Puppy Party -2yr- PuppyPalooza!
laura in winnetka, ca, USA
We had a puppy party for my two year old daughter who loves animals of all kinds, but had recently visited her grandma, who has two very busy puppies.
INVITATIONS: The invitations were printed with my home computer on white cards that I had been lucky enough to find at the local dollar store earlier in the year. On the cover they said, "please come to a PUPPYPALOOZA!" The inside had some cute clip art dogs and the party information. I then cut the whole thing out in the shape of a bone.
DECORATIONS: In the front of the house, I hung a sign made out of posterboard. It said "Welcome to Hannah's party!" and had some pictures of dogs playing on it. The party was held in our back yard and in our den. The yard has a nice grassy area and we had just put up a little tykes swing set/climbing structure, so it is pretty fun out there. We found great paper goods at Oriental trading company that featured dogs wearings sunglasses on a background of brightly colored balloons.
The main colors were red, orange and purple. We ordered the paper plates and napkins and a happy birthday banner. We borrowed a helium tank from my cousin and tied lots of baloons to the railing of the deck. They were high enough to be out of the reach of kids for safetys sake, and they added a lot of bright color. I got a pack of colored construction paper from the dollar store and cut out letters saying "Happy Birthday Hannah" and stapled them to the back fence. We have a couple folding tables, plus a picnic table in the yard.
I found some purple vinyl flannel back table cloths at the dollar store and used those, as they are a bit nicer that the plastic ones and the same price. We also brought out our very sturdy coffe table and covered it with a table cloth for the kids to sit at. We have a stack of toddler size plastic chairs from the dollar store (I just love that place!) and we set them around the coffee table. They are the perfect size!
We hung the pre-printed banner above the sliding glass door into the den. In the den, we basically just cleared things to make space. I put all the favor bags on the bar and displayed birthday cards on the mantle. The cake was displayed on a table with another purple vinyl tablecloth and a couple of ceramic puppy banks that I found at the dollar store. Of course the cake plates, red plastic forks and the napkins also added to the table. A few ballons and that was it.
FOOD: I am a lover of following through with a theme, so we served hot DOGS at the puppy party. It was actually pretty easy to put together, and everyone seemed to like it pretty well. We had 14 kids under the age of four and all their parents, and we fed everyone. We had hot dogs with buns and all the condiments, plus chili and cheese for those that wanted it. I served the hot dogs and chili in old cast iron pots, so they stayed pretty warm.
We also had a fruit tray from a local market deli. It would have been cheaper to put it together myself, but I was eight months pregnant and working full time when we had this party, and you have to make things easier when you can! A couple of bags of chips rounded out the meal, and everyone found something they could eat. We also served little bone shaped graham crackers and gummy dogs that I found at Target. They were served in small dog dishes from the dollar store.
For desert we of course had birthday cake and ice cream. I went to Jons market and talked to the bakery staff. They were kind enough to cut the cake into the shape of a bone. It was frosted in white and decorated with orange and purple.
FAVORS: I ordered some adorable stuffed dogs from the Oriental Trading Compnay, along with little packets of brightly colored bone candy and some brightly colored gift sacks. I put the dog and the candy in the sacks and folded the top over. I punced a hole in it and tied it with white curling ribbon that I had already and attatched a bone shaped card with the child's name written on it. It is a simple favor, but really cute and goes with the theme of the party.
ACTIVITIES: We let the kids have some free play for a while in the yard, and then the puppies arrived. We contacted a company called Pups and Reps. They brought out a dozen puppies and a puppy pen. The kids got to go into the puppy pen and play with and pet the puupies. Some of the moms and dads loved it as much as the kids. Some of the kids were scared to play with the puppies, so they continued to swing and play in the yard.
After about an hour, we served dinner. When dinner was over, it was really too cold to stay outside anymore so we went into the den and played "Pass the puppy." The kids sat in a big circle with their parents and passed a stuffed puppy around while music played. When the music stopped, the person holding the puppy got a prize, which were little plastic favor type toys from the dollar store. Of course, we made sure that everyone was holding the puppy and got a prize before we finished the game.
We then had cake and opened presents. Some of the kids wanted to play while presents were being opened, including my daughter, which was just fine. By then people were leaving, so we gave them their favor bags and said good-bye. We put a Lady and the Tramp video on the TV for the few close friends that stayed a bit longer and wanted to hang out.
It was so much fun, and not that difficult to do. It was pretty inexpensive, except for the puppy man, but it ended up costing less than if we had gone to a kid gym and purchased a party package, and it was so much more original and personal, and was based on what my daughter loved right at that time.
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