My daughter has been obsessed with dogs for the last year. She has an extensive stuffed dog collection, loves to play “doggie daycare” and says she wants to help dogs that don’t have homes when she grows up. So when it came time to choose a theme for this puppy lovers 4th birthday there was no second guessing that she was having a perfectly puppy party!
The Invitation- The Birthday girl was a puppy for Halloween so I used a photo of her in costume for the invitation. I always turn to Etsy for help in creating custom invitations and Jody Printing Shop had the perfect design for a reasonable price and a quick turn around time. I had the invitations printed on card stock at Walgreens.
The Decorations- My dad helped me make birthday banners in the party colors; red, white and black. I used the Cricut Machine to cut out bone, paw print and number 4 shapes and used them to decorate the banners. The banners were hung above the dessert table and throughout the house.
The center pieces consisted of dog bowls (purchased at The Dollar Tree) filled with puppy chow and graham cracker treats shaped like dog bones. We wrapped presents in paw print paper, used some stuffed pups from my daughter’s extensive collection and scattered some paw print cutouts on the table.
Our guests followed a paw print path as they made their way to the front door. On the front door was a dog bone banner announcing the birthday celebration.
The Cake- I found several dog cakes on Pinterest and the owner of Artistry on Cakes in Belleville, IL, captured my vision perfectly. The cake was white and filled with yummy raspberry filling and tasted moist and delicious!
Cupcakes and Cookies- Lillian and her Godmother made cupcakes the day before the party and we decorated them to look like puppy dog faces. Using Oreo cookies for ears, a red hot heart candy for a nose, a pink candy heart for the tongue and decorating eyes found in the cake decorating section of most stores, the cupcakes were too cute to eat! We also decorated some of the cupcakes to look like paw prints. We used a piece of baking chocolate for the center of the paw and brown m&ms for the small part of the paw. Nana used her yummy sugar cookie recipe and baked some delicious home made bone shaped cookies that she decorated with her Buttercream Frosting recipe! We served the cookies in dog bowls.
The Birthday Shirt- Whenever I need a custom shirt I run to Kim’s Boutique on Etsy. Kim worked with me to create this fabulous custom puppy shirt complete with the birthday girl’s name, age, birthday theme and color scheme. The birthday girl loved her shirt and wore it three days in a row! Kim is easy to work with, does quality work and the shirts arrive quickly.
Games & Activities- We played the game “Put the Dog Bone in the Bowl.” My dad drew a giant dog bowl and while blind folded the girls took turns trying to be the closest to place the dog bone in the bowl. We colored dog coloring pages and the girls enjoyed dancing to the song “Who Let the Dogs Out” and listening to a story about a dog named Perfectly Maggie. After the story I explained how they were going to adopt a dog to take come.
Adopt a Dog Stations
Each party guest got to “adopt a dog” to take home. After selecting a dog the girls went through the dog adoption stations. I purchased the stuffed dogs and most of the supplies for the various stations through Oriental Trading.
Dog Check Up- The littles gave their pup a medical exam using toy medical tools my daughter had in her toy chest.
Dog Bath- After a thorough check-up the girls gave their dog a bath in a doll bath tub and dried and brushed their dogs.
Dog Collar- The girls selected a collar for their dog. I found these cute dog themed bracelets at Oriental Trading and they were perfect for the dog collars.
Dog Toy- Each guest selected a colorful bouncy ball for their dog to play with. Another purchase from Oriental Trading.
Dog Food- I had a dog bowl filled with “dog food” (Reeses Cereal and pretzel sticks) and the girls scooped some into a bag for their dog to take home.
Dog Adoption Certificate- The adults helped the girls fill out an adoption certificate which included a place for the date, dog’s name and owner’s name. I found this certificate as a free download on the Oriental Trading website.
Dog Carrier- The last station was placing the dog in a dog carrier to take home. I found these adorable paper dog carriers at Oriental Trading.
Doggie Bag- Upon leaving, each guest took a “doggie bag” home filled with toys and treats. I purchased dog finger puppets and puppy party notepads from Oriental Trading. Other goodies included a sucker, dog stickers, a small Paw Patrol coloring book, Paw Patrol fruit snacks and dog bone shaped graham crackers.
The Gift of Giving- My sweet little girl decided to donate some of her birthday money to our local no kill animal shelter, Five Acres. On the day of her birthday we went to the shelter and met a dog named Clyde who suffers from allergies. The shelter was thrilled with Lillian’s generosity and gave us a list of shopping suggestions that ranged from office supplies to blankets to dog treats. Lillian had a blast shopping for the dogs and then delivering the items to the shelter. And the best gift was the realization that she doesn’t have to wait until she grows up to help dogs that don’t have homes!