Dinosaur Cupcakes and PK Party Lessons Learned

The birthday bashing and baking continued as I prepared these dinosaur cupcakes for AJ’s PK3 class. His preschool allows birthday celebrations during the last half hour of the school day. It was a good opportunity to make AJ feel special–while also checking out his new classroom dynamics. I also learned a few things from this experience that I am noting for next time.

I had a moment of doubt last night when AJ requested “Spiderman cupcakes.” I was not set up for that! This morning I found out why: A classmate’s birthday was yesterday, and that child’s mom served Spiderman cupcakes. I kept the faith that AJ would love his dinosaur cupcakes–and he did.

So, these are chocolate-chip cupcakes topped with blue-green buttercream, rainbow sprinkles and plastic toy dinosaurs from a dinosaur toy set that I got from Amazon, originally intended for favor bags for his big party last weekend. AJ’s little face lit up when he saw them on the cupcakes. These dinos are pretty cool because they are several different species–and the 3-year-olds were able to identify some of them (I credit “Dinosaur Train”).

OK, so here are my lessons learned from doing a PK birthday celebration at school:

  • If you hand out a favor, make sure it doesn’t suck. I handed out dinosaur masks. The kids were pretty excited, but the elastics on the masks immediately snapped undone for about half of the kids. So then there were multiple 3-year-olds wanting their masks fixed by the few adults in the room. It was a small disaster until they were distracted by cupcakes.
  • Cupcakes are a good idea (or anything in individual portions). You really can’t serve a large group (19!) of 3-year-olds fast enough.
  • Mini-cupcakes are an even better idea. I made full-size cupcakes. Mini would have been better. Most of the children just ate the frosting anyway. Also: smaller portion, less sugar (I say this as someone whose child had a sugar breakdown on the way home).

The birthday party theme will continue when I follow up with a list of Birthday Party Venues on the Hill. Stay tuned!

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