By Michelle Mady
I have hosted my fair share of birthday parties for my children. The planning of a child’s birthday party can be as overwhelming as planning a wedding. But the one thing that really gets me all out of sorts? Party favors. For me, figuring out what to give to your child’s guests as a “thank you for coming” is stressful. It has to be age appropriate, it has to go with the theme, be reasonably priced and make sense for the group overall.
But the one thing that really gets me all out of sorts? Party favors.
On the flip side, I have attended even more parties for my children’s friends. The chaos that ensues is astounding at first, but it can be really fun to watch your children interact with others “in the wild.” They have a blast together and at the end, my child is given a goody bag of party favors. But what are we going to do with yet another light-up ring and squishy ball?
Party favors can be a drag. But they can also hold the key to a successful party.
Just think: what if you could have a great party favor that meets all of your criteria and also makes parents appreciate the favor, rather than stress about finding it when their child “remembers” their best friend gave them a top?
You are in luck! Here’s the top 3 party favor ideas from my impressive birthday party experiences.
#1 Get Artsy!
OK, so if my child came home from a birthday party with a canvas and paints I might not love it, but what about an easy clean-up art activity? A box of crayons and a coloring book? A set of Color Wonder markers and papers? Stickers and some cardstock? Not only is it really easy to plan, it’s a welcome favor for your party guest parents.
At one party I attended, each child got a small bag with a few pieces of candy and a box of crayons. Then the coloring books were laid out on a table for each child to choose from It was great, and something to keep in mind at back-to-school season when supplies are really well priced.
#2 Keep the Party Going!
If you had your child’s party at a venue, consider linking it to your party favors. If you had the party at the bowling alley, ask them to give you gift certificates for each child to come back and bowl a free string. Were you at an indoor play place? Ask if they will give you some coupons for your guests, or purchase small gift cards so each child can return another time. It’s great for the business because those children will certainly come back with their families, and it’s great for the parents to have something to do the next rainy day.
#3 Get Seasonal.
Winter party? Grab a snowball maker for each child. Is it spring time? A small pot and some seeds are perfect. Summer party goers love an extra pair of shades, and what fall party is complete without some new school supplies? Whatever the weather, give them something they can use and celebrate your child in their seasonal play!
About the author: Michelle is a mom of 5 children ranging in age from 5 to 15. As a toddler and preschool teacher, she shares experiences, activities and guidance to other parents, as both a parent and as a professional early childhood educator, at any stage of their parenting journey.