Clifford Party -3yr- Doggie Bag Favor
Ariana in Mission Viejo, Ca USA
For my Son's third birthday he wanted to have a Clifford the Big Red Dog themed party. I started planning very early (about 5 months) because I really wanted to do something special for him this year. I started with a very special invitation.
I took a digital photo of Oliver riding on the back of a large stuffed horse he has. Then, using Photoshop, we edited the photo to look like he was riding on the back of Clifford. To get the Clifford image I had scanned in a sticker. (I had some help with this from my very talented sister-in-law). Then, I had the images printed and cut them out. Using colored card stock I folded in half and trimmed the top to look like the roof of Clifford's dog house. I then glued on a door shape and the picture of my son riding on Clifford was mounted on top of that, so it looked like they were in front of the dog house.
I then attached a word bubble from Clifford's mouth that said, "Woof! You're invited to a birthday party!" and inside it read, "Pizza, fun, and surprises there'll be Big boy Oliver is turning three! Please join us for a dog gone good time".
I mounted this on another square of card stock in a contrasting color that I had punched paw prints out of using a paw print punch. I put a small clifford sticker on the inside, along with the other characters from the cartoon. I bought navy blue vellum envelops from the local craft store and used a white paint marker to address them, and embellished them with red clifford stickers. I also ordered photostamps from Stamps.com with Oliver's picture on them for mailing the invitations. They turned out amazing - everyone loved them.
For the Party I found some Clifford stuffed animals on ebay that I used a centerpieces for the tables. I blew up balloons in red, yellow, blue, and lime green, with a helium tank I bought at costco and tied them in bunches of 5 around the yard and some on the front door. The table cloths were blue, red plates and napkins, and clifford cake plates.
The décor was simple but festive and was obviously Clifford style. There were about 10 kids invited, ranging in age from 2 to 10, so I wanted something for them to do that they would enjoy. I went with the dog tag idea, which I thought was really cute. I ordered ball chain necklaces from ballandchain.com online and bought large size metal rimmed key tags from the local office store.
Then, I found a bunch of cute little dog stickers, some were Clifford, but there were other choices as well. I decided to pre-decorate some tags and leave others blank so the kids could do their own. With markers I made cute designs on one side and left the other blank so that a name could be written.
On the design side, the kids could choose one or several stickers they wanted to put there. They loved this project and they all couldn't wait to wear their tags. I also had red Clifford ears that I found on sale to give to the kids instead of party hats. Most of them loved to wear those as well. We painted their noses black to look like dog noses.
Then, we went out into the back yard where we all called together, "Clifford, its party time!". I had hired a party entertainment company to send a Clifford character for the entertainment. He was great and it was hilarious to watch the expressions on the kids faces when he emerged from the side yard. He had a bunch of games and activities to do with the kids, including balloon animals, magic tunnel, basketball game, tug of war, relay races, and kept the kids happy and entertained while I was busy with the food.
We kept the food simple: pizza, salad, fruit and veggies, chips and salsa.
For the cake, I decided to order from a local bakery this year because we were expecting a lot of people. It was decorated to look like grass with four really cute dogs made of frosting and red paw prints and red wording that said "Happy Birthday Oliver". He was thrilled with the cake and it was delicious.
For party favors: Each child got a doggie bag with a variety of little toys and candy that my son picked out. One favor was a dog bowl filled with cookies and a candy bone that looked like dog food. I found those online as well (its called Kooky Chew). The kids loved the little dog bowls and are using them to play with their stuffed animals.
But the highlight of the favors was Oliver's birthday CD. I had made a playlist of a collection of Oliver's favorite music from his third year and burned them onto CDs to give to each family that came. I made a CD jacket with Oliver's picture on the cover (the same one I used for the postage stamps) and it was titled "Just Oliver - Third Year Favorites". On the inside cover I had the picture of Oliver riding Clifford with the playlist layered on top. It turned out great and everyone keeps telling me how much they are enjoying the CD.
I took a picture of all the kids with their ears on standing with Clifford that I will send out with the thank you notes. Oliver was thrilled with the party and keeps telling everyone we meet on the street about it. It was a fun day and a party we will never forget.