Every birthday party that I attended as a child I remember receiving a “loot bag” or treat bag. It would be filled with candy and little toys, maybe some stickers or gum, and handed out to every kid as they left the party as a favor, or thank-you, for coming. It always seemed like a perfect ending to perfect day, that was often short-lived as I would lose or break the toys, stick all the stickers, and eat the sweets.
As an adult, this concept seems ridiculous.
From the hosting standpoint, why do I want to spend $10 per kid on useless, cheap little dollar store toys (that get broken, thrown out, or stuck in the couch), and sweets I don’t even let my kids eat.
From a guest perspective the last thing my kid needs after a party is MORE sugar – that I probably won’t let them eat – and useless, cheap little dollar store toys (that get broken, thrown out, or stuck in the couch).
The tradition of thanking someone for celebrating with you, by giving them a gift or token of appreciation, is usually genuinely appreciated. So how about we start giving things worth appreciating? Let’s reinvent kids party favors. Break the molds with these excellent suggestions for kids party favors that are still cost-effective or dollar store chic, but won’t end up in the trash.
This is a great way to get the family together and a gift that keeps on giving. Check the clearance section of your local department / super stores to find great bargains on family board games (think WalMart, Target, Real Canadian Superstore, Giant Tiger). Even at $5 a piece it’s still cheaper than the traditional goodie bag
Puzzles are beneficial for children of any age and are very inexpensive. Keep an eye out for these in a dollar store. They generally have a good selection and if you want to make it a group activity for the family, buy one with a lot of pieces so they can work on them at home, together!
As Moms, we’re so damn busy during these parties, we often forget to take pictures so I would suggest allocating the job of photographer to a friend or family member. Provide each child with a photo album when they leave and request the email address of each parent at pick up time. After the part, you can pick the best, say, 10-20 pictures and email them to the parents to print for the child! This of course does require a bit of co-operation from each parent but I know I would be happy to do it, if it were for my child. This is also a great way to open dialogue with other parents, whom you may not have had the opportunity to really get to know yet.
Skipping Rope – if age appropriate
Sidewalk Chalk – $2 for a bucket at Dollarama and Dollar Tree, so most likely available at your local dollar store
Butterfly Net – or bug catching set, also found at a dollar store
Soccer / Basket Ball
Giant Bubble Wand – or any kind of bubbles really.. every kid loves bubbles!
Fall / Winter Parties
Crazy Carpets – I found these for $3 each at my local dollar store. It gets those kids out and moving around for some classic winter fun.
Scrapbook – for leaf collecting in the fall!
Books – for those days when it’s just too cold to go outside.
Snowman Kit – we found a couple last year, one at Walmart for $3 and one at the dollar store for $2. They came with; buttons, a “carrot” nose, coal for the eyes and mouth, a hat, and a little scarf!
A Mug – Check out this super easy homemade recipe for hot chocolate and pre-make individual servings. You can package the dry mix with a cute directions card or note and place inside the mug for your guests to take home and enjoy on a cold day.
As you can see, party favors that are both useful and creative can act as a thoughtful thank-you to your party guests and you can’t rest assured they won’t end up broken, thrown out, or stuck in the couch. 😉
Have any to add to the list? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comment section!