Amount of Time: 5 to 20 hours.
Budget: $100 – $500
Age Group: 5 and Under
Number of Guests: 5 guests
Indoor/Outdoor: Either is fine
Special Notes: Many children of all ages love dogs and so the theme is adaptable to older children as well. These particular suggestions are meant for the 5 and younger crowd. Really these parties should not go more than 1 hour to 90 minutes. If you hire an entertainer, it will cut down on the activities you will plan, but there is plenty below to help you fill the time as well.
Given the age group, you really don’t have to spend a lot of money to entertain the children, so this party plan gives you a good assortment of activities for different budgets. Many of the games will take little time to plan as well ~ as they are old favorites.
It would be great to have the family dog around as well to make it even more authentic!!
Make the invitation in the shape of a dog house. When they open the flaps to the inside of the dog house, all of the information will be there.
Make the invitation in the shape of a bone.
Use “puppy speak” on the invitation, i.e. “Come join us for a bow-wow good time!”
Create paw prints in all shapes and sizes that lead to the party house. You can put them on your sidewalk, on the pathway to the front door, and into and around the party area.
Use old, large boxes and make them into individual dog houses ~ one for each of your guests. The kids will be able to enter their doghouses and play. This will work well with 5 or fewer guests. If you have more, you have always just have the fronts of doghouses and lean them up against the party room’s walls. Make sure to make each one unique with each of the kids’ names on them. You could also make just one big doghouse out of a large box for all of the kids to play in together. In the doghouse, put balls, Frisbees, and soft toys for them to play with. They will love this.
Have festive balloons. You can choose any colors for this party, unless you are having a particular dog theme, i.e. a Dalmatian, and then everything could be black and white and spots.
Cut out giant dog bones and put them all over the party room. One in particular can say “Happy Birthday” on it.
Make dog signs, “Wipe your paws!” or “No Cats Allowed” to add to the puppy theme.
Spread doggie confetti and milk bones on the party table for a festive look. You could place doggie stuffed animals on the table for a centrepiece and have the dog hold onto some balloons…these may be the special puppy helium balloons.
You can do any color of tablecloth for your party…even white and then leave crayons and stickers on the table and the kids can decorate the paper tablecloth themselves. You can match it with doggie plates, napkins, cups, etc. Or, just use primary colors to match the balloons you bought and to coordinate.
Have the kids make doggie ears. Attach felt ears to a painter cap and decorate the hat.
Have the kids decorate their own doggie collars. Provide little collars made out of felt or paper, and provide doggie stickers, glitter, markers, and crayons for the kids to decorate and wear for the duration of the party. You could also provide beads and string and have them string a collar for themselves.
Have the kids color and/or draw pictures of their favorite dogs.
Make dog masks using a paper plate. Have them decorate the plate and then attach elastic string and cut out the eyes for the children to wear them.
Upon arrival, have kids go to the Doggie Groomers. Here, you can have face-painting, where children get a black nose and perhaps a little doggie on their cheeks and whiskers. Also, you could have them make puppy ears here to wear throughout the party, as well as a doggie collar to wear. (See crafts above)
Make dog bone sugar cookies and have the kids decorate them with frosting and candies. They can eat tem right up.
Play “Puppy Puppy Dog” as you would “Duck Duck Goose.”
Do a bean bag toss and have them throw it either into one of the doghouses you have made or you could make a puppy mouth out of cardboard.
Have a doggie water bowl relay race.
Play tug of war, if outside or in a large space.
Play “Pin the Tail on the Puppy.”
Play “Red Rover.”
Hide dog biscuits with numbers on it, when the children find the bones, give them a prize that corresponds to the number on the bone.
If you are throwing a character dog party, then hire an entertainer to attend.
Read a story of this character to the children, i.e. Clifford, Scooby, 101 Dalmations, etc.
Play “Hide and Go Seek” and have the children count in the doghouse that you have made.
Play “Musical Doghouse,” have the children crawl through the doghouse (so make sure you have two openings) while you play music. When the music stops, whoever is in the doghouse is out of the game. Continue until you have a winner.
Play with a friendly family dog!
Play “Dog Trainer” says, just like “Simon Says.”
Serve hot dogs, puppy chow mix (chocolate chips, Chex cereal, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and butter), pretzel sticks, carrot sticks, cookies in the shape of a dog bones, little sandwiches cut out into bone and dog shapes.
Make sure to serve the food in little dog bowls. You can paint the kids names on the bowls and decorate them with mini-bones as well.
I love this puppy cake recipe from FamilyFun.com:
Give the kids their doggie bowl as a favor, along with their doggie collar and headband that they made. In addition, you could give the kids a puppy coloring book and crayons, puppy stickers, and maybe some “Scooby Snacks!”
Your goody bag can actually be a lunch bag that you decorate to loo like a dog: fray the top portion to loo like hair and draw a doggie face on the front of the bag.