Birthday parties are a really big deal when one is turning seven! Ruby thought about her birthday party for months and months, trying to decide what kind of party she wanted. "Maybe a pottery painting party," Ruby thought. "Perhaps a swimming party! Oooo what about a birthday party trip to an amusement park!" I tried to keep some loose control before we had a trip to the moon planned.

It actually wasn't too hard to manage her expectations (just her imagination) because in Germany people tend to have simple birthday parties; a homemade cake, a couple of balloons, some cut up fruit, veggies and baked goods, and typically the same number of guests as the age you are turning. I really like this tradition. It is all very manageable and it feels wholesome and appropriate.

We decided on a picnic at a local park and because Ruby loves dogs, we incorporated a puppy theme into the celebration day.

First, I made puppy snack bags out of fun polka-dot bags (similar found here) and brown lunch sacks. I just colored in some round white stickers (such as these) and then added paper ears and a face drawn on with a black marker. This is an easy fun craft that could be transformed into all sorts of animals, plus it is very low cost and portable. We filled the bags with a snack mix made of popcorn, chex cereal, pretzels, chocolate chips, and dried cherries. They were a total hit.

I also bought small white gable boxes (found here) and cut out a door way to create a dog house. Each child got a gable dog house full of treats and animal stickers to color and decorate. To go with the dog houses I made paper dogs, printed and folded to create the little critters, (Because of course you can't have a dog house without a dog!). Download the printable here, print out the pdf, score on the dotted lines with a butter knife, and fold.

It turned out to be a wonderful day full of friends and fun, and lots of barking! : )