by Laura Weisskopf Bleill
If your child knows the difference between a triceratops and a trigonosaurus, he or she might be a prime candidate to have a Dino-Mite birthday party at the Anita Purves Nature Center.
An Urbana Park District facility located north of Crystal Lake Park (and the pool, RIP), Anita Purves Nature Center is a wonderful resource with a variety of programs, both indoor and outdoor. But we were there recently on a mission – to celebrate our dinosaur-obsessed pal’s birthday.
The party featured an hour program with a Center staff member, who guided our amateur paleontologists (mostly 4-year-olds) as they dug for dinosaurs (in a plastic container with sand and “bones” hidden in it) and made their own fossils (making handprints using homemade dough). They got to see some touch and see a real fossil, as well as a real dinosaur egg.
They also learned some new dinosaur-related vocabulary words such as “extinct.” They played some group games — such as hide the dinosaur bone and a dinosaur-themed bean-bag toss. Some kids opted to put together a dinosaur-themed floor puzzle.
After the program part was over, the room was available for another hour. The birthday boy’s parents planned some extra activities for the kids before enjoyed some snacks and birthday cupcakes. The family supplied all the paper goods and the food.
The room was big enough to accommodate the many parents and family members who attended the party, but the kids had plenty of room to move around and play.
That night, when we put our daughter to bed, we asked her what her favorite part of the day was. She said it was Theo’s party, giving it a seal of approval.
Need ideas for where to have your child’s birthday party? Check out the Chambanamoms.com Guide to Birthday Parties in Champaign-Urbana.