Submitted by Bonnie and Beth
This past May we threw a Toyland theme party for Aladdin the birthday dog (our 9 year-old golden retriever).
Aladdin the birthday dog is very playful and likes toys, so this theme seemed like a good choice. We also liked it because toys are associated with having fun and are also very colorful, interesting, and varied in type. We thought about all the different types of toys - classic toys, electronic toys, board games, dolls, stuffed animals, and so on. We decided to try to represent toys from all the different categories we could think of, in both the decorations and games at the party, and make a real live Toyland.
The guests at this party were some adult friends and a couple of dogs, friends of Aladdin the birthday dog. We made twelve games. Most of the games would be great for children (around 8 and up) and/or adults to play, however, a couple of them are intended to be played with the help of dogs (who can be on teams with humans).
Aladdin's Birthday Dog Invitations
For Aladdin's birthday dog invitations, we created alphabet blocks on the cover and a jack in the box that pops up when you open the card. To make each one, we took two sheets of card-stock of the same color. We folded one sheet in half and cut two slits about 2 inches long from 3 inches in on each side. Then we pushed the shape it formed forward so that it popped out on the inside, and made sure the creases were sharp. We glued the second sheet onto the back of that sheet, to cover the hole. For the front of the invitation, we made alphabet blocks by cutting out squares of white craft foam. We made them look like alphabet blocks by outlining the borders with marker and drawing on letters, using primary colors. We arranged the blocks to say “Please Pop Up and Attend...”.
For the inside of Aladdin's birthday dog invitations, we printed a small picture of a jester, and folded a strip of card-stock accordion style, gluing one end to the jester and the other end to the box in the card. On the inside of the card, we then wrote “Aladdin’s Toyland Party” on the Jack in the Box box, as well as the rest of the relevant party information underneath.
Aladdin's Birthday Dog Decorations
Lego Scene Birthday Dog Decoration - For one table we created a gigantic lego scene. We made a lego table and chairs and two lego people, almost entirely out of posterboard. To make the table and chairs, we made lego bricks. To make each brick, we cut out posterboard rectangles to form the six sides of the brick, and glued it together. To make a chair, we glued the bricks in stacks, to form the legs, seat, and back of the chair. On the top of each brick that was left showing on the chair, we added the little knobs that make Lego look like Lego by cutting off the bottoms of clear plastic cups, and painting them to match the color of the brick. We glued them onto the tops of the bricks in the Lego formation. We made the table in the same way.
To make the Lego people, we created the legs out of two posterboard 3D rectangles, made in the same way as the bricks, but larger. For the shirts, we cut the shape out of posterboard twice, then glued strips of posterboard to connect it along all the edges, going around. The heads were posterboard cylinders, created by rolling posterboard into a tube and gluing it, and then gluing circles to close the top and bottom. The arms were also made from posterboard cylinders, and the hands were cut out of a wrapping paper roll. The shirt and face details were then painted on.
The floor was made of green posterboard with green knobs glued on from more cup bottoms. For an added touch, we created the same scene with the table, chairs and people in the same colors out of actual lego, and put it on the giant lego table, so that it looked like the giant lego people were playing with the small lego people.
Giant Alphabet Blocks Birthday Dog Decoration - We created a stack of giant alphabet blocks out of posterboard. For each one, we cut six squares from white posterboard, and then painted them to look like the different sides of a real alphabet block. This included the colored border, the block letter, some sides had little pictures on a brown background, and so on. We made the blocks spell out a message and attached them together in a pyramid formation.
Dominoes Birthday Dog Decoration - We created oversize dominoes by making posterboard 3D rectangles. We cut out the six sides for each domino, with the front and back pieces being wider than the sides, and glued them together. We created the dots on each domino by cutting circles and thin lines out of black construction paper and gluing them on to match various domino designs. We then arranged the dominoes lined up and falling over in a stack on the table.
Giant Connect 4 Birthday Dog Decoration - We made this game by cutting the six sides needed to create the basic 3D rectangle out of yellow posterboard. We then cut out a grid of circles on the front and back pieces. We created checkers by gluing red and black posterboard strips together with circles to close the front and back. We glued a few of the checkers onto one side of the grid, before attaching the whole thing together, so that they would be on the inside.
On the top piece, we cut a rectangular hole, to be the spot where the checkers would be put inside. We then glued the pieces together. We glued blue strips of posterboard on each side, hanging off the bottom, to look like the blue stand the game usually has. When we put out the Connect 4 game, we hung some checkers over the game, to look like it was being played.
Giant Play-Doh Set Birthday Dog Decoration - We tried to create a giant version of the Play-doh barber shop set. We made the play-doh barber shop people by painting a sheet of posterboard with arms and a shirt and pants design. We then rolled the sheet of posterboard into a tube, and glued circles on the top and bottom to close it. For the head, we painted a large plastic bowl in a skin color to match, and glued it upside down on top of the body cylinder. We painted on a face and dots to represent the holes the play-doh is squeezed out of.
The hair was made of model magic rolled into thin strings and glued at the ends of the holes, to look like the play-doh hair coming out of the head. The Play-doh cans are more posterboard cylinders painted with the appropriate design and glued together. We made Play-doh tools by drawing and cutting them out of posterboard, and then hanging them overhead.
Giant Jack in the Box Birthday Dog Decoration - The base of the Jack in the Box was made out of a carton covered with brightly colored wrapping paper. Before we covered it, we cut a hole in the middle of the top, and inserted a hard sturdy wrapping paper roll, so that it was sticking up. We then covered that roll with a few Chinese lanterns, stretched out and attached together for the neck. The head was a big rubber ball, painted and decorated with a face. We glued the ball on top of the wrapping paper roll neck with very strong glue. We then added a store-bought jester hat on the top of the ball.
Rubik’s Cube Birthday Dog Decoration - We made a giant Rubik’s cube by creating the 3D rectangle shapes out of posterboard, a larger one for the bottom that could hold two rows of squares, and a smaller one for the top that held only one row of squares. We created these out of black posterboard. To make the small squares that decorate it, we cut colored squares out of construction paper, and glued them onto the large shapes, leaving a small space in between each side, where black is supposed to show through. We then glued the smaller rectangle onto the larger one, with the smaller one twisted at an angle, so that it looked like somebody was turning part of the Rubik’s cube.
Giant Pull Duck Birthday Dog Decoration - To make the giant pull duck, we drew a duck shape twice on yellow posterboard. We then cut them out, and glued narrow strips of yellow posterboard all along the edges to connect it, bending it as needed. The wheels are 3D posterboard circles glued onto each side, with white mini circles painted on. We then painted on accents, such as the beak, wings and eyes. We attached a piece of rope, to complete the pull-duck look.
Yo Yo Birthday Dog Decoration - We made a giant yo yo by creating two thin 3D posterboard circles out of yellow posterboard. We then glued a rope going around the circles where they joined in the middle, and glued them together. We painted on the yo yo design on the front and back.
Bubble Wand and Bubbles Birthday Dog Decoration - We made a giant bubble wand by cutting the wand shape out of hard cardboard (from the side of a large carton) and painting it. We made bubbles floating out of it using clear balloons.
Viewmaster Birthday Dog Decoration - We created the viewmaster out of 3D posterboard rectangles glued together. We made one for the main body of it, and two long ones sticking out to be the eye pieces. We made a slit on top for the slide disc. The slide disc is a white posterboard circle. We cut squares all along the border and glued brown cellophane into the holes to look like the film. We then decorated the view master with the name, logo, black circles for the eye holes, and so on.
Scrabble Game Birthday Dog Decoration - We created the board for the game of Scrabble out of a piece of foam board. We copied the design from the actual board, just making it larger, and painted it on. For the tiles, we cut up another piece of foam board into squares that would fit onto the board, and painted them to look like wood. We then painted numbers and values on each one. We then glued some of the tiles onto the board to have a game in progress. We chose to spell out a message for the birthday dog. We then hung the other tiles on the wall around the board.
Gigantic Game of Checkers Birthday Dog Decoration - To make the giant Checkers game, we glued together four pieces of red posterboard (each 22X28), and then evened it off to form a large square. We then drew an 8x8 grid of even squares on the board. We then cut just the squares out of black posterboard, which we glued over every other square on the board. We made the checkers themselves by cutting two circles out of posterboard, and then gluing a strip around the edges to close each one. We decorated the tops with the checker design, and then glued the checkers onto the board in the formation that you start the game off with.
Giant Game of Operation Birthday Dog Decoration - To make the Game of Operation, we started by gluing two sheets of yellow posterboard together end to end. We then drew the body of Cavity-Sam, the man from the game, onto that large sheet. We included all the details, such as the spots to take the pieces out of, the names of each body part, the arrows, and so on. We cut out the spots where the pieces go into, and outlined the edges with silver marker. We then painted his body, face, and all the other details, matching the game as closely as possible.
We then made two more long sheets of posterboard out of two red pieces, as well as two long thin pieces for the sides and two shorter pieces for the sides of the top and bottom. We then glued this long red box together, but we did not glue the second large red piece on top to finish the box. Instead we glued it slightly deeper into the box, so that the top edges of the sides stuck up over it.
We then glued the yellow piece with Cavity Sam on it on top of these edges. This allowed the holes in Sam to have a slight depth with red underneath. We then cut the actual game pieces you would pull out, such as the Funny Bone and Wrenched Ankle, out of white craft foam, and glued them into some of the appropriate holes. For the nose of the man, which is usually a red light bulb, we used half a plastic Easter egg painted red, and glued on. Finally, we attached a small salad tong hanging off the game with red yarn.
Barrel of Monkeys Birthday Dog Decoration - For the Barrel of Monkeys, we purchased a plastic half-barrel online. We then made it look like the barrel from the game by attaching pieces of paper together to fit across the middle of the barrel. We decorated the papers with the name of the game, trying to copy the style of the letters on the game. The monkeys are large inflatable colorful monkeys that we bought online. We attached one monkey to the next, with their arms interlocking, and hung them over the top of the barrel.
Simon Game Birthday Dog Decoration - We made a Simon game by cutting two circles out of black posterboard, and gluing a strip to connect the two. We then decorated the front with wedges in different colors cut out of construction paper and a silver circle from silver posterboard. We drew on the name, the buttons, and so on.
Raggedy Ann and Andy Birthday Dog Decoration - We wanted giant version of Raggedy Ann and Andy so we used large blow up dolls as the people. We then purchased child costumes to dress the dolls in. We used sticky foam to create more doll like facial features, and stuck them over the inflatable dolls’ faces.
Background Birthday Dog Decorations - We drew over 60 flat posterboard toys to cover the walls, and painted each and cut them out. We then hung the toys in sections throughout the party area, separated by type, so that there were one or two big 3D toys of that type in the section surrounded by flat drawings of similar types of toys.
- The movement/toy car section had drawings of a rocking horse, radio wagon, pogo stick, bozo bop bag, corn popper toy, toy cars and trucks, etc.
- The people/action figure section had Little People toys, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, My Little Pony and Green Army Men.
- The puzzle section had a jigsaw puzzle made of posterboard and cut into pieces which were hung only partially assembled.
- The classic toy section had a top, wind up toy, cymbal monkey, rubber ducky, stacking rings, and a stick horse.
- The crafty toys section had Lite Brite, Wooly Willy, Silly Putty, Easy Bake Oven, Spin Art, jumbo lacing beads, sidewalk chalk, shrinky dinks, and paper dolls.
- The construction section had tinker toys, blocks, a Lincoln Log house, erector set, etc.
- The games section had Uno cards, Twister, Perfection, jacks, marbles, and pick up sticks.
- The electronic/video game section had See and Say, Nintendo system, Gameboy, Pacman and a Tamogotchi.
- The dolls/stuffed animals section had a puppet theater, teddy bear, Barbie, Cabbage Patch Kid, Strawberry Shortcake, sock monkey, troll, Furbie, Gloworm and a marionette.
- For the ceiling, we also hung hundreds of purchased foam glider planes and mini parachute men.
The following video is an overview of the decorations at the party for Aladdin the birthday dog:
Aladdin the Birthday Dog Tableware
We couldn’t really find a paper tableware pattern with a Toyland theme. So instead we used a mix of styles, each featuring a different type of toy. We used Lego dinner plates, Candyland dessert plates, rubber ducky cups, My Little Pony napkins, and a Barbie tablecloth. For the centerpiece we had made a Rubik’s cube (to fit the center of the table) out of a 3D posterboard box, with squares of colored paper glued on it in Rubik’s Cube formation. We then used a store-bought singing Raggedy Ann and Andy doll set, which we sat on top of the Rubik’s Cube.
Outfits - Aladdin the Birthday Dog Party
For party outfits, we made everyone matching Monopoly style hats. We bought black plastic top hats, like Mr. Monopoly wears. We bought a refill pack online of Monopoly money, Monopoly property cards, and houses and hotels. We glued the money and cards all around the sides and top of the hats. We also glued a few houses and a hotel on the brims of the hats. In addition, we made Scrabble tiles out of sticky back tan craft foam that spelled out the name of each party guest, which they could stick on their shirts when they arrived, and was easily removable when the party was over. In the same way, we made each guest Sorry game pawns and dice out of more sticky back foam to put on their shirts. Instead of sticking these pieces on shirts, the dogs at the party had them on solid colored bandanas we got for them.
All the dogs, as well as Aladdin the birthday dog is so happy!
Music - Aladdin the Birthday Dog Party
We picked out songs that all related to toys in general, or were about specific toys. We purchased the songs individually on iTunes. Here is the Toyland birthday dog theme playlist we used -
- “Toyland” sung by Doris Day
- “Barbie Girl” sung by Kidzone
- “It’s Slinky” from Celebrity TV Commercials
- “Pinwheel” sung by Ellis Paul
- “Pac Man Fever” sung by Buckner and Garcia
- “Hula Hoop Song” sung by The Hit Nation
- “Cabbage Patch Kids” sung by Per Erik Hallin
- “Rocking Horse” sung by Trish Miller
- “William’s Doll” sung by Alan Alda and Marlo Thomas
- “Lego” sung by The Kerplinks
- “Jigsaw Puzzle” sung by The Chelmars
- “Etch a Sketch of Love” sung by Tom Dudley
- “Yo, Yo” sung by B-Liminal
- “Monopoly” sung by Richard Berman
- “The Scrabble Song” sung by Emily Kaitz
- “Rubber Duckie” from Sesame Street
- “Cabbage Patch Theme” sung by Tom Chapin
- “Toys” sung by Brett Rothenhaus
- “Where the Toys Are” sung by Neil Sedaka
- “The Marvelous Toy” sung by Peter, Paul and Mary
- “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” from Mary Poppins
- “Jack in the Box” sung by Top of the Poppers
Aladdin the Birthday Dog Games
We made 12 games because we like to have long parties. Anyone who wants to make a party like this should probably choose only a few of the games, unless they want a really long party.
Game 1 - Toy Types:
In this game, the guests had to think of all sorts of toys that fit into categories. Before playing, we made a list of categories. Here are the categories we chose:
- Toy or game that has wheels
- Toy or game used high in the sky
- Toy or game that uses cards
- Type of doll
- Toy that can be used to create
- Toy or game that has string or rope
- Toy or game that makes noise
- Toy or game that uses dice
- Toy or game that involves animals
- Toy or game that has a round shape
To play, we split the guests into teams. We announced a category and the teams had one minute to write down as many things as they could think of that fit into that category. When time was up, the teams would cross off any shared items, and leave original ones. They earned one point for each original item. The winning team came up with the most original items overall.
The birthday dog peeking over ;-)
Game 2 - It’s A Barbie World:
The guests had to help Barbie pick out the perfect outfit for every occasion. To prepare for this game, we found old Barbies and Barbie outfits. We took out our old Barbie clothes, and bought some additional used Barbie outfits on eBay. We then separated the clothes into containers for tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, accessories, and so on. For the accessories, we added extra items like ribbon for hair decorations, little necklaces we strung from beads, and other little do-dads. We made a carton into a stage, and found some little props to go with different scenes, and created background pictures on paper to fit the back wall of the box.
We came up with 10 different scenes the Barbies would be attending, such as a ball, a picnic, a rock concert, camping, etc. To play, we announced a scene, and the guests had a few minutes to dress their Barbies with the clothing and items provided to match that scene. We set up the props and background in the box while the guests were dressing the Barbies, and then they put them into the scene. We then judged which was the most appropriately and nicely dressed Barbie for that scene. The guest whose Barbie was best dressed for the most scenes won the game.
Game 3 - Potato Play:
The guests had to win all the pieces for their team’s Mrs. Potato Head by completing little activities relating to potatoes and Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. We bought a mini Mrs. Potato Head for each team at the dollar store. We gave each team the potato base, but had the sets of pieces in bags separately. There were five mini potato activities and the team that won each activity earned one piece for their potato. The first activity was Hot Potato. We used a store-bought Hot Potato game, where a potato sings and when the music stops, whoever is holding the potato is out. The last team left in won that activity.
The second activity was Body Part Slang. We said a slang term for a part of the body that would be on a Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head (such as peepers for eyes and chompers for teeth). The first person to grab a raw potato, which was placed in the middle, could answer. The team that guessed the most terms correctly won that activity.
The third activity was Pin the Part on the Potato, which was like Pin the Tail on the Donkey, with a Mr. Potato Head print out used instead.
The fourth activity was Hot Potato again, but everyone could only use one hand to pass and throw the potato.
The last activity was Famous Potatoes. We found pictures online of Mr. Potato Heads dressed up like famous celebrities or characters from shows, and the guests had to guess who they were. The team that guessed the most correctly won that activity. The team that had the most complete potato at the end won.
Game 4 - Plushy Pageant:
This was a birthday dog game. We told everyone that plushy dogs toys were competing in two special pageants. Before playing, we located a large number of old dog toys, and came up with names and little descriptions for each one. We separated them into two groups, and each group into pairs of stuffed animals. The players were split into two teams, and each team had the chance to judge one pageant, and guess the winners of a pageant. Each pageant had two categories that the toys were judged on. For each pageant, we held up a pair of toys and read the name and description for each.
The humans on one team decided together and wrote down which of the two they thought was more beautiful. This represented the Beauty portion of the competition. While they were doing that, the humans on the other team together chose which of the two they thought would win the pageant overall and wrote it down. The dogs on the first team then judged the Talent part of the competition. We threw the two toys at the same time, and one of the dogs (whose turn it was) would either bring back, pick up, or sniff one of the toys, which was then considered the Talent winner.
Then another dog would take a turn with the same two toys. The toy which was chosen the most times out of the three possible points (1 for beauty and 2 for talent) won that pair. This continued for all the toys in the first pageant. The teams then switched roles for the second pageant, and it was conducted in the same way with a new group of toys. Whichever team guessed the most pageant winners correctly won the birthday dog game.
Game 5 - Board Game Board Game:
We created a gameboard which was made up of several different board games on one board. Players traveled through it to celebrate different classic board games. We included the games Sorry, Life, Trouble, Candyland, and Checkers. To create the gameboard, we split the board (which was a piece of posterboard) into sections for each of those games. We had one game in each corner and one in the middle. We tried to make each game look like that game would, but slightly simplified. To move through the game, players had to answer questions in various toy related categories.
There were five categories: Missing Pieces (in which they saw a picture of a game piece and had to name the game it was from), Which Came First (in which they had to pick which of two toys was on the market first), Toy Talk (in which they heard a bit of a conversation that they might overhear while people are playing a particular game and they had to name the game), Truth or Lies (in which they heard a toy related statement and had to say if it was the truth or a lie) and Fun Facts (in which they answered toy trivia). We created all the questions with the help of information from the internet and wrote them on index cards. We wrote the initials of each category in a random mix on all the different spaces throughout the game, even though most of those spaces in the real games don’t have anything written on them.
The players started out in Sorry, where we gave them Sorry pawns to move around with, and they used the Sorry number cards from the actual game to determine what space to go to next. They had to stay within the Sorry area, however, until they answered three questions correctly. They then received the pawn of the next area, which was the little cars from the Game of Life, and were able to move into that area. They moved around that area using the Life spinner. After answering three questions correctly, they got a Trouble pawn and moved into that area, where they moved using the pop die from that game. After another three questions answered correctly, they got the candy figure pawn from Candyland, and moved around that area with the colored square cards. After answering three questions correctly, they finally moved into the Checkers area, where they moved around with a checker, just moving diagonally on their turn, until they reached the other side and were kinged. The first person to answer three questions correctly in the Checkers area then won the game.
Game 6 - Lotsa Lego:
We had each person create their very own Lego structure. We found some old containers of Legos. We then gave everyone around 10-15 minutes to go off by themselves with some Legos, and create their very best sculpture. Everyone then judged all of the structures on a rating sheet we had previously created which asked about the height of the structure, the sturdiness, choice of color, and so on. The person who made the highest rated sculpture overall won the game.
Game 7 - Having a Ball:
This was another birthday dog game, where the humans and dogs worked together with all different types of balls. We had several different small activities, each involving balls in some way. First the humans had to write down every type of ball they could think of in one minute, such as a cue ball, a basketball, an eight ball, etc. Each ball written down was worth one point. Next, the people took turns balancing a small beach ball on the head of one of the dogs. Each second the ball stayed on the dog’s head was worth one point.
Then we set up a bowling like formation of chess pieces at the end of a ramp, which was a long box propped up at one end. The human helped the dog hold a stuffed ball in his or her mouth, and drop it at the top of the ramp, so that it rolled down and knocked over the pieces. Each piece knocked down was worth a point. Finally each human had to give a dog a stuffed ball, and have them drop it into a box as many times as possible in one minute. Each successful drop into the box was worth a point. The person that earned the most points overall won.
Game 8 - Tales from the Toy Chest:
It was up to the guests to tell the tales from the toy chest. We made a small shoebox look like a chest by decorating it with stickers and writing Toy Chest on it. We then filled it with a large number of small toys, like tiny whistles, marbles, pieces from various board games, and little toys like you use to fill up a pinata. On a person’s turn, they pulled out 12 toys without looking. They had two minutes to memorize the toys they pulled out, and then they were taken away. The person then had to tell a story that made some sort of logical sense, which included as many of the toys as they could remember. The person who remembered the most toys correctly won the game.
Game 9 - All Wound Up:
Then it was time for everyone to wind up their toys and set them rolling. We prepared a course for wind up toys to compete using a long thin box without a top. We painted the inside white and drew start and finish lines. Each person received a small wind up toy to compete with in several challenges. For the first challenge, dominoes were set up at the end of the box. The guests took turns winding their toy and placing it on start, trying to aim it to knock over the dominoes. Each knocked over domino was worth a point. The people then participated in a straight race, where they all wound their toys and placed them on the start line, and the first to get to the finish got a point.
For the next challenge, we made a flower out of paper. Each person had to try to get their toy to pass over the flower after they wound it up. If it passed over, that was worth a point. Finally, we made another small box with an open end and used that as another course. We had it up on a table, with a container by the open end. The guests had to try to wind up their toys and have them fall off the end of the course and land in the container. Each successful dive into the container was worth a point. The person who got the most points overall won the game.
Game 10 - Etch a Toy:
The guests took turns etching pictures of toys on an Etch-a Sketch. This game was similar to Pictionary, but the drawings had to be done on the Etch a Sketch rather than on paper. This made it much more difficult, but was also an interesting twist that made it fun. We tried to choose simple toys that were easier to depict, and wrote them on index cards. We split the guests into teams and had them take turns drawing and guessing toys. The team that guessed the most toys within the time limit won the game.
Game 11 - Let’s Hear It For the Toy:
This game gave everyone a chance to hear some old classic toy ads. To prepare for this game, we found some old toy ads on YouTube. We recorded the audio on a tape player and removed the name of the toy each time it was mentioned, by pushing mute during that part of the recording. The guests listened to each ad, and then tried to be the first to shout out which toy the ad was for. We had some clues for each toy ad, in case no one could get it from the audio alone. If the clues had to be used, they earned less points. The guest who earned the most points overall won the game.
Game 12 - Quick Play:
For this game, the guests wanted to be the quickest player to play with all the toys. Each person got a turn to play. They had to be play with each of the toys in a specific way in a specific order, and the whole process was timed. First they had to draw a beard, moustache, hair and eyebrows on a Wooly Willy. Then they had to blow 15 bubbles with a bubble wand. Then they had to dip a yo yo up and down 8 times. Then they had to bounce a ball and catch a jack in their hands 8 times. Then they had to spin a top without it stopping for a least 25 seconds. Then they had to take apart a nesting doll toy and line up the individual dolls, and then put it back together again. Finally, they had to bounce a paddle ball 10 times consecutively. We made a large chart to help everyone to remember the different steps. The person who did all those activities successfully in the shortest amount of time won the game.
To keep score, we gave each guest a Garbage Pail Kid card each time they won a game. The person who had the most cards after all the games was the big winner.
Prizes and Awards:
We gave out awards for first, second, and third place. We had first, second, and third birthday dog awards for the dogs as well. We made the awards look like an Etch a Sketch. We found a site online that let you write on a virtual etch a sketch that looked like the real toy writing, and we wrote appropriate messages, like First Place and the name of the party. We saved those images, and changed the color of the Etch a Sketch itself to blue, red, and yellow for first, second, and third places. We then printed them on photo paper, cut them out, and strung them on matching color yarn to make necklaces.
Here you see all the dogs with their necklaces as well as Aladdin the birthday dog! For the prizes themselves, we got glass and metal figurines shaped like toys with crystals on them, and gave the larger ones for the higher prizes. For birthday dog prizes, the dogs got stuffed animals in the shape of toys - a large carousel horse, a medium sized troll dog, and a small rocking horse.
We have a special tradition at our parties where we ask the guests to write a poem for the birthday dog. They were instructed to write a poem about Aladdin in Toyland with toys of all kinds. When we sent out the invitations, we included a special paper for the guests to write it on. For this party, the special paper was made to look like it had a border of Legos. We used a stamping kit to stamp rectangles using a stencil, with 6 small circles stamped over it using a slightly darker version of that color. This made it look like a Lego. We then stamped these Legos in different colors all around the border of each paper. The guests then wrote their poems at home and brought them with them to the party. After all the games were played and the awards given out, we had a poetry reading. Each guest read their poem out loud and everyone clapped. We then later add these poems to a special book we keep for Aladdin the birthday dog.
Aladdin the Birthday Dog Party Food
We made refreshments with a toy design for guests to nibble on throughout the party. We made dominoes by frosting graham crackers with vanilla frosting, and added the black dots and lines with a black cake writer. We made a layer of icing on the plate and stuck them standing up to look like a line of dominoes. We also made a game of edible checkers by using a real wooden checkerboard we had. We cleaned it, and then laid out checkers that were classic brown Oreos and golden Oreos. You could even play this edible game if you wanted to. We also made edible silly putty by putting some baby bel cheese we had squished up into a ball inside plastic Easter eggs. We labeled the eggs Edible Silly Putty, and stood them up on small tubes we rolled out of cardstock.
Aladdin the Birthday Dog Cake
We ordered this birthday dog cake from a bakery. It was buttercream with an edible picture of a rocking horse on it. The sides were spray painted yellow and the icing was purple. We added cake figures of a jack in the box, rocking horse, teddy bear and duck. We also placed mini pin wheels around the border of the cake. The birthday dog cake read “Have A Playful Birthday in Toyland Aladdin”.
Here's Aladdin the birthday dog with his cake! Here's a brief video of everyone singing Happy Birthday to Aladdin the birthday dog at the party:
Goody Bags - Aladdin the Birthday Dog Party
We found goody bags decorated with kites and pinwheels. We had separate goody bags for the dogs and for the humans. In the birthday dog goodybags we put various biscuits, treats, sticks, tennis balls, and so on. The human goody bags included lots of little toys. They had mini Rubiks cubes, mini Wooly Willy’s, pinwheels, edible candy lego, nailpolish with Rainbow Brite designs, bubbles shaped like Mr. Potato Head, color your own yo yo’s, My Little Pony stickers, small rubber duckies, tops, kaleidoscopes, Snap and Donkey mini card games, pinball toys, Silly Putty, wind up toys, and a mini beach toy set with edible sand.
This Toyland Theme Party we threw for Aladdin the birthday dog was a lot of fun. Although the guests were mostly adults, everyone got a chance to remember the toys of their childhood, and play with some of them again. The dogs had a great time. They were very good at the games they were involved in. Aladdin the birthday dog was very good at picking up a ball and dropping it in a box or a specific spot you point to. So while playing the bowling game, he would run to the end of the ramp where the ball landed, pick it up, and run back to drop it again. He didn’t want to stop playing! The guests were hysterical.
The dogs also loved cake time, and each got their own slice. Most of the dogs gobbled it right down. Aladdin the birthday dog is more of a dainty eater, and he licked it for a while first. The games were a lot of fun, and the guests said that some of their favorites included the Board Game Board Game and All Wound Up.
We hope you enjoyed hearing about our Toyland birthday dog party and that you might be able to use some of the ideas to make your own Toyland theme party!