Monday, September 27, 2010

Calling all DOGS

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.):

The only decorating I did was around our table and her family presents. I went with the dogs but used the pink and green theme that she generally likes. These were my all-time favorite decorations to date. To make these, accordian-fold paper or cardstock (2 per circle). Open out each one into a semi-circle and glue the ends together to hold that shape. The glue each semi-circle to the other and it will make a whole circle. Add your design to another cardstock circle and glue to the center of your accordian-folded circles. Be sure to do the same thing on the back side to hide the places where your papers are joined. Simple and fun!

I planned for an outside party since it was supposed to be really warm, but it was also extremely windy so we had to move inside. While I am flexible, I don't shift gears too well, so I forgot half of what I was planning to do outside! Here's what the plan and some of the activities turned out to be:

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!
 Next, the children came inside to the 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.

Since I was planning to be outside, I added a bone name tag to every cup because they get misplaced so easily. It really wasn't necessary inside since the children left their cups at their places at the table, but the bone added to the general dog ambiance.

I chose not do a 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:

 Here's to keeping things simple!
(I'm linking HERE this week.)
(and to Get Your Craft On)post signature


The Tarbet Family,  said... September 27, 2010 at 8:08 AM  

Hallie loved it! My kids all were jealous over her leash and bowl. . . The kids have all taken turns clipping the leash on their shirts and wearing the dog ear headbands. It was pretty fun to watch all weekend :) Fun times!!!

Brittni Schroeder Photography,  said... September 27, 2010 at 8:38 AM  

Are you kidding me right now? So stinkin cute! Happy Birthday to my little friend AVERY!

Marie {Make and Takes},  said... September 27, 2010 at 12:07 PM  

Ahhhhh! What a fabulous dog party!! So cute. I love those paper lollies with dog silhouettes!

Two Shades of Pink,  said... September 27, 2010 at 12:28 PM  

Cute, cute, cute....all of it. The doggie bags were my favorite but this was really creative and fun.

Nancy,  said... September 28, 2010 at 12:08 AM  

How cute!!! My little girl likes too pretend to be a dog so she would LOVE this!!! I love the decorations, especially the paper lollies!

Anonymous,  said... September 28, 2010 at 8:34 AM  

You put a lot of thought and great details into this.
I hope she remembers, although if she does you my have to repeat this year after year.

Unknown,  said... September 28, 2010 at 12:41 PM  

Your party turned out so cute. I love, love, love the colors you used. I've always wanted to do a dog party too! Thank-you so much for the link and the sweet things you said! Your blog is so fun, and I'm so glad I found it!

malia,  said... September 30, 2010 at 1:49 AM  

doggone adorable! would love for you to link this up to a crafty soiree linky party--

So Sunny Day,  said... September 30, 2010 at 2:16 PM  

That is just fantastic! I love all the details and the dog washing game sounds like so much fun for a party :)

~Emily N. from "too Blessed to Stress"

Sew Can Do,  said... October 3, 2010 at 9:50 AM  

So creative and everything looks so good!!! Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday:)

Katie,  said... October 6, 2010 at 9:29 PM  

Thanks for sharing you dog gone fabulous party - sorry couldn't help it, at A Crafty Soiree! I love how you tied everything together even the cute thank you cards. Please join us next time too!

Cathy,  said... October 18, 2010 at 3:40 PM  

What a cute party! My 2 year old loves puppies, and I've been looking for some dog clip art to applique a shirt for her. Did you use clip art for your dogs?

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