Minecraft Birthday Party Dog Taming Game

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I always like to have some activity ready to go when kids arrive at a party.  Not a game, necessarily, but something that they can do while we're waiting for all the guests to arrive.  That's exactly what our Dog Taming game was for the Minecraft Stampy Longnose party.

If you play Minecraft, you can probably guess exactly what this was.  Or if you actually pay attention when your kids talk about Minecraft (nonstop) to you ALL DAY LONG.  I love my kids.  LOVE them.  And I like that they play Minecraft.  But I admit, I totally zone out and just make appropriate noises when we're into the intricacies of Minecraft play and crafting.

(From a BuzzFeed Inspirational Posters for Parents article.  #12 also particularly resonates with me.)

For those of you who parent the HELL out of your kids...and yet totally tune out when the topic is Minecraft, let me explain.

So you can get a dog in Minecraft.  One who will love you and follow you and help you.  But you need to tame it, first.  You do this by giving it bones, and when it becomes tame, a collar magically appears around the wolf's (dog's) neck.

For our activity, I bought stuffed dogs (these ones, and these ones), and eraser bones and toy collars as well. The kids that knew the Minecraft drill (and there were many), were happy to instruct the few kids who didn't.  Give the dogs some bones, and they accept a collar and become yours.  

I adore how kids throw themselves into creative play.  They enthusiastically, with absolutely no artifice, actually offered the stuffed dogs eraser bones, and then claimed one with a collar.  

Give the kids props and supplies, and they will create amazing activities all on their own.  You don't need to orchestrate every minute of their party time; indeed, the children will be happier if you let them create their own activities.  And, hey, that's easier on you as the parent!  Run with it.

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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