We had a dog birthday party last September for our dog Phoenix, who was turning 5. For this party, we decided on the theme of Ancient Egypt. We decided on Egypt because we’ve always found Ancient Egypt to be fascinating, with mummies, pharaohs, god and goddesses, and hieroglyphics. Ancient Egypt was a very interesting place.
Our dog Phoenix is named after the bird that rises from the ashes. There are phoenixes from several different cultures. Egypt is one place that told the story of the phoenix. In Egypt the phoenix was known as the Bennu bird. Since Egypt gave us a lot to work with, and was also connected to Phoenix, it was the perfect dog birthday theme.
We decided try to recreate the walls of an Ancient Egyptian temple with hieroglyphics and scenes from stories about the ancient gods and goddesses. We also depicted some scenes from Ancient Egyptian life. We tried to connect all the games to Egypt in various ways. The games are all fun and appropriate for children and/or adults, though a few were made to be played with the help of dog team-mates.
Dog Birthday Invitations
We made dog birthday invitations in the shape of mummies. We bought cardstock with a gold textured pattern. To make each one, we drew a mummy shape on the cardstock and cut it out. We traced it to make two of those shapes, and glued them back to back, so that the gold was on both sides. We then wrote on the top in black permanent marker, “Come travel back in time with Phoenix, and see the many wonders of Ancient Egypt”. Underneath we wrote the rest of the dog birthday party information. At the very bottom we added, “Meet You at the Nile”.
We then wrapped up the mummy dog birthday invitations with white streamers. We took a roll of white crepe paper streamers and cut along the strip, so that the thickness was halved. We attached it with tape, starting on the back, and then wrapped the strip around and around the mummy, taping it in a few places here and there so it would stay in place, until it was covered. At the end we left a loose strip, and wrote “Unwrap Here” towards the top of the dog birthday invitation.
Dog Birthday Decorations
We have seven tables of different shapes and sizes in the area we had the dog birthday party. We created a 3D scene for each of the tables to try to represent a different aspect of Ancient Egypt.
Dog Birthday Table 1: The Sphinx
This dog birthday table was occupied by a large sphinx. We created the sphinx using an inflatable blue walrus we purchased online. This was a large pool toy walrus. After we inflated it, we taped its overly long snout down with duck tape to make a flatter face. We then spray painted the entire thing with gold spray-paint.
For the face, we used a plain white plastic face mask, like they sell in craft stores. We spray-painted this gold as well. These masks generally have holes where the eyes are. We found a picture of a sphinx online, and printed just the eyes, enlarged to fit the mask’s holes. We then glued them onto the back, so that the eyes showed through the holes. We also outlined the eyes and eyebrows with black permanent marker, to make it look more Egyptian. We put the mask over the face of the walrus. Finally, we finished it off with a pharaoh headpiece we purchased, which we placed over the mask, onto the walrus’ head.
Dog Birthday Table 2: The Nile River
This dog birthday table was made up of a scene of an Egyptian man paddling down the Nile in an Egyptian boat. The boat was being chased by crocodiles in the water. You could see Egyptian columns in the distance.
For the boat, we used an inflatable canoe meant for a pool or the beach. We inflated the canoe and then spray-painted the entire thing black. When it was dry, we added an Egyptian design with a triangle border going around the top and eyes drawn in between each triangle, like the Egyptian Eye of Horus. The design was created using a gold paint marker. We also added small jewels, which we glued onto the points of each triangle.
The Egyptian man is an inflatable doll that we dressed up. We bought him a child’s Egyptian costume, and put it on him, pinning it smaller where necessary. We used a long black wig to cover his head, and pinned on the decorative head-band which had come with the costume. We also gave him an oar, which we made. The oar is made from a long light-weight wooden stick we found in the craft store. The paddle section is copper colored glitter cardstock. We cut out the shape twice and glued it back to back over the end of the stick. We then twisted shiny gold pipe-cleaners going up the stick, to make it look more decorative.
For the water, we started out with a base of water gossamer material, which we purchased from a party store online. We had to lay the gossamer over a blue table-cloth, since it is very thin. We then made waves out of blue posterboard. We cut out wave shapes by drawing a wavy pattern across the middle of the posterboard. This makes two waves, as you can use both pieces of the posterboard. We then cut them out and added wavy lines with blue glitter glue. To put them up, we folded over about two to three inches of the bottom edge and pinned it to the gossamer with straight pins.
The columns in the background were made of black posterboard. We made three posterboard cylinders by rolling long strips of posterboard into tall tubes and gluing them closed. We glued circles on the top and bottom to close them. We made three small 3D squares that were just slightly larger than the bottom of a cylinder. We cut out the six sides to make the square and then glued them together into a box. We also made two really long thin 3D rectangles in the same general way. On all the pieces, we used gold paint to add a design. On the cylinders, we painted stripes going down and across, and on the long thin rectangles we painted triangles starting at alternate ends. We then glued the whole thing together with the small squares under each cylinder, and the long rectangles on the very bottom and on the top.
Finally, we finished up this scene with inflatable crocodiles we purchased online. We set up the scene with the crocodiles laying over the water, and the Egyptian man inside the boat, looking like he is paddling away.
Dog Birthday Table 3: Sarcophagus with Mummy
This dog birthday table had a large sarcophagus with a mummy inside. We also had two Egyptians columns on either side.
To make the sarcophagus, we used gold posterboard. We first drew a large sarcophagus shape on two sheets of gold posterboard glued together, and cut it out. We then used long thin strips of gold posterboard that we attached all around the border of the shape. We had to glue it a little at a time, and bend it to try to match the contours of the shape. We then glued plastic jewels all around the inside edge. To decorate the outside edge, we printed Egyptian temple drawing pictures we had found online, and glued them going down each side. We added more jewels in the corner of each picture.
To make the mummy, we used another inflatable doll. We tied the hands and feet together, to make more of a mummy shape. We then wrapped white crepe paper streamers around and around the doll, until it was completely covered, using glue occasionally to help keep it together. We put it together by placing the mummy inside the sarcophagus and tying it in place with dental floss which we threaded through the sarcophagus walls.
For the columns, we again used gold posterboard. We tried to copy a design we found online of an Egyptian column. We painted a piece of gold posterboard with the design, which involved blue and red stripes, and various patterns of squares and circles. We then rolled the piece of posterboard and glued it into a cylinder. For the top and bottom, we made a thin 3D circle out of gold posterboard. We did this by cutting a circle twice out of posterboard, and then using a thin strop to attach it together. We then attached these circles to the top and bottom of each column.
Dog Birthday Table 4: King Tut’s Treasures
On this dog birthday table we tried to include all the various treasures that might be found in King Tut’s tomb. This included a treasure chest, golden goblets and bowl, and a statue of the Egyptian god Bastet.
For the treasure chest, we used a chest we found at the flea market. We filled it with gold plastic coins, rocks spray-painted gold, plastic jewels, and various shiny rocks. We placed everything inside spilling out, and displayed it propped open.
For the golden goblets, we purchased plastic goblets at the dollar store. We then spray-painted them gold. We drew a triangular design around the stems with a silver paint maker and glued on plastic jewels. The bowl was made from a paper bowl, which we spray-painted gold and decorated with jewels.
For the statue of Bastet, who is a cat goddess, we purchased a small inflatable cat online. We spray-painted the cat black, except for the eyes, which we covered with tape to stop the paint from getting on them. We drew a design on the cat’s belly with gold paint marker. We made a pedestal for the statue out of a box that held Christmas cards. It was already gold, so we just drew hieroglyphics along the edges. We then tied Bastet to the box with dental floss.
Dog Birthday Table 5: Egyptian Fountain
On this dog birthday table we made a large Egyptian style fountain. We made it almost entirely out of black posterboard. We made three cylinders in three sizes: long, medium, and short. We rolled the black posterboard and glued it together for each one. We also made two 3D circles, one large, and one extra large. For each, we cut two circles of the same size, and then closed it with a long strip of posterboard, going around the circles. On the cylinders, we used gold paint to make stripes and decorative lines. We also painted a gold stripe in the center of each 3D circle.
We painted the tops of the circles with a flower like design. We then glued the large circle onto the longest cylinder, then the medium cylinder on top of that, the smaller circle on top of that, and finally the smallest cylinder on the very top. The fountain (we were styling after) had decorative statues attached of what looked like cherubs or babies. To try to create this, we purchased two old small plastic baby dolls on eBay. We spray-painted them gold entirely, and tied them with wire onto the largest circle.
For the water coming out of the fountain, we used opalescent shredding that comes in a bag. We made each strip of water out of duck tape. We stuck two pieces of duck tape together, with a length of wire between them. We then glued the shredding all over both sides of the duck tape. We made four strips of water and stuck the wire ends into the top circle of the fountain. When we displayed the fountain, we hung the other ends of the water from the ceiling to give them a curved flowing shape.
Dog Birthday Table 6: Palm Trees and Pyramids
This dog birthday table was supposed to look like the desert with an arrangement of pyramids and palm trees.
We started making the pyramids with white posterboard. We cut out four triangles for each one, along with a square for the bottom that had edges the size of the bottoms of the triangles. We then decorated each triangle. We first painted them a tan color. We used paint with a lot of water in it, which spread easily and quickly. When that was dry, we drew lines on each piece to look like a pyramid’s bricks. We had four lines going across, and lines coming down from the bottom of each horizontal line. We used brown markers to make these lines thick and bold. We then painted each brick with a thin coat of Elmer’s glue and sprinkled sand from the beach over it, shaking off the excess. This gave it a real sand texture. When all the pieces were decorated, we glued the bottom of each triangle to an edge of the square. We then squished it towards the top and glued it together.
The palm trees were inflatable ones that we purchased online. The trees did not stand on their own easily, so we made brown posterboard bases to hold them up.
Dog Birthday Table 7: Snake in a Basket
This dog birthday table was supposed to look one of the snakes being charmed that you so often see in Egypt. We found an old basket and took off the handle. We then spray-painted it gold. We glued large plastic jewels all around the center. We bought a poseable cobra online, and positioned it inside the basket, wiring it’s tail to the bottom so it would stay in place and stand up high. We then covered up the bottom of the snake and the inside of the basket with gold shredding.
We decided to make the walls of Phoenix's dog birthday party look like the inside of an Egyptian temple. We looked at pictures of temples and saw they have a lot of hieroglyphics and lines that separate them. We found pictures of hieroglyphics online, altered them with a photo-shop program so that they would all be a light brown color, which would stand out a little bit on our walls, but not be too busy when we hung other decorations over them.
We then printed a large number of them, about an inch big each, and cut them all out individually. We also used long black construction paper to make the lines separating them. We cut the paper into quarter inch thin strips, and attached strips together until they were the height of our walls. We made enough lines to go around the dog birthday party area, with the lines being about 6 inches apart. We then hung up all the lines with scotch tape, and a row of hieroglyphics going down between each two lines.
We also made a border along the top of the walls out of black construction paper. We cut it to look like triangles pointing down, and decorated it with silver and gold lines, diamonds, and circles. We glued jewels in the center of all the diamonds. We put it up so that it went around the entire top of the walls of the dog birthday party area.
We drew scenes with various gods and goddesses to hang on the walls over the hieroglyphics. We found drawings of the different gods and goddesses and drew them free-hand on posterboard. We painted them and cut them out. The ones we drew were Osiris, Isis, Nut, Bes, Tawnet, Hathor, Seshat, Ptah, Queen Cleopatra, Queen Nefertit, King Tut, King Amenhotep, Apep, Anubis, Ra, and so on. We tried to hang some of the scenes with the dog birthday tables that went with them.
In back of the King Tut’s treasures table, we did the whole wall to match the King Tut theme. We drew various treasures to complement the ones on the table. We also made a large 3D King Tut sarcophagus. We drew and painted the sarcophagus. We then traced it and cut out that shape again. We attached strips of posterboard along the sides to make it 3D. We painted it, copying pictures of King Tut we found online, and we decorated it with jewels. We drew pyramids and palm trees and camels to go in back of the 3D ones. For smaller areas with no dog birthday tables, we drew and painted some other Egyptian artifacts, like a Tree of Life, Rosetta stone, and a scarab beetle.
We made a special dog birthday sign for Phoenix where we drew a picture of him as an Egyptian god while still looking like a dog. We drew a pyramid and treasure chest in the background. Towards the top we wrote King Phoenix, and then wrote King Phoenix again in hieroglyphics. On the bottom we wrote His Golden Birthday in Ancient Egypt. We decorated the Egyptian dog birthday sign with plastic jewels and hung it where you would see it when you first walked in.
For the ceiling, we made jewels out of posterboard. We drew the shapes of diamonds, square jewels, oval jewels and so on out of posterboard in various colors. We drew on lines to make it look it had facets and a jewel design. We used marker to make the lines stand out. In between the lines, we painted them with Elmer’s glue and shook on glitter to make them sparkle. We did this on both sides, so they would be double-sided. We made about 200 overall, and hung them all over the ceiling with dental floss.
We also made gold Egyptian birds. We drew the outline of the birds on gold posterboard. We cut them out, and decorated them with black marker and glitter glue. We made about 50 of these and hung them from the ceiling with dental floss.
Dog Birthday Tableware:
It was difficult to find actual Egyptian themed tableware. They really don’t make any, so for Phoenix's dog birthday party we had to improvise. For the dinner plates we used plastic triangular shaped plates that came in a plain ivory color. We painted pyramid bricks on them using edible gold paint we purchased online, so they would look like pyramids. For the dessert plates, we purchased plastic oval gold plates and decorated them with jewels around the border. For the cups, we bought translucent gold plastic cups. We bought an Egyptian stencil book online, and used permanent markers to stencil an Egyptian figure on the outside of each cup. We finished the Egyptian dog birthday tableware with gold cutlery and gold napkins, as well as a gold tablecloth.
For the centerpiece, we purchased a sphinx statue and two pyramid statues from a pet store. The statues were actually intended to be decorations for a fish tank, but worked well as an Egyptian dog birthday centerpiece.
The following video is an overview of all the Egyptian dog birthday decorations we created for the Phoenix's dog birthday party:
Outfits for Phoenix's Dog Birthday Party
For human and dog birthday party outfits, we purchased Egyptian and collar and headpiece sets on Amazon.com. These worked for the dogs as well. We asked everyone to wear long white shirts, so it would look kind of like Egyptian tunics. Everyone also wore black pants. We made everyone belts out of wide gold ribbon, which we cut to fit around the waist. We attached a long strip ending in a point, which hung down from the center of the belt, like we saw in Egyptian pictures.
For the belts, we also made an Egyptian beaded charm, using an Egyptian jewelry kit we found. It was a beaded circle with beaded strings hanging from it, and we put a little metal charm of King Tut hanging from the center. We attached the beaded decorations to each belt. We also made everyone two bracelets out of copper, using a copper engraving kit. We engraved each person’s name on the bracelets, one bracelet had the name in English, and the other had the name in hieroglyphics.
To complete the look, we did all of the human’s faces with makeup when they arrived. We put on burgundy lipstick, shiny green eye-shadow almost up to the eyebrow, dark eyebrow pencil lines going around the eyes and extending outward in a line as well as darkening the eyebrows, and we finished it off with gold bronzer powder throughout the face.
Our Egyptian outfits for Phoenix's dog birthday party!
Music for an Egyptian Dog Birthday Party
For Phoenix's Egyptian dog birthday party we found songs related to Egypt in some way, such as having to do with camels, King Tut, pharaohs, mummies, or just Egypt in general. We purchased the songs individually on iTunes. Here is the Egyptian dog birthday playlist we used:
“Sand Dance” sung by The CRS Players
“Walk Like An Egyptian” sung by The Bangles
“My Mommy Was A Mummy” sung by Dave Rudolph
“King Tut” sung by Steve Martin
“Mummy Don’t Allow” sung by Recess Monkey
“Hieroglyphics” sung by Mr. I, Gary Q and the Rainbow Singers
“Palm Tree” sung by The Chapin Sisters
“The Mummy” sung by The Naturals
“Harry the Pharaoh” sung by Peter Mayer
“Cameling” sung by Tom Chapin
“Riddle of the Sphinx” sung by LJ Geronimo Harry
“Me and My Mummy” sung by Boris Pickett
“Egyptian Nile” sung by Juliette McDonald
“Nights Over Egypt” sung by Incognito
“The Sphinx Won’t Tell” sung by The Four Preps
“Camel” from Kaleidoscope Songs
“My Undead Mummy and Me” sung by Little Apple Band
“Cleopatra” sung by Frankie Avalon
“Pharaoh, Pharaoh” sung by Mah Tovu
“Another Pyramid” sung by John Hickok
“Egyptian Shumba” sung by The Tammys
Games for an Egyptian Dog Birthday Party
We had twelve games at Phoenix's dog birthday party, which lasted all day. We had a lot of fun, but you may want to choose only some of your favorites from the games if you’d like to have a shorter version of this dog birthday party.
Game 1 - Canopic Caption:
The art of the Ancient Egyptians reflected every aspect of their lives. They depicted scenes of everyday living, golden jewelry, canopic jars, animals, as well as stories about gods and goddesses on the walls of their tombs and temples. But what is really going on in those pictures?
In this game, we had the guests write captions for some of these scenes. We printed out several Egyptian drawings we found online that looked like they might spark a caption. We handed out the same scene to each person and asked them to come up with silly captions for it. They could be about the scene in general, a thought or sentence one of the people or animals in the drawing might say, or they could even write the caption with a modern twist.
After the guests all wrote captions, we held up the picture and read out the captions. We then asked the guests to rate the captions, except for their own. They had to write down which they thought was funniest, second funniest, and third funniest. Funniest was worth 3 points, second funniest was worth 2 points, and third funniest was worth one point. We added up the score for each person’s caption. The guests got to do this with several scenes. At the end we added up all the scores, and the person with the highest score won.
Game 2 - Mummies Unwrapped:
Sometimes the mummies of Ancient Egypt were all wrapped up while wearing valuable jewelry. The guests had to uncover an ancient necklace. For this game, we made a mummy path for the guests to walk on. We cut posterboard into squares about 10X10 inches. We made around 36 of them and duck taped them together to form what looked like the border of a really big square. We flipped it over to the other side where it was blank and drew jewel designs on most of the squares. On the remaining three, we drew a mummy shape. We outlined the borders of all the squares to make them more defined. We showed the guests how to walk like Egyptians, by pointing one hand forward and one hand back. We then had the guests walk on this path while trying to walk like Egyptians and we played the song “Walk Like An Egyptian”. They had to walk slowly in one direction, staying on the squares.
When we stopped the music, anyone with a foot on a mummy square could unravel one layer of the mummy. The mummy was actually a doll wearing an Egyptian necklace made of beads and wrapped up in white crepe paper streamers. We wrote numbers at the end of each layer of streamers so the guest would know when to stop unwinding it. If no one was on a mummy square, the music continued. Otherwise the music continued after the layer was unwrapped. The mummy was wrapped up in about 10 layers of streamers. Whichever guest was lucky enough to unwrap the last layer on the mummy got to keep the necklace the mummy was wearing and won the game.
Game 3 - Memorable Myths:
The Egyptian myths were exciting stories involving topics such as love, betrayal, and deception. For this game, the guests were split into two teams. One member from each team was elected to be the storyteller. That person was given an Egyptian myth to memorize for 2-3 minutes. The other members of their team were given sheets with questions to answer about the story.
The storyteller then had to retell the story from memory, trying to give as much detail as possible. The rest of the team had to write down the answers to the questions based on the story they heard. That team got a point each time a person on that team answered a question correctly. Then the other team got a different myth, and did the same thing. The team that earned the most points won the game.
Game 4 - Pyramid Schemes:
No one knows how the Egyptians created the Ancient Pyramids. But nevertheless, we involved our guests in some pyramid schemes. This dog birthday game involved dogs to some degree, but could easily be played only with humans. We made drawings of pyramids with clues written inside, and the guests were supposed to be the first to call out the title of the pyramid. For example, we wrote the clues- material, thin, ancient, textured and writing in one of the pyramids, and the title that they had to guess was Papyrus. Each correct guess earned that guest a time deduction for the next part of the game.
In the next part of this dog birthday game, one of the guests hid three 3D pyramids (which had been made out of paper and stuffed with dog treats) around the room. We then timed how long it took one of the dogs to find all the pyramids, open them, and eat the treats inside. The guests could deduct time from the total if they had correct guesses from before. Whichever person had a dog finish in the fastest time, including the deductions, won the dog birthday game. If you’re not playing with dogs, you could hide pyramids in more hidden spots and time how long it takes the human guests to find them.
The dogs helping out at Phoenix's dog birthday party
Game 5 - Nile Names or Not:
The Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses had names that were interesting and unusual. Another group that has interesting names, however, are the sons and daughters of celebrities. But we wanted to see if our guests could tell the difference. We found the names of Egyptian gods and goddesses and unusual celebrity baby names, and wrote them on index cards. We put the answers on the back. We also made a paddle for each guest out of foam board. We printed images we had made using photo-shop to write Egyptian God or Goddess on one square and Celebrity Baby Name on another square, with images to match. We then attached one on each side of the paddle, for all the paddles. We gave a paddle to each guest to hold.
To play, we held up an index card with a name, and each guest had to hold up their paddle with their guess facing forward. We went through a bunch of names, and each correct guess was worth a point. The guest with the most points at the end won.
Game 6 - Scarab’s Secret:
Snakes played an important role in Ancient Egypt. Some gods were represented by the snake, pharaohs were frequently represented with a snake on their crowns, and snake charmers were known to perform by hypnotizing snakes in shallow baskets.
For this game, each guest had a chance to throw plastic snakes into a basket. We marked off a spot for them to stand on. They got six snakes on their turn, and had to try to land at least four of them inside the basket. If they managed this, they got to take a sacred scarab. Scarabs were symbols of the sun god and became good luck charms for Egyptians. We had made the scarabs out of model magic. One of the scarabs was made with a key inside which opened a small plastic treasure chest. The guests took turns throwing their snakes until all of the scarabs had been earned. The guests then all broke open their scarabs, which broke open easily, looking for the key. Whichever guest had the key got to open the chest, which had a small plastic scarab necklace inside, and also won the game.
Game 7 - Riddle of the Sphinx:
In this game, the guests journeyed through the desert to an ancient temple. To get to the temple, however, they had to make it past several sphinxes. This was a board game that we created on a piece of posterboard. For the spaces, we cut circles out of white paper, and glued sand onto them. We glued them on the board to make a path around the game-board. After every few circles, usually 3-5, we had a sphinx. To make each sphinx, we printed a small picture of a sphinx we found online. We also printed the same sphinx flipped in the other direction. We then glued the two pictures to either side of a small box so it would stand up. We attached the boxes with the sphinxes onto the game-board in those spots.
Each guest received 3 Egyptian people (which we had printed off the computer). To make the person stand up, we gave each person a Lego brick and double- sided tape to stick their first person onto. They put their people on the first space to start. On a person’s turn, they took a question card. These questions were varied and included things like definitions, anagrams, trivia, and so on, all relating to Egypt. We had come up with all of these questions previously, and written them on index cards, with answers covered up underneath. If a person answered the question correctly, they could move forward one space, otherwise they stayed put.
The guests took turns answering questions and moving forward until someone encountered a sphinx. Sphinxes were known to ask a riddle of travelers to allow them passage. If a traveler answered correctly, they could pass, but if they were unable to answer, the sphinx devoured them. When a guest reached a sphinx, they had a take a Sphinx Riddle card. These cards had wordy old-fashioned riddles to solve. If the guest answered correctly, they got to move to the next space beyond the sphinx, which would involve answering the standard questions again. If they answered incorrectly, however, their person was eaten by the sphinx, and they had to return to the beginning of the path that led to that sphinx with another of their people. The Egyptian person on their Lego piece was ripped off, and a new one was taped on. The guest attempted another riddle when they reached that sphinx again. If all the Egyptian people of a guest were eaten, that person was out of the game.
The first guest to answer the last sphinx’s riddle and enter the temple (which was a printed picture at the end of the game-board) won. If all but one guest’s people had been eaten, the last guest standing would have won.
Game 8 - Hieroglyphs and Jewels:
Ancient Egyptians were known for their system of writing with pictures called hieroglyphics. For this game, we divided the guests into two teams. We made two trails of hidden jewels, one for each team. These jewels were large plastic jewels in different colors that we had purchased. We wrote all of the clues in hieroglyphics. We found a hieroglyphic type-writer online which allowed us to write out the messages more easily. We printed these clues for the guests, along with a hieroglyphic translation sheet. We hid the jewels under the different drawings on the walls, and the clues indicated which drawing they were hidden under. The teams each got the first clue of their trail. They had to translate and find the first jewel, which was hidden along with the next clue. The first team to find all the jewels on their trail won the game.
Game 9 - Canine Camels:
Many Egyptians have depended on camels to be their “ships of the desert”. They can carry over 200 pounds for 20 miles in the desert heat. This dog birthday game involved playing with the dogs. The guests had to rely on their canine camels to help them transport water from the Nile. We split all the guests into pairs. One guest on the pair acted as the Nile, and the other wanted to retrieve the water. We created a camel outfit to put on a dog. We used a tan pocketbook, which we covered with brownish fuzzy material, which hung down on each side. Underneath the material, we attached a paper bowl to the pocketbook, to create the hump shape. We attached the whole thing with the pocketbook to an apron, which could be tied around the dog. In the zippered compartment of the pocketbook, we put a small capped vial to hold the Nile water.
The person playing the Nile got a large container filled with water. The person collecting the water got an empty container. Both people got a bag of dog treats. We set up the pair several feet apart and put the camel outfit on one of the dogs. The dog started by sitting in front of the water collector. The Nile person had to call the dog (using treats if needed), have him come over and take the vial out of his hump and fill it with water, then replace it back into the hump. The water collector then called the dog, took out the vial and dumped it in their container, then replaced the empty container back in the hump. The aim was for the water collector to collect as much water as possible within three minutes. The dogs always got lots of treats for coming when called. When time was up, the water was measured with a measuring cup and the measurement written down. After all the pairs had a turn, the pair who collected the most water won the dog birthday game.
Game 10 - The Egyptian Oracle:
Oracles allowed Egypt’s deities to speak directly to the people. Egyptians would ask questions about the future and what would come to pass. The prophecies the Egyptians received were often mysterious and sometimes hard to understand, but the Egyptians tried to extract meaning to apply to their situation. We broke the guests up into pairs. One person in each pair was the questioner and the other was the Oracle.
All the questioners had to think of a question relating to the future in some way and write it down. They then gave the Oracle a one-word clue as to the content of the question. The pairs then each took a turn. On their turn, the questioner gave their clue and the oracle had to give a prophecy to answer the question that they imagined was being asked. The prophecy had to sound as mystical and oracle-like as possible, while trying to provide an answer to what they thought the question was. The questioner then revealed what their question was. The other guests each received a sheet to rate the prophecy on how mysterious and oracle-sounding it was, how well the prophecy answered the question, and whether the prophecy was likely to come true. After all the pairs had a turn, the pair whose oracle received the highest ratings won the game.
Game 11 - Ancient Amulets:
In Ancient Egypt, the people commonly wore amulets to provide them with protection or give them various types of power. The power of an amulet depended on the shape and form. We gave each guest a sheet with information about different types of amulets including each amulet’s power, special properties, and a fun fact. We had three pieces of information for each one. They had about five minutes to study and memorize the information about all the amulets. We had a big container filled with sand with various amulets hidden inside. We had made the amulets out of model magic, copying simplified Egyptian amulets we saw online.
The guests took turns digging up an amulet. We gave them spoons to dig in the sand. After they dug one up, they had to answer questions about the amulet based on the information they had memorized. Each correctly answered question was worth one point of power for the amulet. Each amulet also had a base power that was written on it and covered up with tape. After answering the questions, the guest could uncover the base power, and then add the extra power points they earned to determine the amulet’s total power. Each guest got to uncover a few amulets. The guest who had the most amulet power points overall won the game.
Game 12 - The Tomb’s Curse:
Tomb curses were said to be invoked for any acts of violation of a pharaoh’s tomb. After Lord Carnarvon excavated the tomb of King Tut, his death was believed to be the result of a curse. A number of other deaths were also believed to be the result of the opening of tombs. This was another board-game we made.
To make the board, we cut black posterboard into a thin rectangle. We printed pictures of stones, and glued them in a straight line to form a path down the posterboard rectangle. At the end of the board, we placed a small plastic sarcophagus we had gotten that opened and closed.
We made scrolls for each player, which they were trying to obtain, and hid them inside the sarcophagus. Each guest received a small action figure that represented their archaeologist, who was entering the tomb on a dig, and placed them on the start space at the beginning of the board. To move forward in this part of the game each guest took a card that told them something to find. They had to look on the Egyptian page of a Where’s Waldo book called “Where’s Waldo Now” to find the object. They had about 30 seconds to try to locate it. If they managed to find it, they moved forward one. It not, they stayed put.
The guests took turns taking cards and trying to move forward. On some of the card, instead of something to find, there was a picture of a lotus flower. Lotus flowers are known to have an intoxicating quality that makes people become disoriented, so this caused the guest to lose their turn. Once a guest reached the sarcophagus, they were allowed to open it and take out the scroll with their name. Each scroll had a list of numbers and the effect rolling these numbers with a pair of dice would have. The numbers that corresponded to each effect varied on each person’s scroll. Once a guest had opened the sarcophagus, they needed to turn around and try to go back down the path to get back out of the temple.
Unfortunately, upon opening the sarcophagus, the curse was unleashed on them. On their turn, they could no longer use the Where’s Waldo book to move. Instead they rolled a pair of stone dice, and checked their scroll to see what effect the total on the stones had. Each number either led to the guest moving forward 1 or 2 spaces, moving back 1 or 2 spaces, losing their turn, being knocked out by the curse, or being revived by the phoenix. If a person was knocked out, they had to lie their action figure down until they rolled a phoenix, and were revived. The first person to make it back to the entrance of the temple alive won the game.
To keep score at Phoenix's dog birthday, we made each party guest their own little chart. We cut yellow posterboard into strips, and divided it into spaces about 2 and a half by 3 and a half. We included a space for each game, and a starting space. On the starting space we wrote The Journey Begins. We then printed pictures of palm trees which fit into the squares, and put numbers on the palm trees that went up to one less than the number of games we had. For the last game, we printed a picture of a pyramid, and wrote the last number on it. We then glued the palm trees and pyramids into the spaces on each chart in number order.
We also made a special camel for each guest. We found an image of a person riding a camel, and photo-shopped a picture of each guest’s head onto the person riding the camel. We then printed the pictures on cardstock and cut them out. We started them all on the starting space with a bubble of tape. We told everyone they were riding their camels towards the wondrous pyramid. Each time someone won a game or was on a team that won a game, they got to move their camel one space forward to the next palm tree. After all the games were over, the person who got closest to the pyramid was the big winner.
Prizes and Awards for Phoenix's Dog Birthday Party Games:
We gave out awards for first, second and third place for both the humans and the dogs. We made the awards out of cardstock in the shape of ankhs, a popular Egyptian symbol. We used glittery gold, silver, and bronze cardstock to represent the first, second and third place, like the medals they have in the Olympics, because they use a lot of shiny metals in Ancient Egypt. We cut out the Ankhs and wrote 1st Prize or whichever it was, and the name of the dog birthday party and so on. We attached yarn necklaces so the dog birthday guests could wear them.
The prizes for the humans we gave out were real silver Egyptian necklaces in the shape of Queen Nefertiti in different sizes, larger ones for higher prizes. The dogs received Egyptian themed dog toys for their prizes, we tried to use some of the animals you might find in Egypt. First prize was a stuffed toy basket with removable toy snakes, second prize was a toy jackal, and third prize was a toy hippo.
Dog Birthday Poetry Activity:
We have a special tradition at our dog birthday parties where we ask the guests to write a poem for the birthday boy. The dog birthday invitations asked the guests to write a poem about Phoenix’s adventures in Ancient Egypt. We also sent them a special paper for the guests to write the poems on. We found Egyptian themed papers online for them to use. The guests then wrote their poems at home and brought them with them to the dog birthday party. We had a poetry reading after the games and awards were finished. We had each guest read their poem aloud and everyone clapped. We then later add these dog birthday poems to a special book we keep for Phoenix.
Food for Phoenix's Dog Birthday
We tried to make refreshments that fit with the Egyptian dog birthday theme. We made two kinds of pyramids. One pyramid was made of cheese cubes. These are sold in bags already pre-cut into cubes in the supermarket. We used cream cheese to cement them together in a pyramid formation. We put crackers around the pyramids for the guests to eat with the cheese.
The other pyramid was made out of square caramels. We took them out of their wrappers, and since they are sticky, we were able to stick them together to form a pyramid formation. To display the pyramids, we crunched up graham crackers by smashing them in a Ziploc, and poured them on plates to look like sand around the pyramids.
We also made edible palm trees for Phoenix's dog birthday. For the trunks we used pretzel rods. For the leaves, we used green tootsie roll midgees. We rolled them out with a rolling pin over wax paper, and then used a knife to cut them into palm leaf shapes. We melted chocolate in the microwave, and used it attach three leaves on the end of each pretzel rod. We also used chocolate to attach cocoa puffs under the leaves to look like coconuts. To make them stand up, we used a pile of melted chocolate around the base of the trunks to give them support. We put the whole thing in the freezer to help it harden. We then put more edible graham cracker sand around the base of the trees.
In addition, we served triangular chips (to look like pyramids) with dip.
Egyptian Dog Birthday Cake
We ordered the dog birthday cake from a bakery, which was vanilla butter-cream. We asked them to spray-paint it a tannish color on the top to look like sand. They also made some greenery out of green icing. We finished decorating it ourselves with some Egyptian figurines we had purchased. In the greenery, we placed some plastic palm trees. We also added a camel, small pyramids, Nefertiti, a sarcophagus, Anubis, and other little Egyptian figures. We used gold candles to match. Written on the cake in black writing was “Happy Egyptian Birthday to Pharaoh Phoenix”.
Phoenix's Egyptian dog birthday cake
Phoenix with a piece of his dog birthday cake
Here's a brief video of everyone singing Happy Birthday at Phoenix's Egyptian dog birthday party:
Goody Bags at Phoenix's Dog Birthday Party
For the goody bags, we purchased shiny gold gift bags. We then decorated all of them with Egyptian stickers. We made separate bags up for the dogs and for the humans. We filled the dog bags with various treats, bones, and biscuits. For the human’s bags, we included paint your own snakes, chocolate rocks, Egyptian figurines, sphinx statues, Egyptian stickers, tiny camels, cobras and crocodiles, gold bouncing balls, papyrus bookmarks, and chocolate King Tuts we made with a mold.
Egyptian dog birthday party goody bags
Everyone really seemed to enjoy Phoenix’s dog birthday party, and Phoenix loved everyone fussing over him. Some of the guests seemed really fascinated with Egypt and the mysteries of the pyramids and things like that. Everyone loved the chance to get dressed up like Egyptians, and the outfits and makeup really added an exotic feel to the dog birthday party.
The edible palm trees were a huge hit, and the guests kept going back to take more. We thought the games also went well. The board games were really popular, and there was a lot of laughter during Canopic Captions. For some reason, a caption that came up “Does my hand smell like figs to you?” caused everyone to be hysterical, and was mentioned over and over all day.
The Egyptian Oracle was also very funny, with the guests really getting silly and trying to act like an Oracle. During the camel game, everyone couldn’t wait to see the dogs get dressed up like camels, and found it really funny. The dogs were pretty good at going back and forth with the water, and had a really good time with all the treats they were getting. When it was time for presents, Phoenix opened them all himself, and he loves his new toys.
Phoenix opening his presents at his Egyptian dog birthday party!
We thought the Egyptian dog birthday party went really well and everyone had a good time. We hope you like reading about it and find some dog birthday ideas you can use for your own party!