One of the fun parts of planning a birthday party, back-to-school party or other celebration for the kids is choosing party favors! These range from items that go with the theme of the party, to traditional favorites that most kids love, to useful items that the child can use at home or at school. Instead of relying on pre-packaged goodie bags filled with things that, quite honestly, are likely to end up in the trash once the festivities, consider some of these fun ideas:
- Small plants: Particularly if you’re hosting a party with a flower theme, one of the activities can be to have each child plant his or her own marigold, sunflower or other easy-to-grow plant in a small terra cotta pot (and actually, painting the pot with quick-drying acrylic paint could be the first part of the activity). This is a gift that will last for weeks, hopefully. Send home a small card that will detail whether to put the plant in the sun or in a shady spot and how often to water it.
- A reusable lunch bag filled with snacks. This is a great one for a party that takes place in the late summer or early fall, to coincide with the return to school, but it can really be used anytime: by wintertime, kids are often bored with their lunch bags, which might be looking pretty shabby by that point! Snacks like individual sized bags of chips, pudding or applesauce cups, packs of crackers and other non-perishables will make welcomed additions to the next week’s packed lunches.
- Outdoor toys to go with the season. During mild seasons, hand out bags with sidewalk chalk, bubbles, a jump rope, sunglasses and other things that can be used outside. If it snows where you live, include a pair of gloves, snowman accessories (like a hat, a carrot, buttons, a scarf) or a pair of warm socks. In the summer, consider a bucket, a small plastic shovel and a few sand toys.
- Themed goodie bags. Depending on the age and gender of your child, consider a spa basket (gel eye mask, bubble bath, nail polish); a craft bag (glue, scissors, felt, pom poms, glitter, watercolors, craft foam); or an explorer kit (binoculars, magnifying glass, a map, a flashlight, perhaps a field guide relevant to your local area). Use your imagination and ask your child for input!
When putting together your goodie bags, be creative with the containers. Some examples of interesting or reusable packaging include tea cups or mugs (you can fill these with candy or small trinkets); Chinese takeout boxes (decorate them as one of the party activities, if you desire); purses (fill with lipstick, tissues, pens, gum, and other treasures that the kids try to take from your purse!); and baskets of all shapes and sizes. Remember that they don’t all need to be identical, but that each bag or basket should contain similar items in order to prevent squabbling and hurt feelings.
What are some creative objects or containers that you’ve used in making goodie bags for your children’s parties?