Prep: head bands-thin kind with covered metal (in brown, black or white), felt for
ears and tail made to coordinate with head bands, hot glue gun ears to headbands,
cut out tails , face paint or lipstick and eyeliner for nose and whiskers (optional)
Do headbands ears and tails ahead!
When kids arrive, allow them to get into character by letting them select their dog
"costume." Have only a couple of options for colors (Or keep color all the same--you
decide)...duplicates of colors make easier selection for everyone. We used the colors
of the headbands as a guide. White, we put dots for a Dalmatian. We made only floppy
kinds of ears and all the same...like a basset hound. Tail was about 6-8 inches...
basic dog tail. You can have them tuck them in to the waist band (or optional-safety
pin to waist--be sure to remember this though for upcoming game!). Optional put nose
and whiskers on only if the guests would like it... consider allergies too, so check
with parents first...or just fore go this portion.
Prep: dog dishes (cheap) for dog snacks, set out dog-like treat snacks (Combos, Scooby
Snacks, Coco Puffs, or Captain Crunch peanut butter flavored).
Have the kids get into character and practice doing dog tricks with dog treats set
in bowls on counter. Each kid as they arrive at the party can join in after selecting
their ear/tail. Have a list of tricks they can practice while you are attending
new guests. Tricks: Sit, Sit/Stay, Roll-over, Shake, Playing Dead, Crawling. Have
them create their own special trick...that, hopefully, does not include the furniture!!
Select a Dog:
Prep:Purchase cheap stuffed animal dogs (check dollar stores or craft stores),
small basket (craft stores), Write cards of doggie personality descriptions. As a
cheaper alternative you can have guests bring a dog stuffed animal from home...just
be sure to put it on the invitation!
Once all guests have arrived, have each select a dog to adopt based on the dog description.
Can let kids pick one at a time or all at once. Younger kids may like similar dogs,
so consider this when selecting dogs at time of purchase... consider all the same
style or color, if available. Older kids can generally be more accommodating and
flexible with the selections.
**Note--I found small 3-4 inch dogs at a craft store in the dollar section a few
weeks before the party and then purchased small baskets with little lids to prop
the dogs in, also from same store. You can certainly be creative with what you choose;
other possibilities depending on the size dogs you find would be small gift bags,
gift boxes, Chinese Take-out looking gift boxes...use your imagination!
Adopt a Dog:
Prep: Modify, create or purchase certificates for your party, Print Certificate,
pen to fill in dog name and pet owner name, (optional: list of possible dog names)
Once the selection of dogs has been completed, have the guests select dog names for
their new (stuffed) pet. You may want to consider having a list of name choices for
those who are having difficulty finding coming up with a name. Fill out certificate
of pet ownership with dog name and owner name.
Id Tags:Use Shrinky Dinks (see craft stores) --trace and cut into circles about
the size of a standard drinking glass (about 2- 2 1/2 inches-- can use the glass
as a stencil), use Hole-punch to punch hole in the top of the UNBAKED Shrinky Dinks--MUST
do this before baking!! Make enough circles for each child to have two circles (an
ID tag for their dog and one for a bracelet for themselves.) Colored pencils, required.
Follow directions on Shrinky Dinks package. (Need cookie tray, oven, and construction
paper or grocery bag)
Have kids color on the rough side of the Shrinky Dink circle with colored pencils.
On one circle they can include the name of their dog and decorate...on the other
circle they can decide to make a matching id tag or do something else for their bracelet
charm. Once all the circles are finished follow the directions on the package for
heating them in the oven. Have kids work on bowls when finished. Set aside ID tags
until later to allow time to cool.
Prep:Need plastic (human or dog) bowls (grocery type storesor dollar stores for
good options), wash bowls before eating, and colored Sharpie Permanent Markers.
IMPORTANT NOTE:Instruct kids to decorate only on the OUTSIDE OF THE BOWL...not
in the portion where they put food!! Bowls can be put aside and used later for dessert
(ice cream/ brownie sundaes or cake to be eaten Doggie style--Look MOM! NO Hands!).
Scavenger Bone Hunt:
Prep: actual bone-shaped dog biscuits (medium or small size), Count out desired amount
to hide (remember that number), Hide (inside or out)
Have the guests each find at least one dog biscuit (based on the number you have
hidden.) It is like an egg hunt but with dog biscuits!
Catch the Tail Game:
Prep: Make sure everyone has a doggie tail tucked into waist band or back pocket
of pants (tails should not be pinned for this activity)
Have the guests get into a line all front to back. Have them place their hands on
or around the waist of the person immediately in front of them. The head person
tries to catch and capture the tail of the last person. The people at the end are
trying to keep the head from catching the tail. Fun (Loud) outside activity.
Option instead of Catch the Tail:
Duck, Duck, Goose--Played as Woof, Woof, Howl or Cat, Cat, Dog. Sit in a circle.
One person lightly taps seated players heads saying...(insert your option here)
Woof, Woof, Woof, Woof, and on HOWL...the seated person must get up to chase the
Woofer...the Woofer must make it around the circle to where the Howler sat before
he/she is tagged. If they do not make it they sit in "the doghouse" (the middle)
for a round; if they make it they get to sit in the circle. The Howler is now the
Best time to get dinner or cake/dessert ready. (optional)
Prep: Measure the length of elastic to fit around the size dog you have selected
for the adoption... allow enough to be able to tie the elastic. Tie a bead to one
end of the string to allow for easy beading with little fingers. Do the same for
elastic with bracelets for guests--cut and tie one bead on to one end. Put beads
in several small bowls for easy reach for all guests. Cut doggy ribbon for leashes.
ID tags for dogs and for bracelets. (Optional-print Dog Match Activity for those
Give each guest a string for their dog collar and their bracelet. Each guest will
also receive the ID tags they made earlier as well. Instruct the kids to use the
beads to string their collars and bracelets--be sure to instruct them to put the
ID in about halfway through the beading process. Have the kids after they have finished
beading to lay simply the string of beads on the table by their place and to let
you know they have finished. (DO NOT LET THEM HAND THEM TO YOU--BEADS GO EVERYWHERE
IF THEY PICK UP THE WRONG END)
To eliminate "bead-flying-episodes", you (or another adult) instead of the guest
should tie the strings together for both the collar and the bracelets. Have the guests
tie a ribbon to the collar for the leash.
*If the kids finish early, they can begin to practice their tricks for the up coming
agility training or do the Dog Match Activity.
Circle games-Pass the Bone and Doggie, Doggie Where's Your Bone?:
Pass the Bone- Played like a combo Hot Potato and Musical Chairs. Have the guests
sit in a circle on the floor. Pass the bone as quickly as possible around the circle
to music. When the music stops while someone has the bone they can sit in the middle
for a round or can have them do their best dog trick or imitation but can continue
Doggie, Doggie Where's your Bone?
Guests sit in circle. One person is selected to be the doggie and sits in the middle.
As the doggie sits in the middle with his/her eyes closed... others chant as the
adult or the past Doggie gives a new person the bone:
Doggie, Doggie, Where's your bone?
Somebody stole it from your home.
Guess Who? Maybe you...
Maybe monkeys from the zoo...
Wake up Doggie, find your bone!
While the guests in the circle are chanting, by the "Maybe Monkeys" line, the new
person should have the bone and ALL chanters should put their hands behind their
backs. At the end of the chant, the Doggie should open his/her eyes and the Doggie
gets three chances to find the bone holder. The bone holder will become the new
Doggie whether the Doggie has chosen correctly or not.
Play until everyone gets a turn that wants one.
Good time for Cake or Brownie Sundaes/opening presents:
Prep: Make sure to have the camera or video camera charged! Have a paper and pencil
for writing names and presents for thank-you notes later. Ingredients for Brownie
Sundaes or Cake and Ice Cream (your choice). Be sure to use their bowls they decorated!!
We let them make their own doggy sundaes and, of course, EAT LIKE A DOG!!
Prep: Hula Hoops, Balls- big beach ball and smaller sized ball (tennis or small
beach ball), other items for obstacles (can use chair, jump ropes, tunnels, trapeze
on swing set--depending on your situation)
Set up an Obstacle Course type of activity and have someone run through it ahead
to work out the kinks.
Have the guest one or two one or two at a time run through the course to practice.
Guest may choose to have their adopted dogs do the course with the guest as the
trainer...or may choose to run the course as a dog!
Contests could include:
Push ball with nose (use big then little balls)
Jump through hoop
Jump to reach trapeze on swing set (optional)
Tricks- Roll over, play dead, beg, shake
Dog barking contest
Hint: We also had a doggie pyramid (kids in doggie position--all fours and other
kids on their backs) the kids got into at the end of the dog agility run and took
pictures of them in their dog attire (ears and tails)! Wonderful photo opportunity!
Dog Agility Awards: (optional)
Prep: Awards for made ahead (can put names in later). Judging options: Best Dog
Nose for Pushing, Best Hoop Jumper, Farthest Hoop Jumper, Best Overall Dog Trick,
Best Barker, Best Dog Shake, Best Doggie Beggar, Best at Rolling Over, Silliest or
Funniest Bark, Loudest Bark, etc.
If you select this option be sure everyone gets an award.
Sleep over Option: (optional)
Prep: Get sleeping bag positions ready and pajama's on for movie. Popcorn and drinks.
Play dog music to dance to entertain as they will finish at different times.
It is a good idea to preview the movie or check out sites like commonsensemedia.org
or Rotten Tomatoes or others for reviews about movies before allowing guests to see
it at your party. Please consider all guests before showing a movie to assure age-appropriateness
Let kids practice being dogs!! Play any game not played the evening before. Opt
for easy breakfast.
This party agenda can be used as a "guide." Activities may be omitted or rearranged.
Some activities might be more popular with the kids, so feel free to adjust based
on child interest level. Kids also like to add in games that they have learned or
know. This is totally okay to allow kid-run activities at 7-9 yo!
If you want to have a dinner as portion of the evening festivities ...I would recommend
choosing a time while the kids are engaged in a game that can be done by themselves
and having an easy meal with the bulk of the prep done ahead.
Note: A good party always has plenty to do to keep the kids engaged...so plan more
as a fail-safe...not enough to do can be SCARY! Also, if the guests are having fun
with one activity, no need to try to rush them through something just because you
have more planned. Use their interest level as your guide.