Saturday, March 08, 2008

Party favor alternatives

Along with several of your favorite bloggers, I'll be contributing to the new online magazine, Blissfully Domestic.

Today's topic: birthday party favors--love 'em or hate 'em?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Definitely hate 'em.

Why do our kids need more STUFF? It just adds to the clutter.

Jora

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

I'm looking forward to working with you over there! :)

On favors, if they are done well I think they are nice. However, the run of the mill cheapie dollar store trinkets I could do without (although my girls love them.) I like things like stickers, seed packets, bubbles, art supplies...not plastic girly baubles and that sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

I love them! :) Sorry, I know that a lot of people don't! I like planning parties, and part of the fun is planning favors that go along with the theme. I do try not to do junk, and I am careful with my money in many ways, which enables me to be a little more free in this area. However, don't get me wrong. The max I have ever spent on favors was $3 per kid. I usually do home parties and do all the work myself, so the parties themselves are not expensive. We also don't invite a large number of kids. Not only does that add to the expense, I think it is overwhelming for the kid and they don't have as much fun. Examples of party favors that I have done:

For a cooking party, I gave aprons personalized with the child's name in fabric paint. They also got to take home cookies and individual cakes that they had decorated.

For a craft party, I made canvas craft bags and filled them with craft items.

For our teeny, tiny party, the kids got tiny clay pots and seeds for planting a little flower. I did include candy in this one also, but it was in a 'teeny' container to go along with the theme.

For a puppy party, we had doggy bags (brown paper bags decorated with a puppy face) filled with dog chews (beef sticks) and puppy chow. They also got to keep the ears that I had made for them and the bandanas that I had gotten at Hobby Lobby 3/$1.

This is an area where I wish people would just feel free to make individual choices. I have fun with it, I don't go crazy with the money for it, and I don't want to apologize for doing it. However, if it's not your thing, or if you can't come up with ideas that fit in your budget, then don't do it!! We really need to get over the idea that we have to apologize to other people for our choices.

Sorry to write so long!

Sheila

Domestic Accident said...

Oh, that is so cool that you'll be a contributor. You're perfect for that.

Party Favors- hate 'em. Cheap plastic stuff from China that will be broken by the end of the day or candy. No thank you!

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

We have so many unopened goody bags from birthday parties and school functions that I just recycled some party bag goodiesfor Christmas stockings and now I'm getting ready to fill Easter eggs. The candy I don't mind so much since I can dole it out a piece at a time (or throw it away- or use it in a Halloween bowl) but I do hate the plastic junk toys.
I try to sneak the worst into the trash before the kiddos miss them.

For my children's party I bought a bulk bag of new playdoh from Goodwill and I Included some candy and crayons.

Melissa said...

I think the things that work best are items that can be used up. Bubbles, sidewalk chalk, crayons,stickers and mini cans of play dough are great! We tend to give our goodies out as each child leaves, that way things are not lost, dumped out, etc...

Renee said...

Our children love goodie bags, but in our home we prefer to do it decently or not at all. Usually the small goodie bag items found in stores are broken in a few seconds of use. Instead we have found other ideas over the years instead, like making coupons from the party person for play dates, ice cream cones together, that sort of thing. We've also made crafts together and given the attendee something tangible to take home, perhaps a hat from the party theme, things such as this, purchased from after holiday specials markdown to a song, etc. Thanks for the link to the fun new magazine, and congrats for being on board over there.

Southerner said...

I think that it is a good way to teach your kids to give something as a thank you for coming and participating in your day. I don't like the cheap stuff but at the end of the day the kids are excited and what does it matter if they play with it and it breaks. If you can hide it away before it breaks you can use it to send in the operation Christian child boxes. I really like to relate them to the party, but I am a planner and enjoy all the little details. I hate all the candy we get from everywhere we go.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Sheila! I think she makes good common sense with her ideas. I also love planning a party. Give me a theme and I'm off and running! My son is grown but he still has fond memories of birthday parties. I tried to be creative with party favors. For example, one year I made capes for a Superman themed party and put Superman coloring books, stickers, etc in the goodie bag. I do think a lot of parents go overboard with kids' birthday parties and spend more money than they can afford and often the child is just overwhelmed and the guests leave with a bag of junk. I vote for mostly at-home parties with a guest list you can comfortably accomodate and party favors that are fun and creative. Kids love it, the moms love it and most importantly your child loves it and will have happy memories of celebrating with friends as well as family. You don't have to spend a fortune - mostly some effort. P

Nancy (aka Blonde 1) said...

I personally hate to do them because 1) I wait til the last minute and then I'm frantic; 2) who needs more junk? If you're like Sheila above and love it, good for you and I'm a mom that would love to get cool stuff like she's done (love the apron and baked goods).

Edi said...

I love having a theme for a party and having some "take home" treat. I don't like cheap junky stuff - but I also don't invite a whole batch of kids either.

Just today I was looking for some stuff at a party store and came up with a couple of ideas. The theme is Cowboys and Indians. It will just be the birthday boy, his sister and 2 cousins. I think I might get them all a cowboy hat and bandana...actually ds has all those things already so I would just need to get for the other 3. Then I bought a large bubble wand/tube all in one deal - I figure they can dress up and play cowboys and do the bubbles as part of the "fun" time at the party.

My kids only go to a few parties a yr so there isn't that much "junk" coming home. I'm always working on weeding out old toys and such and cheapy toys/Happy Meal Toys are usually tossed at that time.

Jenni said...

I meant to comment on the post, but got caught up with mommy stuff.

I hate party favors. Truthfully, I think kid's parties are so overrated anyway.

We let our 6 year old have a party for his 5th birthday (as his sister will this year). Maybe again next year, but not every single year. Most years it's just mom/dad and siblings.

Caroline said...

After years of cramming goodie bags full of matchbox cars, yo-yos, whistles, bubbles and candy, we now just give candy. No chocolate, though, b/c my son's birthday is in June and I know if a child leaves a goodie bag in his car it will result in a melted mess. We like to give long candy, like cow tails, air-heads and large tootsie rolls, wrapped together with a twirly bow. This is so much easier b/c nobody RSVP's these days so we just buy a lot of candy that will eventually get eaten.

Anonymous said...

From 1st to 6th grade we threw a huge B-day for my son whole class invited plus some friends- around 25 to 30 kids. His B-day is in late september so it was a great chance to meet all the other kids and parents. I had a huge rubbermaid tub that I stashed all the goodies I collected over the year lots of art supplies--deep discount from school sales--can't beat 10 cent crayons! plus all sorts of other things gather ball caps marked down at the end of summer new items found at yard sales great deals from the dollar store I put them out on a table in the dining room--non party room and everyone got to select the item of their choice when they left. It was one of the things the kids looked forward to each year and most of them took art supplies...I also found it was a great way to find out which kids would be good matches for playdates and since I was a room parent I had a chance to meet all the parents and it was much easier to call out for help to someone you had already meet. I reliaze huge parties are not for everyone but they worked great for us.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Ah, I love the suggestions at that link!!! And I'd LOVE to hear ideas for an adult party- favor options and ideas... we're planning our parents' 40th wedding anniversary party this year. Help!

Steph

Dana said...

Hate 'em! I don't do big parties for my girls, it's mostly relatives, so I don't feel pressure to do favors. However, when they go to parties, the little trinkets are a pain. Not to mention that I like the girls to give something without expecting something in return.

Just my $.02.
Dana

me :) said...

I hate them. Completely. They are usually trash or more candy (totally unnecessary after all the cake, ice cream, etc.). I realize that people are trying to be kind - but save the money, please!

Martha A. said...

I have never done them. I do not have a love or hate relationship with them, but the only ones we have received were consumable like a baggy with a homemade cookie or two, some candy, raisins or something like that.

Patty said...

I love them and still do them for our grown children when we have a party. Fun stuff that we can all enjoy. We always enjoy bubble stuff and practical things like hair bands

Anonymous said...

My aim is $1 a kid or less.(Some years I have managed 75 cents!)One trick is to create the party sacks with paperbags on your printer. Get a clip art graphic off of a coloring pages site, add your own tagline, and run the sacks through the printer- voila! personal and free! Kids can color them during the party.
This year we gave out these little bug box kits from the dollar store (bug box on a string with net & tweezers).Big hit! We've also done giant bubble wands and bubbles, coloring pages that you print for free to match your theme plus crayons,I have my daughter write a cute note or sign her name ( an handprint for a very young child would be cute) .. something like "Thanks for fluttering by! Love, such-and-such" for a butterfly party. Copy it on the copier and tie it to the goody- personal!One way to make it cute is to put the smaller type goodies in a basket that the birthday child holds. Their friends can come by and choose their prize and the birthday child says Thanks for coming. Somehow choosing out of basket has made the favor special!!! I agree NO CANDY!!!!!!