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I was recently quoted in an article on Moneyish entitled Parties that Give Back Are All the Rage where I briefly talked about a themed birthday party I hosted for one of my daughters a few years ago.
Today I am going to share some more details of that party inspired by my daughter. She combined her love of animals with her love of giving for a veterinarian/humane society themed birthday party.
On to the details…
Instead of gifts, my daughter asked for items that could be donated to a local humane society.
We had called the humane society ahead of time to see what items they were in need of the most. We sent the list of needed supplies along with the handmade invitations, which were made to look like veterinarian appointment reminder cards.
We turned part of our living room into a temporary humane society.
Twelve stuffed dogs were placed in their own “kennels” (tape on the ground around them). Before the party started, my daughters decided if the dogs were boys or girls. They also gave them each a name, which they wrote down on cardstock in front of them.
Here is a picture of three (out of twelve) of the dogs that were available for adoption.
Each of the guests was allowed to choose a dog to adopt when they arrived. Those that arrived first were able to choose first just like at a humane society.
My family had made collars (not shown in the picture) using paracord and buckles (affiliate link) for each of the dogs ahead of time.
We had also cut colored cardstock into the shape of dog tags, punched a hole through each of them, and inserted key chain rings.
The guests had the option to change their dog’s name if they wanted. They each decorated one dog tag, which we attached to the collar of their dog. They also filled out a “certificate of adoption” (from The Chickabug Blog).
I had various veterinarian supplies set out for the kids to use during the party. Each of the dogs was able to receive a checkup before going home.
I displayed a bunch of animal x-rays (I had borrowed from a resource library for free) in a window. The children had fun guessing which animal each of the x-rays belonged to. I had the answers written on the inside of the papers taped next to them.
Some of the creatures such as the snake were really easy. Others were a little more tricky to figure out.
I set out “puppy chow” and blue jello in aluminum pie pans. I placed large spoons within each of these pans since they were for everyone to share.
No one tried to eat them out of the bowls like a dog.
I also set out some pretzel “fetch” sticks for the kids to enjoy.
I created a cat cake using a cake pan I had borrowed from a library. I am definitely not a professional cake decorator.
I was very thankful it resembled a cat, and it tasted good. Too bad the picture turned out blurry.
The humane society had requested toilet paper, so I also made a toilet paper cake.
My daughter still had the opportunity to unwrap presents because many of the parents wrapped the donated items.
Below are some of the items that were donated. Other donated items not shown included toilet paper, paper towels, three bottles of bleach, and more dog/cat toys.
The kids went home with their adopted dogs, certificates of adoption, dog tags and collars, and little cat and dog magnets that my daughters and I had made ahead of time.
We gave each of the guests a picture of my daughter in the middle of all of the donated items with a thank you note written on the back to thank them for their generosity.
Both of my daughters enjoyed dropping the load of supplies off at the humane society. The people at the humane society seemed grateful for the donations.
Have you ever hosted a birthday party to give back to others?
“I’m a veterinarian…” from the book Jobs of a Preschooler