Puppy Party 2yr - Dog Biscuit Bakery
Kari in Becker, Minnesota USA
May 2005 Winner
For my son's second birthday we decided to have a puppy party for him. We don't have any pets, but our son is obsessed with dogs/puppies. I didn't want to have a character themed party, like Blue's Clues or Clifford. There wasn't much for generic puppy /dog themed party items, but I actually preferred to make my own things for the party.
INVITATIONS: I bought brown textured cardstock and printed a poem and information on them. The poem was from this site, but I changed it just a little. "Wagging happy tails and silly sloppy kisses, puppies barking their special birthday wishes. Their favorite little boy will soon be turning two, and we're really looking forward to celebrating with you!" Below that was all the party information. I bought a big bag of dog biscuits (brown, about 4 inches long) and used mod podge to give them a shiny coat. The biscuits had three holes already in them, just not all the way through. So I carefully chiseled out the rest of the holes. I then punched holes in the top of the invitations and used black ribbon to tie the biscuits on (also glued for support). On the envelopes I stamped paw prints along the top and bottom. I also used a stamp that said "woof, woof" with bones around it and also a puppy stamp in the middle.
DECORATIONS: I started planning this party six months before his birthday, so I was able to keep an eye out for things I could use. I rented the fellowship hall at out church, which worked out well with so many people and provided a neutral décor to work with. Another note, the colors I chose were black, white, and red. After Halloween I purchased a cardboard haunted house (playhouse) at 75% off. I painted the entire house tan (inside & out), the roof black, the shutters red with black bones (like the cutouts on real shutters), and I painted a little dog next to the front door (traced onto vellum from a coloring book, then taped it to the house, and used an exacto knife to score the lines onto the house). I also cut off both the front and back doors to make it look like a dog house, and so the kids could crawl through it easily. At the party I put down a big remnant of carpet underneath, and spread out frisbees, tennis balls, and other assorted balls.
I used white tag board to cut out giant dog bones, which I hung from the ceiling. I used the remainder of the tag board and cut out tons of little dog bones, using a cookie cutter for the pattern. With these I made a Happy Birthday _ _ _ _ _ _! Banner. I also hung these all over the walls and doors.
I bought a puppy calendar (cheap) and matted the pictures on red tag board. I hung these up on the wall. I cut lots of circles from black cardstock in two sizes. I taped down one big one and four small ones onto the floor to make paw prints leadings all over the room. I made signs on my computer saying Beware Of Dog, No Cats Allowed, Wipe Your Paws, and Puppy Crossing with appropriate clipart for each one. These I hung on doors and walls around the room. I hung birthday hat window clings and 101 Dalmatian window clings (puppies only) on the doors leading into the hall. I ordered paw print balloons from an E-Bay store. I also bought red, black, and white balloons. I rented a helium tank (I always find it's well worth the money). I tied clusters of three different balloons in varying heights with curling ribbon and tied them to stuffed dogs or baskets of stuffed puppies. These were placed on all the tables, in window sills, in the entry way, and a few outside the church. Also on the tables I scattered around red birthday confetti and dog biscuits. I used all my sons stuffed puppies and also borrowed lots from family. The big puppies sat individually on tables, and the smaller one were placed in baskets (lined with bandanas).
GAMES/ACTIVITIES: The first activity I did with the kids when everyone arrived was send them to the Grooming Station. I made signs on my computer and made standing signs in the middle of the tables (balloons coming from the tops of them). I made dog tags ahead of time. I cut red felt into strips (two different sizes for different ages) and glued on Velcro at the ends. I used metal juice can lids and punched a hole at the top, then used black ribbon to hang them from the collar. I cut circles from magnet sheets, which made placing and removing them from the juice lids easy. I stamped a puppy onto each one, and then wrote each child's name on it. I placed a can of colored pencils (ribbon tied around it) on the table so the kids could color their own puppy on their collars. They were then given their puppy ears, which I made. I bought two packs of headbands at a dollar store. I covered each one completely in brown felt and glued two floppy felt ears onto each. The kids all loved wearing their puppy gear and looked adorable. I had also thought about painting their noses and adding whiskers, but after trying out a few face paints/crayons I decided not to. They all seemed to smear really easy, and having five of the kids under three I figured it wouldn't turn out well.
When the children were done and waiting for others (and throughout the party) they could go to a corner area where I had a TV & VCR set. Up. I put little black cushions around for them to sit on and had several puppy themed videos for them to watch. (I will definitely do this again. The kids really liked it and it provided a calm activity.)
The next station was the Dog Biscuit Bakery. I had made dog bone shaped sugar cookies, each child got to decorate three. I pre-filled puppy Dixie cups with frosting for each child (puppy & kitty Dixie cups - picked out puppies). I had lots of different sprinkles and sugars for them to use. After they were done we covered their plates with saran wrap and placed a pre-made label on them. (I took white labels and stamped a puppy on them and wrote each child's name on one.)
The last activity was Feed The Puppy. I took a large square piece of wood and painted a puppy head onto it (blown up and traced outline on). The painting took tons of time to do, but it turned out so great. I had my husband cut out the puppy's mouth and add little legs (painted) underneath to make it stand. I made five bone bean bags out of white felt. These were kept in a small new dog bowl. The kids each took turns tossing the bones into the puppy's mouth, then they got to pick a puppy sticker. All the kids played this over and over.
I also had two adult activities. The first was Guess How Many Bonz, where I filled a small jar (ties with ribbon) with Bonz candy. I made little guess sheets with clipart and a small box covered in brown paper and stamped with paw prints to put their guesses in. The winner received the jar of candy.
The second game was Name That Breed (written on a giant dog bone attached to game). I printed 40 pictures of dogs off the internet and glued them to a display board (painted in Dalmatian print) and numbered. I made answer sheets with the 40 breeds and number 1-40 for matching. I also had a larger box covered in paw prints for the answer sheets to go in also. The winner received a small dog bowl filled with lots of different candies tied up with cellophane and ribbon. (I wasn't sure if many adults would want to do this, but every single person did and they all really got into it.)
FOOD/BEVERAGE: All food items had a little namecard with a small picture of a puppy on it (cut from back of calendar). I had lots of snacks, but I will just list the puppy related one for you: BBQ Hot Dogs, Puppy Chow (cereal snack mix), & Bone sugar cookies. Most food items were served in large new dog bowls. For the drinks I had pre-labeled the kid's cups with their names (same as biscuit bakery), as to try and cut down on wasting so many cups. I also had some empty labels and a pen handy for any adults who wanted to label their cups.
CAKE: Instead of a cake, I made paw print cupcakes. I used a small chocolate mint and four upside down chocolate chips (poked into cupcake). They turned out really cute. I had also tried making dog bone shaped ice cream by softening ice cream and spreading it into a large cookie sheet, freezing, and cutting with a cookie cutter. These did not work at all, would not recommend trying. \*We served the kid's cupcakes and ice cream in a small new dog bowls (Ikea $0.25) with their names written on with a paint pen. (They also got to keep these.)
FAVORS: The kids each received a bag filled with a stuffed puppy (Target $ Spot - labeled with their name so there wasn't any confusion), puppy coloring book ($ store), puppy stickers (Target $ Spot), and Scooby Bone Snacks. (They also got their puppy ears, dog collar, bone cookies, dog bowl, & balloons.) I tied the bags with a ribbon and attached a little card I made with an embossed puppy on the front, with a thank you note from my son (also sent one later).
For the adults I made little boxes from brown/tan cardstock. I stamped on puppies, woof, woof, and bones (which I embossed) and tied them shut with a ribbon. Inside I placed red and white paper crinkles and almond bark bones (I made them). I found the bone mold at a cake decorating store.
THANK YOU NOTES: \*I printed out pictures of my son wearing his cute puppy shirt, puppy ears, and dog collar. I matted these onto red paper and then on the back wrote the note. I also stamped the envelopes with Thank You all along the top and bottom.
LAST WORDS: This party was so much fun to plan and I loved making my son so happy. Every time he saw me working on any thing (party related or not) he would ask, For my puppy party?. He was so excited for his party and I know he absolutely loved it. I'm already starting to think of next year's party!
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