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A puppy party with American GreetingsBefore Mr. Ezra came along, all of our birthdays were crammed together in spring. Then our June baby came two weeks late, arriving on June 23. Ezra is a joyful, happy, energetic, compassionate, kind, sometimes introverted, sweet, snuggly little one. He completes our family in a way we never could have imagined before his arrival.

Ezra Jude turns twoSummer birthdays are so much fun and a new experience for us. I love being outside and hosting a more casual get together to celebrate our sweet boy. Today I’m sharing a little puppy party I put together for Ezra’s 2nd birthday. We had some illness back in June so didn’t have a birthday party for Ezra other than a small cake and ice cream gathering with our immediate families. I wanted to put together this puppy party (at his request) even though we weren’t inviting people over. Our little family celebrated Ezra just for fun with a puppy party that made him oh so happy!

A puppy party. Puppy themed cake DIY.And it was a very easy party to put together thanks to store-bought ways to customize our party and more. We used American Greetings wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, stickers and cards to pull this party together.

A puppy party with American Greetings (2 of 20)American Greetings is making it easy to celebrate your favorite people with summer birthdays this year. Summer is a huge time of year for birthdays—that’s why American Greetings is taking over the seasonal section of the Walmart card department to help celebrate birthdays in a fun and meaningful way!

A puppy party with American Greetings (14 of 20)For me, parties have become something I love to do simply. Hosting over the top events is no longer appealing. I want to inspire you all with manageable party ideas… the kinds of ideas that anyone can pull off with limited time. And I want parties to be joyful for my family. To do that, I need to be my best self and our parties need to be simple. Here’s how I put together a simple yet custom and fun puppy party for Ezra.

A puppy party with American Greetings (18 of 20)Decorations and food

A well put together dessert and food table is a necessity for every party, but this doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune or hours putting it together. I whipped this one together in less than 20 minutes.

A puppy party with American Greetings (12 of 20)For decorations, we used all of my kids’ stuffed puppies and placed them throughout the party space. We put party hats on them to add to the birthday party vibe. A custom “Be Silly. Be Honest. Be Kind.” poster was the dessert table backdrop.
A puppy party with American Greetings (6 of 20)My favorite way to customize a party is with table runners. It’s so simple. We used a roll of American Greetings navy and white striped wrapping paper as the dessert table runner.

A puppy party with American Greetings (1 of 20)It pulled in the stripes on the poster and added so much to our dessert table. It also happened to match our patio table and chairs. Bonus! Using wrapping paper on meal tables is also fabulous.
A puppy party with American Greetings (4 of 20)Our puppy adoption center allowed the kiddos to take a puppy home. Our boys and our neighbors each got a puppy.
A puppy party with American Greetings (5 of 20)We used wood letters to spell out the birthday boy’s name on our main table and included a puppy there as well.

Lastly, We put together a fun “puppy food” station. I’ll share all the details of that shortly.


We knew that our kids would just enjoy being outside so we kept our activities simple.
A puppy party with American GreetingsA kiddie pool, face paint station (which our kids never actually touched) and a “Go Fetch” game were the main activities. “Go Fetch” was a huge hit with our kids and a few neighbors.

Go fetch game for A puppy party with American Greetings (3 of 20)How to play “Go Fetch”

  1. Place all kinds of sports balls in a large bin.
  2. Make a sign that says “Play fetch” or “Go fetch”
  3. Gather the kids and ask them to be puppies. Toddlers, preschool aged kids and even elementary kids loved this.
  4. Throw all of the balls far into the yard and tell the puppies to go fetch. They run and “fetch” as many of the balls as they can.
  5. You can give a prize to the puppy who gathered the most balls or simply play it for fun and continue. We actually gave each “puppy” a treat when they returned (one piece of “puppy chow” or a bone-shaped cookie). The kids loved the treats and loved when I pet them as they returned. Pretending is so fun for all!

This was a surprisingly fun activity that lasted more than 25 minutes with five kids ranging in ages from 2 (Ezra) to 12 (our neighbor boy). This is great exercise and they loved acting like puppies and chasing the balls.

Puppy Food Station Tutorial

A puppy food station for a puppy themed birthday partyOur main food was a “Puppy Food” station since this was in the afternoon-no need for a big meal. I always keep my food tables simple. I love using beautiful and tasty store bought foods and customizing them with fun toys and candies.

A puppy food station for a puppy themed birthday partyWhat you’ll need:

  • Dog bowl or bowls of your choice
  • “Puppy Chow” or any snack foods that are small and dog food like.
  • A simple cake
  • Cupcakes
  • Bone-shaped cookies (store bought or homemade)

A puppy food station for a puppy themed birthday partyDirections:

  1. Place snack foods in dog bowls. Include a scoop for kids to help themselves. Little bowls are a great addition.
  2. Place bone-shaped cookies in store-bought cupcakes for a custom look.
  3. Place toy plastic puppies on a birthday cake.
  4. And done! This is an easy way to create a puppy themed dessert table. The dog bowls add the look and feel and the kids thought it was so fun! A puppy food station for a puppy themed birthday party

The puppy food station made the kids SO happy.

A puppy party with American Greetings (9 of 20)Of course I used American Greetings gift bags for the little birthday boy’s gifts as well. Effortless and yet it totally matches the look and feel of the party.

Keeping to theme of simple party-planning, I used almost all store-bought items for customizing. I didn’t DIY almost anything for this little gathering. Simple means more time for joy for us these days. And you can still have a really great party!

Four easy store-bought ways to customize your party

  1. Use wrapping paper as a table runner.
  2. Use American Greetings store-bought stickers as favor tags. I found exactly what I needed-silly dog stickers and the variety available in store should fit almost any party theme. I loved using these store-bought stickers to customize our favor bags. So fun!
  3. Use affordable bags and tissue paper to hold simple party favors. Our bags just had snacks for the road in them.
  4. Use American Greetings cards to decorate your party. I LOVED the WOO-HOO card I found and the “You Take Wonderful To a Whole New Level” card. I think that card could be the theme of a party and it’s so stylish.

A puppy party with American Greetings (16 of 20)Our summer is filled with celebration this year. Next up is my Mother-In-Law’s birthday followed by many other family members and August ends with a bang when we celebrate my sweet friend and her baby boy with a baby shower. I grabbed a card for her when I was shopping as well. Perfection!

A puppy party with American Greetings (15 of 20)For me, greeting cards are the story behind the gift. I always take a lot of time picking out the perfect card for the occasion and writing my love, light and peace in each card for the recipients. I’m so grateful for the beautiful people I get to celebrate this summer and these summer birthday cards allow me to express my gratitude, love and joy to the special people in my life including little Ezra who loved having his cards read to him.

Follow American Greetings on Pinterest for all kinds of inspiration!

IMG_0817 IMG_0820I found all of my fabulous materials at Walmart. Tell me. What parties are you planning yet this summer?