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Dog Days Of Summer

Posted by Elisa Taub
Dog Days Of Summer

As we head into the dog days of summer, why not celebrate with activities centered around the animal for which this expression is known. Below we offer books, crafts and treats that celebrate man's best friend and will help get you through these long summer days with your kids.


BOOKS TO READ
There are hundreds of kids' books with dogs as the main character. Below are a few of our favorites. Click on the title for a more detailed description and/or to purchase.

Where's Spot? by Eric Hill

Smudge by Julie Sykes

Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann

Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman

Pokey Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey

Harry and the Lady Next Door by Gene Zion

Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh

Bark George by Jules Feiffer


MOVIES

These dog themed kids' movies provide great family entertainment on hot summer days or when you just need a little break.

Lady and the Tramp
101 Dalmations
Homeward Bound
All Dogs Go To Heaven
Beethoven
Airbud
My Dog Skip

CRAFT - Dog Cereal Bowl

Kids are fascinated with the way dogs eat, sticking their face into a bowl and eating without utensils. While you don't want to encourage this lack of manners, let your kids decorate a plastic dog bowl and use it as their own personal cereal bowl. Who knows... it may even put an end to breakfast time battles.


SUPPLIES:
Plastic Dog Bowl purchased at local dollar store
Foam Stickers
Sharpies


INSTRUCTIONS:
Use Foam Stickers and Sharpies (wear a smock and lay down some newspaper because they are permanent markers) to decorate.

If only using stickers, please note you must hand wash the bowl, being careful to not submerge outside of bowl in water.

TREAT - Dog Bone Cookies

Every kid wonders what dog bones taste like. Indulge your child's curiosity with this recipe for Dog Bone Cookies (for people only) provided by regular contributor Susan Kovinsky and her company Cupcake House (818-517-6969). These sugar cookies are easy to make and very tasty, so make sure to save the recipe as one of your basics. Don't forget the milk!


INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup butter
1 3oz. pkg. cream cheese (softened)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with electric mixer on medium high for 30 seconds.

Add 1/2 of flour (1 cup) and remaining ingredients to cream cheese mixture. Mix well. Add remainder of flour and again mix well. Dough will be sticky.

Pour onto piece of wax paper and roll into log (see photo below). Chill for 1-2 hours until dough is firm. (Dough may be kept in fridge for up to two weeks or frozen for up to 3 months).

When ready to use, peel away wax paper and break log in half. Knead into a ball. Using rolling pin and sprinkled flour to keep from sticking, roll dough out until about 1/4" thick. Use dog bone cookie cutter or knife to cut out dog bone shapes.

Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Cool on baker's rack and then frost (see recipe below) and decorate.

FROSTING:

1/3 cup butter (softened)
4 1/2 cups sifter powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Food Coloring (optional)

Beat butter until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups of powdered sugar. Mix well. Add milk, vanilla and remaining powdered sugar (2 1/2 cups) and slowly beat until smooth. (add additional milk if needed).

Add food coloring if desired.

**(the frosting will be thin upon application and will then harden.)

Cookie dough wrapped and ready for refrigeration.

Decorated