Monday, October 17, 2011

Fancy Nancy Dinosaur Dig!

Grammie created Fancy Nancy!
Nope, that is NOT a typo!  This is what happens when you ask a 4 year old what kind of birthday party she wants.  Well, let's see...she's part girly-girl princess, part rough and tumble adventure girl.  Sooo, I should not at all be surprised when she asked for a Fancy Nancy dinosaur dig party.  Surprisingly, it came together fairly easily thanks to the help of some great friends and a lot of luck.

The first thing we needed were dinosaur bones.  You know, for the dig.  Our wonderful neighbor happens to work at the local Natural History Museum and was more than happy to start sending us a steady stream of not-quite-perfect museum replica bones.  We had vertebra, jawbones, and a lot of other miscellaneous bones courtesy of the upcoming baby apatosaur exhibit.  Just for extra fun, I bought the dollar store out of small plastic dinosaur skeletons as well.  I mean, I really thought the museum bones were a superb find, but I figured those tricky pre-schoolers might be more impressed with a dinosaur they could actually see.  Next up, we poured several bags of sand into an already-blank spot in our landscaping, buried the bones and waited a few days for them to develop a "weathered" look.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (ranch house that is), we had to work on the Fancy Nancy aspect of the party.  I sent out eVites this year with an image from Fancy Nancy Explorer Extraordinaire and lots of extra fancy language (one of my daughter's favorite parts of the books).

I did some research and found lots of wonderful ideas for activities like decorating your own purses or hats and other very "girly" things.  Problem was, half of our guests would be boys.  So instead of girly accessories, we made "explorer boxes."  Basically, they were cigar boxes (again, provided by my neighbor) painted with gold metallic paint.  Inside there was a paintbrush (for dusting bones), a magnifying glass, and a pack of flash cards for dinosaur identification.  I bought Hobby Lobby out of clearance stickers and each child decorated their own explorer boxes.  Then it was on to the dig!  What fun the kids had rummaging around in the sand pit and unearthing the bones.  My son spent pretty much the whole party in the sand, digging and re-burying the bones.

If the kids got tired of the dino dig, we had the handy bounce house running at full throttle.  Truly, there is nothing better for entertaining kids than a bounce house.  Next it was time for "refreshments" as Fancy Nancy would say.  Pink and purple cupcakes, with sprinkles of course.  Fancy Nancy would never dream of a cupcake without sprinkles!  We also had fruit salad, PB&J dinosaurs, and Fancy Nancy's extra pink, extra fancy pink lemonade (recipe to follow), with bendy flower straws of course.

Overall, it was a great time.  The activities went over very well and my daughter had a blast.  Plus, the entire thing probably cost less than $100.  Like I said, luck was on my side with the dinosaur bones and the free bounce house.  But it did take some creativity and tips from helpful friends on pulling off an extra fancy, girly-girl yet boy-friendly party!  I guess now I can rest easy for another year.

Extra Fancy, Extra Pink Lemonade (From Fancy Nancy, Explorer Extraodinaire):

1 Concentrated can pink lemonade
1 can water *
1 bottle cranberry juice
1 Cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Mix and sip, daintily, with pinkie up if you please!
* This recipe really needs more than one can of water.  I diluted it a little and it was much better that way.   The kids loved it both ways though!

Merci to everyone involved, my Fancy Nancy loves you all!

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