Kids party Place, Issue #009 – It’s a dog's life

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February 2006 Issue #009

It's Nicole the party mum here,

A big welcome to all my new subscribers and as usual a big welcome back to all those seasoned Kids Partygoers. For those of you who recently subscribed, let me introduce myself.

What's in this issue :

1) It's a dog's life
2) Make a Cork Rattlesnake
3) Your tips
4) Bag a bargain

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1) It's a dog's life

Well we are well into the New Year, the kids are back at school, I have spent all my money on the sales and suddenly I am being reminded of my New Year's resolutions. Actually my resolutions were pretty simple such as find time to clear the garden, keep in more contact with far away friends, clear out my crafts cupboard which is overflowing with empty cereal packets and toilet rolls and so on.

However, my 12 year old daughter has started to remind me that I had also promised to look into the idea of us owning a pet. Now we do have pets – fish, turtles and hamsters but what she wants, really, really wants, is a DOG. I love dogs but for me that is the problem. For those who don’t know, my husband's job means we move countries every 3 years and at the moment we are in Vietnam (great place by the way). Packing up cardboard boxes every three years and sorting through all our stuff/junk is a humungous job and what happens when we have a dog as well? Tears (mine, my daughters and the dog's) if we have to give the dog away, tears if the dog has to go into quarantine for months on end and more tears when I see the cost of kennels and the cost of shipping the dog. Worst of all, the tears when the dog suddenly disappears one day as the Vietnamese have a liking for culinary delights that involve our lovely four-legged friends.

What to do? For the moment I have stalled doggy investigations with an excuse that we have just moved house and need time to sort it all out. With the last box now emptied I know that the time has come to make a decision. I am passing the buck by saying that 'dad' has the last word and I can see soon that we will have a new addition to the family. The kids have all said that they will walk the dog, feed it and be totally responsible and I am sure they will but when the going gets tough and decisions need to be made guess who gets left holding the baby or in this case the puppy?

I think it is good for all children to have responsibility and a pet is one great way of teaching them about responsibility and caring for others. So it looks like we shall be a family of 6 soon and back to toilet training and messy floors. It is the Chinese year of the dog so I am just going to go with the flow and to remind myself that a dog really is man's best friend.

Now I know that many of you have pets or maybe you got a new cat or dog for Christmas. Knowing how precious and important they are to kids (and you!), I have put together a Pet Party theme. So if you have a birthday party coming up in your family and are looking for an original theme idea, then just bounce on right along to this Pet Party theme and have yourselves a doggone good time!


2) Cork Rattlesnake

I was trying to think up a pet craft and although most kids don't have a pet snake, I just love this snake as it so easy to make and yet looks fantastic.

Materials and tools :

  • 10 winemaker's corks (available from chemists). Alternatively use ordinary wine corks but you will need to drill a hole down the center.
  • 1 ordinary cork cut in half lengthways (for the head)
  • 17 colored beads
  • 60 cm (24 inches) of flat elastic 1-1.5 cm (1/2 inch) wide
  • Acrylic paint (green, black, red, yellow) and paint brushes
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Rubber bands
  • Glue, scissors
  • Acrylic varnish (optional)
  • STEP 1:
    Paint the corks green and leave to dry.
    STEP 2:
    Paint patterns black, red and yellow patterns on the dry corks. Leave to dry.
    STEP 3:
    Thread the main body of the corks onto the elastic placing a bead between each cork. As the corks are thinner at one end, make sure the thin end points towards the tail.
    STEP 4:
    Thread 5 beads onto the end of the snake to make the rattle. Tie a knot to stop the beads falling off.
    STEP 5:
    Pull the elastic up through the snake towards the head end (not too tight). Thread 2 beads onto the pipe cleaner to form the eyes setting them apart the width of the cork that will form the head. Cut off any extra pipe cleaner and twist the ends to hold the eyes in place. Flatten the elastic so that it lays flat along the cut side of the one half of the head cork. Place the eyes across the elastic and glue the two cork halves in place making sure that enough elastic protrudes out the mouth. Hold in place with the rubber band till dry.
    STEP 6:
    Snip a V shape in the protruding elastic to form the tongue and paint red. Allow to dry.
    STEP 7:
    Cover with varnish (optional).


    3) Your tips

    ** Always have a first aid kit to hand. It was very useful at my last party when we had several cut knees with a gang of boisterous 7 year olds. Jennie, UK

    ** Instead of bringing gifts, ask the kids to bring a toy that they don’t want and then put them all in a big box to give to a charity. Ritu, Delhi

    ** Don't let the kids eat too many sweets/candy during the party as they won’t want to eat anything else and it also makes some kids hyperactive. I give each kid a food box when they arrive with their name on and let them put their candy or prizes inside during the party. They can then take them home later and it saves you having to prepare a separate favor bag. Laura, Massachusetts


    4) Bag a Bargain

    I only ever include here what I think are genuine bargains and also things that I think that you would find useful such as new items. I know that many of you are from around the world so I always include where the country is of anything that I recommend so as not to waste your time. We all know that time is precious.

    Buy a Gift - Discount coupon (UK store)
    Looking for something different? With the widest range of amazing experiences and unique gifts Buy a Gift has it all. Try ballooning, scuba diving, record making, pampering for teens and a whole load more of really fun days.

    Clearnace sale of favor items (US store)
    'Buy in advance when cheap' is my motto. Lots of party favors going cheap including Lizzie Mcguire, Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears paper goods.

    Spilsbury - Clearance Section (US store)
    If you are looking for gifts then have a browse here as you can save up to 84% on puzzles and games.

    All the best and let me know of any ideas, tips and suggestions that you have.



    Copyright N.M.C Tod 2006