Dragons may breathe fire, storm castles and act all fierce, but I happen to know they have a cute and cuddly side. How do you get them to show their kinder, gentler nature? Well, you invite them to your dragon-themed birthday party, of course!
And that's exactly what we did to celebrate our daughter, Caylie's 3rd birthday. Caylie has been a fan of dragons from as far back as when she first learned to talk. Often she would point out of the window and tell me there were dragons on the front lawn. So, it really wasn't a surprise when she requested this particular birthday party theme. What was a surprise, however, was how few dragon decorations I managed to find available through party supply stores. Most of what I did discover consisted of Asian-style dragons, which were nice, but not quite the "cute" dragons I had in mind. And so began my venture into DIY dragon party supplies.
Party hats were easy enough to make with free clipart images printed on colored, cardstock paper. I also cut some foam board into "spiky" triangles and wrapped them around party horns so that the paper that unfurls upon blowing would resemble fire-breathing dragons.
In the dollar store, I came across a package of squiggly balloons that inspired the creation of these balloon dragons.
Luckily, Caylie did have a couple of toy dragons in her collection that I was able to use as party props, like this plush guy who kept her seat warm at the head of the party table.
And we had "Sparky," the giant dragon who ruled over the sandbox, along with his army of small, plastic dragon friends (okay, the small ones were toy dinosaurs, but they looked kind of like dragons -- and Sparky didn't seem to know the difference).
One of my favorite things to use at kids parties is a chalkboard. We made this one by painting a cardboard box with chalkboard paint. Propped at the entrance, it welcomed guests to our very own "Dragonville," and later became a fun place for kids to sketch and draw between party activities.
Note the red, danger tape? I found it in the hardware store and thought it made a good solution for keeping three-year-olds contained in the large, unfenced yard space. The "danger" element was an added bonus that seemed to fit well with the dragon theme.
Another element that worked well for our dragon theme was the snake-style sprinkler we already had in the garage. With its winding length of hose and several sprayers, we called it a "Dragon's tail" and designated that part of the yard "Dragon Spray Canyon."
The kids' pop-up play tent and tunnel was easily connected to Dad's camping tent to create dragon caves in which the kids could play.
And as soon as we built "Dragonville," we knew it needed a place for visitors to stop and eat, so our kitchen became the "Dragon Café", complete with a welcome sign and menu board.
In the Dragon Cafe, kids got to enjoy favorite party foods like Dragaroni and Cheese, which they washed down with dragonfire juice they made by shaking some magic powder into their water bottles.
A watermelon carved into a dragon was another offering the kids really seemed to enjoy.
But of everything the Dragon Café served the favorite by far was the dragon cake, complete with fire-breathing candles.
Kids even got to "slay" the dragon cake by stabbing their forks into the piece they desired!
And, speaking of dragon slaying, they got to do it again by swinging away at this homemade, paper mache, dragon pinata.
There were also dragon-themed party invitations, party games and favors for all the little dragons to enjoy. All in all, I think my dragon party ideas sent them home happy, tired, and ready for their tails to be tucked in so they could snore fire and dream of their day spent in Dragonville.
Read More: Dragon Party Ideas
Images courtesy of Christine Gauvreau