Puppy Party Playdate on a Budget

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Every dog has it’s day–and every kid should have the chance to celebrate man’s best friend! For the summer 2013 issue of the print magazine Yum! Food and Fun for Kids, I put together this fun puppy party for youngsters that can all be done quickly and on a budget from puppy food to doggie activities to fido themed favors. It’s all about getting a little more creative when there’s less time and money to work with.

We took the kids out to the park where there was lots of room to roam when we weren’t directly entertaining or feeding them. There were little stations set up, to feed, walk, water, and adopt puppies for the kids. Feeding, of course, was the most popular! Hot dogs wrapped in puff pastry, “puppy chow” served out of a (new) clean dog dish, puppy cupcakes and blue jello ala “dog water” were all on the menu. After eating, the kids enjoyed hanging out in our doghouse made from a cardboard box.

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The puppy cupcakes were a huge hit, and made with no real cake decorating skill.

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The party store was short on fire hydrant decorations, so our centerpiece was a DIY project. An oatmeal container, paper towel roll, empty ribbon spool, old bowl and water bottle cap were all pieced together and spray painted to make our hydrant. Cheap, recycled and easy!

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As an activity, we had the kids “adopt” a puppy by making one out of a paper plate and paper pieces. Older kids can cut them out themselves; younger kids can have everything pre-cut to just do the assembly work.

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An “agility” course was set up for the kids to run through. Through a tunnel, around the cones, over some “hurdles” and a ball to kick were the perfect challenge for our pre-school aged kids. No one wanted to just run through once–they did laps through this course. And took great naps later.

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All our little friends went home from the puppy party with a doggie bag full of puppy treats. A nice rubber ball and some doggie bone sugar cookies were in a simple paper bag for the kids. Everyone had a fabulous time celebrating all things fido!

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