Avery turned three last week and we had a dog party for her. Let me just preface this by letting you know that I really don’t believe in big, over-the-top parties for children. I am adamant that our children’s parties are simple, family parties--which is almost always just our immediate family. They have had a few "friend" parties, but only a couple and they were pretty simple, too.
For some reason this year, though, I thought my youngest would really like a party with her friends. So I set out to plan a fun and simple party. And, I used my Silhouette for a great deal of this so I apologize to those of you without a paper cutter of some sort. Having done a lot of this type of thing in the past without a paper cutter, I know it is definitely possible! I patterned a lot of what I did after a party I found HERE at Bee in Our Bonnet. Talk about the hostess with the most-ess!
Avery wanted a blue dog party, but doesn’t know who Blue from Blue’s Clues is so I didn't go that direction even though it was tempting. This is how I did the invitation (except I forgot to photograph the real one since I waited until the last minute to get them out! The real one was made out of paper that looked like boards.):
When the children arrived, they were directed to our back yard where they received puppy ears (felt ears attached to headbands--no pics, sorry!) and went to our sandbox to dig for bones. The bones were pretty great looking (thanks to my husband) baked salt dough creations. The recipe (scroll down to the bottom of the page in the link) wasn't for baked dough so we did 275 degrees for one hour. I had written down 250 degrees for 2 hours but I don't know where that came from and I didn't have 2 hours! It worked like a charm, but the dough will get soft again if you get it wet. The damp sand in our sandbox was getting to the bones.
We were planning to play Frisbee Fetch and then let the children run around the backyard, but the wind would have taken our frisbees far away so we had to skip this one. I really lucked out with these frisbees that were sized just right for little friends--They started out as Spiderman frisbees from the dollar section at Target (4 for $1) and I just glued a picture over the Spiderman paper!
dog grooming station. Again, because we weren't spread out outside, it was kind of a dogpile (joke intended!) instead of being organized, but I think everyone like it. To set up a dog grooming station, collect all of the dog stuffed animals you can find. We have quite a lot at our house, so it wasn't hard, but we threw in a few other animals for good measure and no one minded at all. We "washed" the animals in the tin tub and then "dried" the fur with a Barbie blow dryer. This was a big hit because it turns on and has a gentle fan inside. You could also use a regular blow dryer (on cool) or don't turn it on at all. Then, we brushed out the fur with combs and brushes (mostly the Barbie or doll kind, but it doesn't matter what kind you use!) and then let the dogs look at themselves in handheld mirrors (a big hit). For older children, you could also tie bows or hair accessories in the dogs fur. Finally, the dogs got to line up along the couch to show off their pretty fur.
Next, the children ate lunch. While hot dogs would be the obvious choice, I didn't serve them because I noticed how few were eaten at a recent party involving many of the same children. Instead, we had Li'l Smokies cooked into homemade crescent rolls. We had fruit and snacks in dog bowls along with the rolls.
cake this year mostly because I rarely see young children eat cake! They tend to lick off the frosting and throw out the cake or take one or two bites and toss the rest, right? Instead, I made blue (of course) dog bones. The children looked at the plate of blue bones kind of funny when we sang "Happy Birthday," but they all ate at least one cookie!
I sent the children home with a "Doggie Bag" from Avery's Doghouse Diner. I think the pictures show it pretty well:
And this is what was inside the doggie bag: (Not sure what they will do with the dog leash, but they were also at the dollar section at Target and were clearanced for only 25 cents each! My own children have several of these around some of the their stuffed animals, so I thought other children might like that too.)
It was a pretty mellow party and fairly simple. There wasn't anything elaborate or amazing, but I thought it turned out really well. I made a thank you card by using a mirror image on my Silhouette and welding it together to cut out this outline that Avery then painted with watercolors and dot art markers. (She told me her dog had two tails but didn't seem to notice there were two bodies and two heads!)
Then, I wrote the thank you message and folded it up to look like one dog: