It took me a few days to get to this because I realized I needed a few more pictures. I still haven’t figured out how to interact with a birthday party and take photos documenting all of it at the same time. I didn’t have time to lay everything out and take photos before the party started. I barely had everything ready to go before kids were showing up, and I still had to throw a few things together while the kids were there. So some of these pictures were taken after the fact. Here are the details of the party.
I like to do themes that will be relevant to my kids and their current interests. My oldest loves to pretend she’s a dog and has been doing so for months. She especially likes to pretend she is Bolt or Martha from Martha Speaks. So the theme this year was a no-brainer.
For decorations, I printed out a bunch of paw prints and dog sounds in dialogue bubbles on different colored paper. I let my girls tape them all over the walls randomly. Maybe they would have been a bit more evenly dispersed if I had done it myself, but oh well. The girls sure had fun helping. The decorations have since been ripped off the walls, but here is a group of examples of what they looked like:
I also just had to make this wreath that I found on How Does She? What a great idea! I love how mine turned out. This was probably one of the most spendy projects I did for the party because I ended up using 200 balloons (8 packs at the dollar store), packing them in really tight. But the thing is, I don’t think I’ll ever buy balloons again! I’m just going to bring this baby out every time we have a birthday and skip having balloons floating around the house until they shrivel up or someone pops them (and inevitably cries their eyes out). I love it! I was thinking maybe I’d figure out a way to temporarily hang a number on it for the age each time.
Okay, on to the party itself. When the kids arrived, I let them choose a collar. Then I asked them what they wanted their dog name to be—anything they wanted. My girls, of course, were Martha and Skits. I made collars from grosgrain ribbon with adhesive velcro so they would be somewhat adjustable without any form of cinching.These were the three options of colors (chosen by “Martha”). I had to take a photo of the pink ribbon since all the pink collars were taken at the party. A party full of girls and all the pink gets used up. Go figure! The collars were already made except for the names. Once they had their collar and name chosen, we handed the collar off to my hubby to put the letters on with a hot glue gun. The letters are just letter beads; the colored ones are foam.
While he did that, we drew a nose and whiskers on faces and let the girls choose a pair of ears. I wanted to make some ears they could wear. After considering different options, it really came down to what I already had on hand, so I made them dog ear hair clips.
Look at these adorable doggies!
Once they were all dressed up as doggies, we had to practice being dogs. I gave them all sorts of commands, and they were very obedient little dogs. We practiced barking and howling. Then it was getting time for lunch, so we had to practice eating like dogs.
I kept the food pretty simple. We had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut like dog bones, dog kibble (chex mix), and sticks (carrots). They sat on a table cloth I laid out on the floor. I put their food in large paper bowls and let them choose if they wanted to eat like a dog or use their paws. Most chose to eat like a dog, and they drank from a separate bowl for water. They colored pictures of dogs while everyone finished eating, and then it was time for cake.
“Martha” wanted pink cupcakes, so that’s what we did. I used M&Ms and Mini M&Ms to make paw prints.
After that, we did a “dog walk,” which was actually a cake walk for prizes. The prizes were just silly bracelets in animal shapes. We made sure everyone had a turn winning, so no one went home disappointed.
Then we opened presents and sent them home with a bag of dog treats as a party favor:
The bags say, “Woof Woof, Arf, Yelp. Translation: It was a Treat to have you at “Martha’s” 5th Birthday.”
Some other ideas I had for the day were playing “dog, dog, cat” (duck, duck, goose). Or if I could have counted on the weather, we could have done some agility training and fetching outside. Also, if I had to do it over again, I would have tried to make some sort of tail they could wear for the party. But most of all, if I had ended up with a little extra money, I would have found a cat piñata :)
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