My little Natalie…is not so little anymore. On her birthday on Wednesday we went to Disney on Ice. Today we celebrated her birthday with her friends. A few weeks ago we sent out an invite to come to the Daley Puppy Adoption Center. Most of my ideas came from a puppy party put on by the Crafting Chicks.
The kids were greeted by a sign on the front door.
Entryway décor (Dollar store paw print and polka dot wrapping paper and green butcher paper)
Their first stop was the Puppy Adoption Center, where they picked out a puppy.
Each dollar store puppy came in a cereal box, with one side cut off, and paw print paper hot glued around to cover. On the inside was a paw print fabric mat. Glued to the front was a name tag. To make it even easier, you
could use gift box bottoms/lids instead of cereal boxes cut up, and then
let them color them instead of covering with cute paper.
The kids were asked to name their puppy.
The polka dot trays seen above were the cereal box pieces cut off- with slits cut diagonal from the corners, then the sides folded up and hot glued together. I didn’t spend too much time on those, and was distracted watching Downton Abbey while making them..so they’re not very, ahem, professional looking.
They signed an adoption certificate, which I slid into their box under the fabric. It was nice to be able to check there and see who’s puppy was whose!
We put their name on a tag, and slipped it over their bodies to be on the puppy. (5 inches or so of ribbon hand sewed into a collar)
From the Adoption center they went to the store- Puppies R Us. At the store they could buy puppy vitamins (M&M’s in condiment containers, found with the plastic forks in walmart), a bouncy ball for their puppy, and puppy food (cocoa puffs).
Sophia was my puppy store employee- she wrote the person’s name on their paper bag so the supplies wouldn’t get lost. This room also served as a puppy kennel- a place to put their boxes and things while they played games or ate lunch. I sewed Sophia a puppy coat by copying the design of Natalie’s vet coat.
I bound the edges and pockets with satiny ribbon, which made it look like a little kids version of a smoking jacket. Still turned out cute though. I even added a clear pocket for a name tag- which is a little hidden under her hair.
Next they went to the puppy doctor and beauty salon. Natalie was so excited about her veterinarian kit from Christmas, we had a station for her and others to weigh, listen to the heartbeat, and do all the doctor things to the puppies. I sewed her a simple paw print skirt- which in this picture looks more like shorts. Weird.
At the puppy beauty salon the kids sprayed and brushed the puppies. I put a little bit of hair conditioner with lots of water in spray bottles. One kid kept asking- we can spray this FOR REAL, not for PRETEND? He was super concerned.
It took the kids about 45 minutes to get their puppies and for everyone to go around to every station. If I had to do this party over again, I would have done this during the last 45 minutes of the party. Then their parents would come and they’d still have all their supplies together- but more on that later.
Next the kids decorated party hats and little bowls for their puppy- aka water cones (bought in bulk at GFS, also great for making little trees, but I digress) and nut cups from the dollar store. I punched holes in the cones and tied elastic thread across. They decorated with markers.
Here’s pictures of two little puppies ready to get their party on.
Next we played games. We pretended to teach our puppies how to do tricks, like beg and sit and stand on one leg, etc. I tried to play a dog version of duck duck goose, but that crashed and burned. We had a barking contest, then my oldest daughter was pretty much ruining it because she wanted do overs and practice runs and everyone’s attention was gone, fast.
So I sent them to the last game, a bone hunt. I’d hidden bone sugar cookies all over the play room upstairs, so they had their puppies sniff them out. I had to remind them to only take one and to help their friends find one once they’ve found one.
You can see the sugar cookie here in this puppy’s party box:
Then I sent them off to play while we I made up the food. Here’s some pics of the dining areas- paper once again from the dollar store, and the puppy bowls are too.
I wish I would
have bought enough of the long skinny balloons to make balloon dogs for everyone
(we blow them up with bike pumps so it's easy to do).I was 2 short of enough for every kid, so I was ready to bring them out if I needed to, but we ended up rushing at the end.
We served hot dogs, french fries, apples and chex mix. I baked a funfetti cake with green icing and put on tinted coconut. We placed the little pet shop puppy on right before she blew out the candles.
We opened presents and ate some cake- and then everyone’s parents were here.
The best part of the day has been the last 4 hours of nonstop playing. Our friends were so generous, and it’s been quiet, not a peep out of Natalie, like Christmas all over again!
Overall the party went pretty well. Like I said before, I should have thought better about party order and starting times. I should have started the party at noon, fed them lunch, then do games, presents, cake- and the puppy stations last rather than first. Having the puppies first meant lots of lost puppies and lots of reminders to put their supplies in the dining room while they play. And serving lunch in the middle meant having free play time while we cooked everything and made up the plates.
I also learned my lesson with the guest list- everyone invited came- which almost never happens! I think I’ll be letting Natalie pick just a few friends next year, not everyone she goes to school with or sees during the week. (And yes, I say that every year and the next year rolls around and somehow there’s over 10 kids we HAVE to invite). But the kids were well behaved (for 5 year olds) and they had a great time. Which is all that matters.
Hooray for Puppies! And Happy Birthday to my not so little Natalie.