a dozen early childhood education skills. From scissor skills, to tracing, alphabet and number recognition, matching, writing, and phonics – this is just a few areas covered with a Thanksgiving Twist!

For even more Thanksgiving activities, visit our comprehensive list!

thanksgiving printable activities worksheets
thanksgiving printable activities worksheets

More Thanksgiving Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

This Thanksgiving activity for toddles is all about fine motor skills, but let’s have more fun with Turkey Day!

We have a bundle of Thanksgiving worksheets that are great for toddlers and preschoolers to learn a dozen early childhood education skills. From scissor skills, to tracing, alphabet and number recognition, matching, writing, and phonics – this is just a few areas covered with a Thanksgiving Twist!

For even more Thanksgiving activities, visit our comprehensive list!

Store-Bought Fine Motor Activities For Toddlers

Here are my top picks for toys you can buy that strengthen toddler fine motor skills!

fine motor skills buckles and strings toy

Buckle and Threading Pillow

This colorful pillow is fantastic for fine motor skills with 12 buckles to explore as well as a threading exercise!

wooden sensory bin tools that are great for fine motor skills through play

Sensory Bin Tools

This set comes with 7 items including bowls, scoops, and a tong. A great set for learning practical life skills through sensory play.

color recognition sorting rainbow fine motor skills

Color Sorting Rainbow

Strengthen motor skills while using tongs to color sort this beautifully crafted rainbow! Caution: small parts!

fine motor skills pike the hedge hog toy

Hedgehog Game

Give the hedgehog it’s spikes with this fun game. Such a fun and colorful way to strengthen fine motor skills!

What’s Next?

Kids Halloween Party – The Ultimate List of Fun Ideas

Kids Halloween Party – The Ultimate List of Fun Ideas

Kids Halloween Party – The Ultimate List of Fun Ideas

kids halloween party ideas and activities

Everything you need to know to throw a fun kids Halloween party! From spooky-themed activities, to decor and party favors, we got you covered! 

When planning a kid’s birthday party, I always have a handy checklist so I don’t forget something important! Here are the main areas:

  • Food & Beverages
  • Dishes and Utensils
  • Activities
  • Decor
  • Outfits
  • Trash Can
  • Party Favors
  • First Aid and Other Essentials Basket

Keep on reading to get all the details! And also be sure to check out our printable bundle of Halloween Activities, a fun way to learn so many early childhood education skills including letters, numbers, shapes, scissor skills, writing, and so much more. 

 

Skills: 

Ages: 

Prep Time: 

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Kids Halloween Party Activities

Since we LOVE kid’s activities, I always try to include 3 or 4 different ones for kiddos to explore whenever we have parties. 

We like to keep them budget-friendly getting bulk supplies online or from places like Dollar Tree or Target’s Bullseye section.

Keep on reading to see the different activities we set up at this particular Halloween Party!

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

 

Kids Halloween Party Activities

Since we LOVE kid’s activities, I always try to include 3 or 4 different ones for kiddos to explore whenever we have parties. 

We like to keep them budget-friendly getting bulk supplies online or from places like Dollar Tree or Target’s Bullseye section.

Keep on reading to see the different activities we set up at this particular Halloween Party!

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration
dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Sandbox Pumpkin Patch

We turned our sandbox into a farm with tractors to pick up pumpkins from a patch! 

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Spider Threading Game

Kiddos had the opportunity to thread spider rings through a straw to strengthen their fine motor skills!

kids halloween party ideas and activities

Craft a Pumpkin

This foam pumpkin craft kit comes with 18 packs for kids to decorate different silly pumpkin faces!

kids halloween party ideas and activities

Witch’s Brew!

In a cauldron, water and insects (both big and small) collide for a fun sensory play, where kids can make spooky potions!

Kids Halloween Party Guest Surprise!

Have a cousin, Uncle or Aunt, or friend who would be open to making a special appearance during the kids Halloween party? 

Pictured is my brother who dressed up like Blippi one year and the kids thought it was a hoot! During a Halloween party it is likely that all the kids and some adults will be dressed up, but it is always a fun treat when a new character joins the party and entertains the kids for thirty or so minutes!

kids halloween party ideas and activities
kids halloween party ideas and activities

Kids Halloween Party Guest Surprise!

Have a cousin, Uncle or Aunt, or friend who would be open to making a special appearance during the kids Halloween party? 

Pictured is my brother who dressed up like Blippi one year and the kids thought it was a hoot! During a Halloween party it is likely that all the kids and some adults will be dressed up, but it is always a fun treat when a new character joins the party and entertains the kids for thirty or so minutes!

kids halloween party ideas and activities

Decor and Other Details for a Kids Halloween Party

Here are some simple ways to give off some major Halloween vibes! Obviously Halloween decor is so adaptable and so dependent on the kind of items you’ve been collecting over the years.

As you can see with this party, the decor is super young kid friendly – meaning no scary or bloody decor. But if your kiddos are ready for that, then go for it!

Also worth noting, I wanted our party favor to be both practical and non-candy related, more on that below! And while we didn’t have candy inside our party favor, we did make sure to have a yummy treat for them to eat while they were at this kids Halloween party.  

kids halloween party ideas and activities

Table Decor

A reusable orange table cloth cover and a black and white cloth runner gave this kids Halloween party a spooky vibe!

kids halloween party ideas and activities

Halloween Balloons

We used some simple black and white and orange balloons to decorate our party favor space, but you can have even more fun with this set that has eyeballs, pumpkins & spiders

kids halloween party ideas and activities

Party Favors

These party favors are practical because kids get to use the bag for trick or treating later, but also candy free with a Spooky Pookie book inside!

kids halloween party ideas and activities

Something Sweet!

Now listen, I’m not against sweets. I just figured they’d be trick or treating after the party. But rest assure, serving yummy Halloween themed cupcakes is a must!

More Party Ideas!

Looking for more fun ideas for your Kids Halloween Party? Here are some more ways to have fun with this theme!

face paint kit kids halloween party

Face Paint Kit!

This is a fun activity to include during a Kids Halloween Party! The kit comes with a guide to help grown ups create the perfect characters!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Halloween Ring Toss

This is a fun Halloween-themed game for kids. The set comes with both a spider and a witch’s hat for ring tossing fun!

halloween party easter eggs

Halloween Egg Hunt

As a possible alternative to (or in addition to) trick-or-treating, a Halloween egg hunt is sure to be a hit! This set comes with 36 pieces of varying designs.

halloween party craft kit for kids

Squishy Paint Kit

This set of Halloween-themed squishy toys are either great party favors or a fun activity they can do at the party!

What’s Next?

Dinosaur Party, Inspiring Ideas for a Roar-some Birthday

Dinosaur Party, Inspiring Ideas for a Roar-some Birthday

Dinosaur Party, Inspiring Ideas for a Roarsome Birthday

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Dinosaur fans rejoice! Everything you need to know to throw a roar-some dinosaur party! There are so many ways to make a party dinosaur-themed. We had a blast brainstorming how to make those ideas come to life!

When planning a kid’s birthday party, I always have a handy checklist so I don’t forget something important! Here are the main areas:

  • Food
  • Dishes and Utensils
  • Beverages
  • Activities
  • Decor: Table and Front Door
  • Outfits
  • Trash Can
  • Party Favors
  • First Aid and Other Essentials Basket

Keep on reading to get all the details and see some inspirational dinosaur party fun in action!

Skills: 

Ages: 

Prep Time: 

The Party in Action!

Before I get into all of the details, watch this video for a glimpse of our dinosaur party in action!

My son has been a big fan of dinosaurs and he was so excited to celebrate his birthday dinosaur-style. This is our 3rd themed party for him. When he turned 3 he had a construction party, and when he turned 4 he had a garbage man party! During his 5th birthday, it was the beginning of co-vid and we kept things simple and theme-less!

The Party in Action!

Before I get into all of the details, watch this video for a glimpse of our dinosaur party in action!

My son has been a big fan of dinosaurs and he was so excited to celebrate his birthday dinosaur-style. This is our 3rd themed party for him. When he turned 3 he had a construction party, and when he turned 4 he had a garbage man party! During his 5th birthday, it was the beginning of co-vid and we kept things simple and theme-less!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Dinosaur Party: Activities!

Whenever I plan my kid’s birthday parties, activities are always one of the most important things to figure out!

We opt for hands on, often sensory-based and arts and crafts experiences over bounce houses and other more costly alternatives. Read on below for the main activities we decided to do for the dinosaur party!

In addition to the pool, there are 3 places I like to set up activities – on our kid-sized folding tables, inside our sensory table, and sandbox!

We have a free printable dinosaur-themed activity you could include as well!

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

 

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Clay Dinosaur Eggs

In our sensory bin, I filled up one tub with leaves, mulch, and clay dinosaur eggs each filled with a dinosaur inside! The other bin was filled with water, and I had two bowls filled with excavating tools!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Dinosaur Paint Kit

On our kid-sized folding tables, I set up an arts and crafts activity! These dinosaurs, paints, and brushes were all part of a kit. So much fun transforming the white dinosaurs into colorful ones!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Fossil Sand Dig

Inside our sand box, kids tapped into their inner paleontologist using sifting tools to find fossils underneath the sand. Other kids enjoyed hiding them right back under the sand for a friend to find!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Pool Time!

With warm weather, we kept the pool open and added several dinosaur themed inflatables. We also splurged and got a life guard to keep the pool activity extra safe and allow parents to chat!

What to Eat at a Dinosaur Party!

The star of this section is the cake! We added figurines and a volcano to decorate an 8 inch cake. To keep the look earthy, sprinkle graham crackers on the cake platter!

Since we are extra conscious of germs and keeping our guests healthy, we opted for a number sparkler instead of candles that are blown out. 

Dinosaur caddies filled with succulent plants with larger succulents in planters make for a fun decor around the cake too!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration
dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Dinosaur Cupcakes!

I originally planned to have cake pops, but I couldn’t find a baker on such short notice. Instead, I called Whole Foods and they were able to make these fun dinosaur-themed cupcakes after I showed them a few inspirational photos!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Disposable Plates and Napkins

There are a lot of dinosaur plates and napkin options out there, but I narrowed it down to these! I love that the design is the perfect balance between fun and realistic. Not cartoony and not scary! 

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Snack Center

Our only snack that was dinosaur-themed were our apple sauce pouches! Everything else was just easy, single-use options that kids would like. With the virus, we wanted to keep snacks individual to prevent the spread of germs!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Mobile Pizza Maker

We splurged on our main food option and had a mobile pizza maker come to our house to make kids and parents custom pizzas. It was a big hit – not only delicious, but also a great non-buffet option during these times!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

What to Eat at a Dinosaur Party!

The star of this section is the cake! We added figurines and a volcano to decorate an 8 inch cake. To keep the look earthy, sprinkle graham crackers on the cake platter!

Since we are extra conscious of germs and keeping our guests healthy, we opted for a number sparkler instead of candles that are blown out. 

Dinosaur caddies filled with succulent plants with larger succulents in planters make for a fun decor around the cake too!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Dinosaur Cupcakes!

I originally planned to have cake pops, but I couldn’t find a baker on such short notice. Instead, I called Whole Foods and they were able to make these fun dinosaur-themed cupcakes after I showed them a few inspirational photos!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Disposable Plates and Napkins

There are a lot of dinosaur plates and napkin options out there, but I narrowed it down to these! I love that the design is the perfect balance between fun, realistic. Not cartoony and not scary! 

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Snack Center

Our only snack that was dinosaur-themed were our apple sauce pouches! Everything else was just easy, single-use options that kids would like. With the virus, we wanted to keep snacks individual to prevent the spread of germs!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Mobile Pizza Maker

We splurged on our main food option and had a mobile pizza maker come to our house to make kids and parents custom pizzas. It was a big hit – not only delicious, but also a great non-buffet option during these times!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Dinosaur Party Decor

What are we left with once the party is over? The pictures! So setting up a great photo op dessert table is always a priority for us!

I used a leaf-themed table cloth with a burlap runner that I bought in bulk. I was able to have enough material to make the kids arts & crafts tables in the same style!

I snagged some succulent plants from Trader Joes and a few other leafy plants from Home Depot and dispersed them across the various spaces to integrate living greenery.

Add a cute garland, adorable wood-slice cake platter and cupcake platters, and balloons (number, dinosaur, and rawr!), and everything came together so earthy and fun!

 

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Wood Slice Cake Platters

One of my favorite items from this party is the 2-tiered cupcake platter. The wood grain is so natural and added so much texture to the decor.

dinosaur planter

Dinosaur Planter

We transformed dinosaur pencil caddies into planters by filling them up with soil and succulents! But you can also get these cute ones too that are designed to be planters!

burlap decor dinosaur party

Burlap Runner

I love that this high quality burlap runner comes in a bulk roll! I was able to use it on 3 different tables and I have more to spare for our next party! It gave the tables such a great texture!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Leaf Print Table Cloth

This palm leaf print table cloth is perfect for a dinosaur party (or a Hawaiian one too!). Each pack comes with 2 table clothes that are water proof!

More Party Ideas!

Looking for more fun details for your Dinosaur Party? Here are some more ways to have fun with this theme!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Party Favors

We always opt to spend a little extra budget on a high quality party favor that kids will actually use more than once! Kid’s got to take home a book for emerging readers and a ceramic dinosaur paint kit!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Dinosaur-Themed Outfit

Since we had a pool party, we went with dinosaur themed bathing suits, including dinosaur swim trunks and an adorable pink dinosaur onesie swimsuit!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Dinosaur Costume

Instead of hiring someone to come dressed up as a mascot, have a family member do it instead! Uncle to the rescue with this fun dinosaur costume. Also great to hold on for Halloween!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Dinosaur Piñata

Piñatas are such a fun way to add entertainment to a birthday party. This dinosaur shaped piñata comes with a stick and a blindfold. Fill it up with candy or small toys of your choice! 

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Number Balloons

Number balloons are a fun way to shine a light on your little one’s new age! Make sure to use a very strong double sided tape to make sure it stays up on the wall throughout the party! 

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Rawr Balloon

Add a little fun with this-dinosaur themed Rawr balloon! And add some dinosaurs balloons to the mix as well if you have the wall space! This double sided tape is the best.

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

Garland

This tassel garland is the perfect color scheme for a dinosaur-themed party! The tassels have wooden beads in between adding for a natural jungle and woodland look!

dinosaur party theme for kids ideas and inspiration

First Aid and Sanitizer Basket

Make a basket with first aid, sanitizer, and other essentials like bug spray and sunscreen! It will inevitably come in handy for someone! 

What’s Next?

Birthday Play Dough Kit – Easy Party in a Box!

Birthday Play Dough Kit – Easy Party in a Box!

Birthday Play Dough Kit – Easy Party in a Box!

birthday themed play dough kit

This birthday play dough kit is so much fun! You only need to assemble it once, but then kiddos can use the loose parts to make cupcakes time and time again! It’s such a great way to encourage creative and independent play. 

Celebrate Anytime with This Birthday Play Dough Kit

We love making play dough kits! And this one takes the cake (pun definitely intended – ha!). Play dough kits are easy to make and super convenient to have on hand – say if it’s a rainy day or you simply need a fast-to-set-up quiet time activity! 

One of our favorite things to do with play dough kits – give them as gifts! And this birthday-themed one is perfect for any young child as they celebrate turning a new age!

For more sensory-based activities, visit our comprehensive list of ideas! We have a lot of other great play dough ideas and kits including an ocean-themed kit, insect-themed kit, and a fun process of making play dough swirls!

Skills: 

Ages: 

Prep Time: 

How to Make Your Own Play Dough!

If you’ve never made play dough before, you may think it is going to be a lot of work! But, nope! Our simple recipe is super easy to make. There is no cooking involved, just using a microwave!

Making play dough together with kids is such a fun way to include them in the process. They can learn so much by just measuring and counting ingredients. Plus, if you’re like us, you’ll want to make it in every color!

How to Make Your Own Play Dough!

If you’ve never made play dough before, you may think it is going to be a lot of work! But, nope! Our simple recipe is super easy to make. There is no cooking involved, just using a microwave!

Making play dough together with kids is such a fun way to include them in the process. They can learn so much by just measuring and counting ingredients. Plus, if you’re like us, you’ll want to make it in every color!

birthday themed play dough kit

How to Set Up This Birthday Play Dough Kit

Whether you are assembling this activity in a kit or on a tray, it is a great way to give the kids everything they need for creative play.

Make sure to include lots of fun loose parts that are birthday-themed for kids to enjoy! Some items that work well are: fake sprinkles or rainbow rice (those are not real sprinkles featured!), cupcake liners, candles, large wooden beads, and lots of tools to inspire fine-motor strengthening (like a rolling pin, ice cream scooper, and tongs)!

Sit back and let the open-ended, independent play unfold as they create the perfect birthday cupcakes. Just make certain that they know it’s not a real cupcake that they get to eat!

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

Materials

Step-by-Step Instructions 

Step 1

Start by making homemade play dough. You can add glitter to it or use food coloring to make different colors based on your theme. In this kit, I included white for vanilla (no coloring) and and brown for chocolate (with food coloring).

Step 2

Once the play dough is cooled down, add it to the storage containers.

Step 3

Select loose parts, figurines, and other items you want to include.

Step 4

Close it up and cover in gift wrap if giving as a present!

Step 1

Start by making homemade play dough. You can add glitter to it or use food coloring to make different colors based on your theme. In this kit, I included white for vanilla (no coloring) and and brown for chocolate (with food coloring).

Step 2

Once the play dough is cooled down, add it to the storage containers.

Step 3

Select loose parts, figurines, and other items you want to include.

Step 4

Close it up and cover in gift wrap if giving as a present!

Beyond a Birthday Play Dough Kit – The Benefits of Playing with Dough!

Play dough offers so many great learning benefits. The kids will be able to use their fine motor skills to create while also using their sensory skills. I also love that play dough has the kids creating and thinking outside the box on fun things to create.

The more that they can create using play dough, the more that they’re going to be thinking creatively, too. You can even use play dough to teach the kids to learn their colors, letters, and numbers too!

birthday themed play dough kit
birthday themed play dough kit

Beyond a Birthday Play Dough Kit – The Benefits of Playing with Dough!

Play dough offers so many great learning benefits. The kids will be able to use their fine motor skills to create while also using their sensory skills too. I also love that play dough has the kids creating and thinking outside the box on fun things to create.

The more that they can create using play dough, the more that they’re going to be thinking creatively, too. You can even use play dough to teach the kids to learn their colors, letters and numbers too!

More Ways to Explore Sensory Play

Here are my top picks for sensory-based items that make set-up even easier!

sensory bin build you own bin michaels

Build Your Own Sensory Bin Bundle

This fun bundle allows you to choose between different compounds, figurines and other accessories.

sensory bin marine creatures

Pre-Made Sensory Bins

Whether you want to explore the ocean, dinsoaurs, ice cream shop and more. These pre-made kits make set up easy!

sensory play monster truck bin

Monster Truck Arena

This sensory-play item is perfect for the monster truck fan! It comes with 2 pounds of monster dirt and a monster truck!

sensory book quiet time busy fine motor

Sensory-Based Book

Sensory play doesn’t have to be messy! This fabric book is full of hands-on sensory-based activities!

What’s Next?

Food Activity for Kids – The Real Life Mr. Potato Head

Food Activity for Kids – The Real Life Mr. Potato Head

Food Activity for Kids – The Real Life Mr. Potato Head

food activity for kids classic real mr. potato head

This food activity for kids is a great way to expose children to fruits and veggies while constructing a real life Mr. Potato Head! This is a sensory-driven experience that is not only great for fine motor skills, but also a great opportunity to talk about facial features and expressions! Keep on reading to find out how easy this is to set up!

A Food Activity That Promotes Healthy Eating

Did you know that before the store-bought Mr. Potato even existed, it was very common for kids to make Mr. Potato Head at home using a potato and kitchen scraps? Yup! It’s a classic. There are so many reasons to love this activity, but one of the highlights is that it exposes kids to fruits and veggies that they may or may not already love. For those with picky eaters (like me!), exposure is critical and one of the ways to get kids comfortable with foods they may not love is through touching, exploration, and play.

Skills: 

Ages: 

Prep Time: 

Adapt This Food Activity for Kids

We definitely do not want to promote food waste, so this activity should be super adaptable. Take a few days to save up some food scraps – you know, the trimmings and bits and pieces that would otherwise end up in the trash bin! Got some blueberries that are getting too soft to eat? Use them! Eating some carrots, but don’t need the leafy ends? They can make great hair! And the list goes on and on!

Adapt This Food Activity for Kids

We definitely do not want to promote food waste, so this activity should be super adaptable. Take a few days to save up some food scraps – you know, the trimmings and bits and pieces that would otherwise end up in the trash bin! Got some blueberries that are getting too soft to eat? Use them! Eating some carrots, but don’t need the leafy ends? They can make great hair! And the list goes on and on!

food activity for kids classic real mr. potato head

Tips on How to Set Up This Food Activity for Kids

Once you have saved up enough food scraps, setting this up is so simple! I like to sort the pieces into a sectioned tray. Here’s a secret – chips and salsa trays make the best trays for invitations to play! This tray with removable sections is one of our favorites

Other than food scraps and whole potatoes, make sure you have a bunch of toothpicks. If you are afraid of your little one poking themselves, just tap the toothpick down on the table or snip the ends to make sure they are dull!

Oh, and when finished with all that fun play, eat the potatoes! They’ll have enough holes in them that they will be sure to boil and soften quickly!

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

Materials

  • Big Potato
  • Food Scraps

Step-by-Step Instructions 

Step 1

Grab a tray or plate and set up the food scraps, potato, and toothpicks.

Step 2

Invite your kiddo to create a face on the potato using the fruit and veggies and the toothpicks to hold the pieces in place. And use this opportunity to talk about the foods (textures, colors, smells) as well as facial features and expressions!

Step 1

Grab a tray or plate and set up the food scraps, potato, and toothpicks.

Step 2

Invite your kiddo to create a face on the potato using the fruit and veggies and the toothpicks to hold the pieces in place. And use this opportunity to talk about the foods (textures, colors, smells) as well as facial features and expressions!

printable worksheets for kids fruit and vegetable activities food

Printable Bundle All About Fruits and Vegetables!

This printable bundle is all about fruits and vegetables! It is a fantastic way to extend this food activity for kids!

With over 20 pages of unique activities, it explores so many different early childhood education skills while exposing kids to a variety of healthy foods!

From scissor skills, to color matching, tracing and writing letters, counting, phonics, patterns, and the life cycle of an apple, these are just a few of the many unique opportunities to play and learn with all things fruits and veggies!

The Educational Benefits of The Real Mr. Potato Head

There are so many fun learning experiences that you can use with this food activity for kids! If you have a picky or selective eater, this is a great way to expose them to healthy fruits and vegetables that they may not be too keen on touching! Touching, smelling, and talking about the colors, these are all great first steps that can lead to licking, tasting, and even eating! 

Beyond food exposure, this invitation to create is sensory-based and will help strengthen fine motor skills. Using those toothpicks to connect the facial features requires a lot of hand-eye coordination!  

Plus, talk to them about the names of facial features and expressions. There are so many ways you can build Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head – make them happy, mad, scared, or excited!

food activity for kids classic real mr. potato head

If your kiddo loved this, you have to try our fun science experiment all about regrowing food scraps!

And don’t forget about our printable worksheets all about fruits and vegetables!

food activity for kids classic real mr. potato head

The Educational Benefits of The Real Mr. Potato Head

There are so many fun learning experiences that you can use with this food activity for kids! If you have a picky or selective eater, this is a great way to expose them to healthy fruits and vegetables that they may not be too keen on touching! Touching, smelling, and talking about the colors, these are all great first steps that can lead to licking, tasting, and even eating! 

Beyond food exposure, this invitation to create is sensory-based and will help strengthen fine motor skills. Using those toothpicks to connect the facial features requires a lot of hand-eye coordination!  

Plus, talk to them about the names of facial features and expressions. There are so many ways you can build Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head – make them happy, mad, scared, or excited!

If your kiddo loved this, you have to try our fun science experiment all about regrowing food scraps!

More Food Activities for Kids!

Here are my top picks for fun ways kids can explore all things food!

play toy kitchen gift for kids

Play Kitchen

This wooden play kitchen is adorable and has every feature a kid needs – oven, stove, microwave, sink, and storage!

magnetic wooden cutting and cooking toy wooden food pretend play set

Slicable Play Food

This set of wooden food is connected magnetically. Learn about lots of different types of foods and use the toy knife to slice and strengthen fine motor skills!

Picky Eater Plate make eating fun exposure 8 the plate

Picky Eater Plate

This plate is so great for picky or selective eaters. Make a game out of trying new foods! It rotates one way, taste or eat what’s in the spot before moving on to the next!

food activities for kids baking gift set knife set junior chef

Cooking and Baking Set

This fun set comes with everything you need to inspire your little chef! It has baking gear as well as food prep items like a knife set and cutting board!

What’s Next?

Preschool Insect Activity – Fun Sensory Kit They’ll Love

Preschool Insect Activity – Fun Sensory Kit They’ll Love

Preschool Insect Activity – Fun Sensory Kit

preschool insect activity bug play dough kit loose parts play bug study

This insect preschool activity is a great way for kids to get hands on while learning all about bugs!  Themed play dough kits are a wonderful experience where sensory and imaginative play collide.

Read on to learn how to assemble a kit like this and to extend the insect learning with our printable worksheets!

Play Dough Kits Save the Day!

There are lots of benefits for putting together, playing with, and storing play dough kits! Not only do they provide an awesome hands on opportunity for learning, but by organizing them as kits, they are a great item you can grab when you need to keep the kiddo’s busy, you can take them along on vacation, and they also make fantastic gifts! They are my personal go-to birthday presents for kids aged 2-5. In fact, we made this exact preschool insect activity a birthday present for one of my kiddo’s friends!

Skills: 

Ages: 

Prep Time: 

preschool bug insect activity play dough kit loose parts play bug study

Why Preschoolers and Toddlers Love This Insect Activity

Whether you are assembling this activity in a kit or on a tray, it is a great way to give the kids everything they need for creative play. Everything that you can pack inside keeps it all organized and a fun way to create different types of bug habitats as well. All the fun of learning about bugs without having to deal with actual bugs! 

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

Why Preschoolers and Toddlers Love This Insect Activity

Whether you are assembling this activity in a kit or on a tray, it is a great way to give the kids everything they need for creative play. Everything that you can pack inside keeps it all organized and a fun way to create different types of bug habitats as well. All the fun of learning about bugs without having to deal with actual bugs! 

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

preschool bug insect activity play dough kit loose parts play bug study
bug insect printable worksheets preschool

More Preschool Insect Activities with this Printable Bundle of Worksheets

Whether you are doing an insect-study at school or home, or simply have a kiddo who LOVES all things bugs, these printable worksheets are perfect for you!

These hands-on playful learning pages feature all types of insects while giving your little one a strong foundation for early childhood education skills. Topics covered include tracing, comparing and differentiating, color recognition, counting letter writing, phonics, shape recognition, positional words, patterns, and so much more.

For more themed-worksheets for preschoolers, check out our full collection of printable resources!

Materials

Step-by-Step Instructions 

Step 1

Start by making homemade play dough. You can add glitter to it or use food coloring to make different colors based on your theme. In this kit, I included two colors, green (grass) and brown (dirt).

Step 2

Once the play dough is cooled down, add it to the storage containers.

 

Step 3

Select loose parts, figurines, and other items you want to include. I grabbed some fabric flowers, wooden slices and rocks from Dollar Tree!

Step 4

Close it up and cover in gift wrap if giving as a present!

Step 1

Start by making homemade play dough. You can add glitter to it or use food coloring to make different colors based on your theme. In this kit, I included two colors, green (grass) and brown (dirt).

Step 2

Once the play dough is cooled down, add it to the storage containers.

Step 3

Select loose parts, figurines, and other items you want to include. I grabbed some fabric flowers, wooden slices, and rocks from Dollar Tree!

Step 4

Close it up and cover in gift wrap if giving as a present!

Educational Benefits of This Preschool Insect Activity

This kit is a great way to introduce toddlers and preschoolers to the many types of insects and their habitats. By having a collection of figurines, you can talk about the name of each insect and other facts. This is a great opportunity to reinforce language development. Be sure to also give kiddos time to explore independently – it is truly amazing to watch the imaginative play unfold as they build homes for their bugs!

Of course, playing with play dough is also great for sensory and fine motor skills.  Squishing, squeezing, pulling, and molding play dough is fantastic for hand and finger muscle strength.

preschool bug insect activity play dough kit loose parts play bug study

For another play dough kit activity idea, be sure to check out our ocean-themed play dough kit!

preschool bug insect activity play dough kit loose parts play bug study

Educational Benefits of This Preschool Insect Activity

This kit is a great way to introduce toddlers and preschoolers to the many types of insects and their habitats. By having a collection of figurines, you can talk about the name of each insect and other facts. This is a great opportunity to reinforce language development.

Be sure to also give kiddos time to explore independently – it is truly amazing to watch the imaginative play unfold as they build homes for their bugs!

Of course, playing with play dough is also great for sensory and fine motor skills.  Squishing, squeezing, pulling, and molding play dough is fantastic for hand and finger muscle strength.

For another play dough kit activity idea, be sure to check out our ocean-themed play dough kit!

More Ways to Explore Insects

Whether you are doing an insect-study or know an insect-lover, here are some ways to extend the play and learning!

insect lore bug butterfly habitat

Butterfly Growing Kit

A pop up and reusable habitat perfect for butterfly viewing, includes voucher for receiving caterpillars.

insect bug kit for kids gift explorer outdoor play nature walk

Explorer Kit

This kit is perfect for the kiddo who wants to catch some bugs! Includes binocular, flashlight, critter case, and so much more!

Bug dig kit insects nature explore

Real Bug Dig Kit

This diggable kit includes 3 real bugs. The perfectly preserved specimens include a spider, fortune beetle, and scorpion. 

dinosaur book for little kids

Giant Ant Farm

This kit allows kids to observe live ants as they dig tunnels, build bridges, move mountains, and so much more!

What’s Next?

Cutting Skills – Silly Pet Salon for Strong Hand Muscles

Cutting Skills – Silly Pet Salon for Strong Hand Muscles

Cutting Skills – Silly Pet Salon for Strong Hand Muscles

pet salon cutting skills for kids strengthen hand muscles

Strengthen cutting skills while giving your kids their dream “job” with this fun pet salon activity! Best part? It’s made up of recyclables! This activity may take a little time to set up, but once done, you can use it over and over again!

Creative Ways to Explore Cutting Skills 

When my oldest was struggling with his fine motor skills, I knew that working on his scissor skills would help him get on the right track. But handing him scissors and a paper wasn’t going to do the trick!

He needed to be engaged, and so I found creative ways for him to explore cutting skills. I found that he had the strongest connection to activities that had a specific purpose and result – like grooming his “dog” or cutting spoon people’s hair!

Skills: 

Ages: 

Prep Time: 

Where Imaginative Play and Cutting Skills Collide

 

This cutting activity is a great way to show kids how fast and straightforward it can be to upcycle items that you have sitting around the house. It is amazing how everyday objects can create something unique and inspire such amazing imaginative play.

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

Where Imaginative Play and Cutting Skills Collide

This cutting activity is a great way to show kids how fast and straightforward it can be to upcycle items that you have sitting around the house. It is amazing how everyday objects can create something unique and inspire such amazing imaginative play.

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

pet salon cutting skills for kids strengthen hand muscles

Tips for Setting Up This Activity

Use what you have! An egg carton, tin can, cardboard, and paper tubes were all we needed, but feel free to mix this up based on what you have and what type of pet you want to recreate!

Quick Adhesives. Use tape and hot glue to put everything together quickly!

Type of Paint. The coloring process was quick for us as I used a white spray paint that took minutes to spray and dry. However, there is no need to rush the process especially if you are crafting together – be creative and as colorful as you’d like using acrylic paint!

Type of Fur. We used yarn. It was the perfect texture and not too tough for the kids to cut through!

How to Reuse. Don’t toss your cardboard pet away when your kiddos are finished grooming! All you have to do is hot glue on more yarn and they can work on their cutting skills over and over again!

Materials

Step-by-Step Instructions 

Step 1

Start by taping or gluing together the parts of the body. Attach the tin can to the egg carton body and then attach to the toilet paper tube legs.

Step 2

Once all the pieces are attached, the kids can paint in whatever color they want. Alternatively, an adult can spray paint outside.

Step 3

After the paint dries, attach the googly eyes and the yarn with hot glue.

Step 4

Let the kids cut the different lengths of hair to give the dog a haircut!

Step 1

Start by taping or gluing together the parts of the body. Attach the tin can to the egg carton body and then attach to the toilet paper tube legs.

Step 2

Once all the pieces are attached, the kids can paint in whatever color they want. Alternatively, an adult can spray paint outside.

Step 3

After the paint dries, attach the googly eyes and the yarn with hot glue.

Step 4

Let the kids cut the different lengths of hair to give the dog a haircut!

scissor skill printable fun haircut worksheet for preschoolers and toddlers learning how to cut and strengthen fine motor skills

FREE Printable Cutting Skills Activities

Grown ups are busy, I get it! That’s why I created a bunch of different FREE printable cutting worksheets.

If your kiddo loves this pet salon idea, you have to try our Spoon Salon activity!

We also have a very fun vertical cutting skills activity that will get kids on their feet and having fun with scissor skills! 

If your little one is still learning how to hold the scissors in the right way, try our Cutting with Cars activity which encourages thumbs up!

For more printable activities, visit our Printable Shop. It is filled with easy to set-up activities that help strengthen early childhood education skills!

The Educational Benefits of the Pet Salon

There are a lot of great benefits to this silly grooming activity. This is the perfect kind of imaginative play that gives them independence while also boosting their confidence. Since they can help create this activity from start to finish, there’s no limit on how many times they can play with it again and again.

This cutting activity is also great for muscle building and hand muscle control too. This helps them get more strength in their hands and gives them the ability to have more control of their fine motor skills, too.

This can also be used as a fun activity to talk about the length of hair and comparing long, medium, and short.

pet salon cutting skills for kids strengthen hand muscles

This activity is building on such an essential practical life skill – cutting! It is a skill they will learn now and use the rest of their lives! For more fine motor skills activites visit our comprehensive list of play ideas!

pet salon cutting skills for kids strengthen hand muscles

The Educational Benefits of the Pet Salon

There are a lot of great benefits to this silly grooming activity. This is the perfect kind of imaginative play that gives them independence while also boosting their confidence. Since they can help create this activity from start to finish, there’s no limit on how many times they can play with it again and again.

This cutting activity is also great for muscle building and hand muscle control too. This helps them get more strength in their hands and gives them the ability to have more control of their fine motor skills, too.

This can also be used as a fun activity to talk about the length of hair and comparing long and short. 

This activity is building on such an essential practical life skill – cutting! It is a skill they will learn now and use the rest of their lives! For more fine motor skills activites visit our comprehensive list of play ideas!

More Ways to Explore Cutting Skills

Here are my top picks for resources and items you can buy that strengthen toddler fine motor skills!

scissor skills cutting activity books

Scissor Skills Workbook

This set includes 3 workbooks all about scissor skills. Each book includes a pair of scissors!

fine motor scissor skill game with apples

 Apple Picking Game

This unique game includes magnetic apples that can be picked from the tree using a scooper scissor!

scissor cutting skills

Travel-Size Cutting Book

This small book is packed with scissor skills activities for children as young as 2 years old!

scissor cutting skills decorative

Decorative Scissors

This fun set of scissors comes with 6 designs of patterns for decorating paper crafts!

What’s Next?

Ocean Activity in a Fun-Filled Play Dough Kit

Ocean Activity in a Fun-Filled Play Dough Kit

Ocean Activity in a Fun-Filled Play Dough Kit

ocean play dough kit marine creatures

Explore the deep blue sea and all of its creatures with this fun ocean activity play dough kit. Keep on reading for all the details for the items included in this box!

Why We Love DIY Play Dough Kits

What I love about making play dough kits is that they are great for a wide variety of uses. I can make them for the kids and have them in the car for travel or have them on the shelf at home for whenever I need a quick and easy activity to set up. They also make fantastic gifts for kids! There is nothing like getting a present with homemade play dough and hand selected loose parts and figurines!

We also love incorporating play dough kit areas at birthday parties, or if you have the time, preparing them as a parting gift for each child who attends.

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

Skills: 

Ages: 

Prep Time: 

How To Make Sand Play Dough for This Ocean-Themed Activity

This how-to video shows the easy steps to making sand play dough. Full step-by-step directions, tips for making the perfect batch, and a list of materials with links are available in this article.

Making play dough is super easy and lasts for months! Plus, involving kids in the process of making play dough is an entire fun activity in and of itself!

How To Make Sand Play Dough for This Ocean-Themed Activty

This how-to video shows the easy steps to making sand play dough. Full step-by-step directions, tips for making the perfect batch, and a list of materials with links are available in this article.

Making play dough is super easy and lasts for months! Plus, involving kids in the process of making play dough is an entire fun activity in and of itself!

ocean play dough kit marine creatures

Building the Perfect Ocean Activity Kit

We make a ton of play dough kits. It’s my go-to for birthday presents for kids aged 2-5 years old! We have made kits for dozens of themes, but whichever you choose (ocean activity, race cars, Disney-themed, you name it!) below are the basics for the general types of items I look for to fill up a box:

Materials

Step-by-Step Instructions 

Step 1

Start by making homemade play dough. You can add glitter to it or used food coloring to make different colors based on your theme. In this ocean activity box, I included 3 colors, green (seaweed), blue (the water), and a sandy-color using a special sand play dough recipe.

Step 2

Once the play dough is cooled down, add it to the storage containers.

Step 3

Use the above as a guide for deciding what loose parts, figurines, and other items you want to include.

Step 4

Close it up and cover in gift wrap if giving as a present!

Step 1

Start by making homemade play dough. You can add glitter to it or used food coloring to make different colors based on your theme. In this ocean activity box, I included 3 colors, green (seaweed), blue (the water), and a sandy-color using a special sand play dough recipe (check it out! it has a great texture).

Step 2

Once the play dough is cooled down, add it to the storage containers.

Step 3

Use the above as a guide for deciding what loose parts, figurines, and other items you want to include.

Step 4

Close it up and cover in gift wrap if giving as a present!

The Educational Benefits of Ocean Activity Kit

One of the most significant benefits is that it is a great sensory activity that sparks imaginative play. Kids will be able to feel and use their senses to mold and shape the play dough while using their creativity to explore an entire world in their mind.  

Molding, pulling, shaping, twisting, and pushing play dough are also fantastic for fine motor skills and hand muscle strengthening!

The other great advantage of this activity is that you can expose your kiddo to a miniature world – in this case, under the sea with lots of marine creatures! Talk about what figurines you’ve included and provide them with facts about the ocean habitat!

ocean play dough kit marine creatures

Best part for parents? This is a great way to always have something fun ready and waiting for the kids that takes minimal time and effort to set up.

ocean play dough kit marine creatures

The Educational Benefits of Ocean Activity Kit

One of the most significant benefits is that it is a great sensory activity that sparks imaginative play. Kids will be able to feel and use their senses to mold and shape the play dough while using their creativity to explore an entire world in their mind.  

Molding, pulling, shaping, twisting, and pushing play dough are also fantastic for fine motor skills and hand muscle strengthening!

The other great advantage of this activity is that you can expose your kiddo to a miniature world – in this case, under the sea with lots of marine creatures! Talk about what figurines you’ve included and provide them with facts about the ocean habitat! 

Best part for parents? This is a great way to always have something fun ready and waiting for the kids that takes minimal time and effort to set up.

More Ways to Explore Sensory Play

Here are my top picks for sensory-based items that make set-up even easier!

sensory bin build you own bin michaels

Build Your Own Sensory Bin Bundle

This fun bundle allows you to choose between different compounds, figurines and other accessories.

sensory bin marine creatures

Pre-Made Sensory Bins

Whether you want to explore the ocean, dinsoaurs, ice cream shop and more. These pre-made kits make set up easy!

sensory play monster truck bin

Monster Truck Arena

This sensory-play item is perfect for the monster truck fan! It comes with 2 pounds of monster dirt and a monster truck!

sensory book quiet time busy fine motor

Sensory-Based Book

Sensory play doesn’t have to be messy! This fabric book is full of hands-on sensory-based activities!

What’s Next?

Sand Play Dough – Exciting Ocean Sensory Activity

Sand Play Dough – Exciting Ocean Sensory Activity

Sand Play Dough – Exciting Ocean Sensory Activity

sand play dough recipe

A cup of sand and a few simple ingredients create this easy no-bake sand play dough recipe for a fun textured-filled sensory experience!

Kids will love helping to make this recipe – it’s so much fun to create! It is nearly identical to our regular play dough recipe except adding in sand gives it a grainy texture and tan color that will inspire the coolest moldable play dough sand castles!

No-Cook Sand Play Dough

Skip the stove with this recipe! The key to making this no-cook sand play dough is heating up the water in the microwave until it is boiling. Then, while it is still super duper hot, the water is mixed into the flour mixture thoroughly – wearing gloves is essential for safety! I love that the texture still comes out great and I save myself from washing extra dishes in the process!

Skills: 

Ages: 

Prep Time: 

How to Make Sand Play Dough 

In this video, you’ll see how easy it is to make sand play dough. It only takes a few minutes to whip together, but will result in lasting sensory play fun!

Keep on reading for step by step instructions, a list of materials, tips, and ideas for creating the perfect ocean-themed sensory bin experience!

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

How to Make Sand Play Dough

In this video, you’ll see how easy it is to make sand play dough. It only takes a few minutes to whip together, but will result in lasting sensory play fun!

Keep on reading for step by step instructions, a list of materials, tips, and ideas for creating the perfect ocean-themed sensory bin experience!

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

sand play dough recipe materials

Tips for Making the Perfect Batch

Wear gloves while mixing the water! The mixture will be very hot so protect yourself with gloves and keep the kiddos away!

Why is my batch too sticky? Too much water was added! If too sticky add a little more flour.

Why is my batch too dry? Not enough water was added! If too dry add a little more water.

Do I need to add oil? The coconut oil gives the dough a super silky texture. You could also use glycerine. Alternatively, other vegetable oil will work too, but I’ve found that coconut oil makes it super silky!

What is cream of tartar, and do I need it? The cream of tartar is a preservative and it makes the play dough have a longer shelf life. You can omit it, but the dough will not last as long!

Materials

Step-by-Step Instructions 

Step 1

Mix together the sand, flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a bowl.

Step 2

Add the coconut oil for a soft and silky texture. You can also use food-grade glycerine.

Step 3

Boil the water. In my microwave, it takes about 2 minutes to reach best temperature.

Step 4

Mix the water to the flour mixture, transfering to a flat surface to knead until smooth and not sticky. Don’t miss my note above about wearing gloves to protect your hands from the heat!

Step 1

Mix together the sand, flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a bowl.

Step 2

Add the coconut oil for a soft and silky texture. You can also use food-grade glycerine.

Step 3

Boil the water. In my microwave, it takes about 2 minutes to reach best temperature.

Step 4

Mix the water to the flour mixture, transfering to a flat surface to knead until smooth and not sticky. Don’t miss my note above about wearing gloves to protect your hands from the heat!

Sensory Play Ideas with Sand Play Dough

This simple play dough recipe is easy to make and will allow kids to deeply engage in sensory play. This play dough is also a great item to incorporate in a ocean-themed kit, exposing your kiddo to lots of fun imaginary marine life play!

The top items I like to include in play dough kits are figurines, cookie cutters, a rolling pin, loose parts (like the sea shells and blue glass stones), and of course, homemade play dough in a few different colors.

We love giving play dough kits as gifts – making homemade play dough and then thoughtfully selecting the loose parts to be included makes for a really special and personal present!

ocean play dough kit marine creatures

For more detailed information and links for all the items in the above ocean-themed sensory kit, visit this article!

ocean play dough kit marine creatures

Sensory Play Ideas with Sand Play Dough

This simple play dough recipe is easy to make and will allow kids to deeply engage in sensory play. This play dough is also a great item to incorporate in a ocean-themed kit, exposing your kiddo to lots of fun imaginary marine life play!

The top items I like to include in play dough kits are figurines, cookie cutters, a rolling pin, loose parts (like the sea shells and blue glass stones), and of course, homemade play dough in a few different colors.

We love giving play dough kits as gifts – making homemade play dough and then thoughtfully selecting the loose parts to be included makes for a really special and personal present!

For more detailed information and links for all the items in the above ocean-themed sensory kit, visit this article!

More Sensory Bases to Explore

From sensory sand to slime, there are so many sensory bases to sink your hands into! 

sensory sand play for kids

Sensory Sand

Sensory sand is moldable! This bulk pack comes with enough to fill an entire bin for lasting fun! Bonus points for including a storage bin!

mad mattr sensory dough modeling dough

Modelling Dough

This modelling dough compound NEVER dries out! It is a fun texture – it is stretchy like play dough, moldable like kinetic sand, and odorless.

play dough wild dough sensory

Premium Play Dough

This play dough is the cream of the crop! It is ridiculously silky and smooth, lasts for 6 months, and is scented!

slime kit sensory play for kids

The Ultimate Slime and Putty Kit

This kit includes 8 fascinating varieties of slime and putty, including premade putty, magnetic slime, glow in the dark putty, and so much more.

What’s Next?

Toothpick Star Experiment – Magic with Water!

Toothpick Star Experiment – Magic with Water!

Toothpick Star Science – Magic with Water

toothpick start science experiment with water magic

This toothpick star science experiment is just like magic! Best part? Your kiddo will learn all about absorption and capillary action! Plus, setting this up is so simple – you only need a few supplies. Read on to find out how you can do this too!

This Star Science Experiment is Fun for All Ages

This activity is so mesmerizing that even though it takes seconds to set up, kids are going to want to do it over and over again. While older kids can enjoy learning about the science (more about that below!). Younger kids can still have fun with this! It takes a lot of coordination to set up those small toothpicks and to carefully pour the water – these actions are great for toddler and preschool fine motor skills!

For even more simple science experiments you can do at home visit our comprehensive list of science experiments!

All activities should be supervised by an adult. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links.

Skills: 

Ages: 

Prep Time: 

How to Make This Star Experiment

 

Assuming you grab the right type of toothpicks, this may be one of the easiest activities you set up with your kiddos!  So simple that once you do it once, they’re going to be able to take over and show you how it’s done. Talk about a great way to give them the confidence to show off their creative skills, too!

In this video you can see how everything gets set up. Depending on your toothpicks, the experiment can work quickly or slowly – it’s all about absorption!

How to Make This Star Experiment

Assuming you grab the right type of toothpicks, this may be one of the easiest activities you set up with your kiddos!  So simple that once you do it, they’re going to be able to take over and show you how it’s done. Talk about a great way to give them the confidence to show off their creative skills, too!

In this video you can see how everything gets set up. Depending on your toothpicks, the experiment can work quickly or slowly – it’s all about absorption!

toothpick start science experiment with water magic

Tips for This Toothpick Star Experiment

Who knew broken toothpicks and water could be so much fun?! To avoid this experiment being frustrating instead of fun, be sure to follow these important tips!

Choose the Right Toothpick. Based on our own experience, we discovered that not all toothpicks are alike! Bamboo toothpicks, for example, did not work for us. They simply did not absorb the water the same way a birch wood toothpick did. Also, make sure each end is pointy!

Make a Clean Break, But Don’t Break in Half. When snapping the toothpick, you must not break it all the way through. The wooden pieces must still be connected, but you’ll want to make sure you don’t have too many frays. This can be fixed by easily trimming the frays away.

Slowly Add the Water. After you place all the broken toothpicks in place, you’ll want to be gentle when adding the water. If not, you risk moving and misplacing all of the toothpicks before the experiment has even begun!

Materials

Step-by-Step Instructions 

Step 1

Snap 5 toothpicks in the center, but do not break them fully. Make sure there is still a center hinge and it can form a “V” shape.

Step 2

Arrange the toothpicks in the center of a plate. Make sure the sides are symmetrically touching each other.

 

Step 3

Use a dropper and slowly add water into the center of the arranged toothpicks. You will only need a few drops. Feel free to add more if the star appears to stop moving, but do not add so much that the toothpicks are fully immersed.

Step 4

Watch as the toothpicks slowly move, absorbing water, to form a star shape!

Step 1

Snap 5 toothpicks in the center, but do not break them fully. Make sure there is still a center hinge and it can form a “V” shape.

Step 2

Arrange the toothpicks in the center of a plate. Make sure the sides are symmetrically touching each other.

Step 3

Use a dropper and slowly add water into the center of the arranged toothpicks. You will only need a few drops. Feel free to add more if the star appears to stop moving, but do not add so much that the toothpicks are fully immersed.

Step 4

Watch as the toothpicks slowly move, absorbing water, to form a star shape!

The Educational Benefits of the Toothpick Star Experiment

For early learners, this is a great activity to talk about the shapes and points of a star. They can count the star tips and then try and draw one on their own, too. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, breaking the toothpicks, arranging them, and using the dropper are all valuable fine motor skill exercises!

Older kids will be able to learn more about the science behind this fun activity which is by a process known as capillary action. Capillary action is the ability of a liquid to flow in narrow spaces against gravity. Capillaries are found in plants, like the wood made from the toothpicks!  The wood absorbs the water and as it expands the bent wood straightens, pushing against the other allowing a star to form.

toothpick start science experiment with water magic

 Use this example as a way to talk to them about capillaries that are found in plants as well and see if they can start to make that connection. It’s the perfect time to try this experiment with the kids, no matter their age!

toothpick start science experiment with water magic

The Educational Benefits of the Toothpick Star Experiment

For early learners, this is a great activity to talk about the shapes and points of a star. They can count the star tips and then try and draw one on their own, too. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, breaking the toothpicks, arranging them, and using the dropper are all valuable fine motor skill exercises!

Older kids will be able to learn more about the science behind this fun activity which is by a process known as capillary action. Capillary action is the ability of a liquid to flow in narrow spaces against gravity. Capillaries are found in plants, like the wood made from the toothpicks!  The wood absorbs the water and as it expands the bent wood straightens, pushing against the other allowing a star to form.

Use this example as a way to talk to them about capillaries that are found in plants as well and see if they can start to make that connection. It’s the perfect time to try this experiment with the kids, no matter their age!

More Science Experiments to Explore!

Here are my top picks for science experiment kits!