Puppy party is a really common theme according to Pinterest, so many ideas I only took a fraction.
According to my favorite developmental book series, this year’s birthday needs lots of quick activities and plenty of loot for the guests. Apparently 6 is the most self-centered age after 2 (and before 12) and they are all concerned with fairness and/or getting the most. I can see that with Zoe in some ways but get 10 6-year-olds together and it’s like getting smacked in the face with 3d models from the book. The loot aspect (their word) was not hard, we already had planned activity 1-3 to include making/getting something that was theirs. The ‘doggie bag’ at the end was pretty trivial really.
As kids arrive they recommend an independent style art project so as kids arrive they can just join in.
#1 – adopt a puppy – Oriental traders had the best deal so each pup was $1
#2 – make a collar for the pup – we used pipe cleaners and letter beads. This one ended up needing a bit of help since the holes were small and some kids are not confident spellers yet but they liked them. About half the pups were named after the kids, they know how to spell that for sure. I got WAAAAY too many beads (1pack of 250 and 1 500) but I didn’t want to run out and now I have extra for all my future letter bead needs
#3 – decorate a dog house – I pre set up these boxes and cut out a half circle so the dogs could peek out. Some kids really used the markers and stickers, some didn’t, but it filled the time nicely as kids were arriving.
Niamh played party game director as they played ‘fetch’ where she threw balls and they ran around the yard. They also played some version of tag… They got semi-bored of the games in about 10 minutes and so we did the classic pin the tail on the dog
not that you should have any trouble with this game but things that made it easy for me were;
- I used leftover double sided tape from another project and left the paper on the ‘outside’ sticky so they could peel away while waiting in line
- I put the board on the kid easel that way it can be played anywhere, no wall needed
We all went in for a snack – I amended my earlier version by using peeps instead of cupcakes because the frosting made a mess last time and the peeps hold the candy in better. Unsurprisingly a pretty glass full of candy was well received by the group.
While snack was consumed (and many m&ms spilled on the floor) we opened presents – dull to most involved so we kept it snappy and rolled into another little game “doggie doggie wheres your bone” that they played a round or 3 while I got the cake ready.
Top off the party with cake and pre scooped icecream (best party hack ever! scoop into cupcake papers and keep in a cupcake tray in the freezer until serving) and fruit.
We had one other activity set up; a photobooth. Sounds more complicated but it was a tablet on a tripod with a special tablet holder for hands-free use. I set the tablet to stay on and I activated the voice activation so they could say “smile” and it would take a picture. I had some props and a backdrop but they moved it a bit to suit themselves. Given how tech savvy the kids are this was awesome activity. They took 300 pictures, 8-10 are classically good, and there are a ton that are crazy fun over all for the set up it was a hit.
This took a whole hour and a half, they were not joking about them running through the activities. However, our education system has conditioned them all to love “free choice” so I told them all that after one group picture they all had “free choice” and there were cheers. Soon the squeals of glee threatened to take the house down and my friend and I churned out balloon animals and swords to the point where no kid left the party without a puppy a house a collar 2-3 balloon creations the official ‘doggie bag’ and some with a helium baloon (if they asked). One of our favorite friends left with 50% less because she would forget her head if it were not attached and I found her sweater under a chair and her puppy in the yard etc.
Other than the whole lice thing it was a wonderful party on a great day with minimal fuss. The only regret is that with this theme Zoe’s extreme desire for a real dog is now cranked up to 110.
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