First, let it be known that there is no law that says you HAVE to give out favors or goodie bags at every party.
Although it's a fairly popular tradition at kids birthday parties, it's also increasingly falling out of disfavor with moms and dads who don't want their kids filling up on a bunch of sweet, gooey candy after every party they attend.
But if you still want thank party guests for coming, and not buck the trend, here are some ideas for keeping kids AND parents happy at your next kids party:
Instead of candy, how about filling up your goodie bags with stickers, small toys & trinkets, colored pencils, sidewalk chalk, crayons, comic books, granola bars, snack juices, balloons, hand puppets, play doh, marbles ... and the list goes on with only a little thought and creativity.
Chances are good that at least half the parents will be eternally grateful for your thoughtfulness. The rest will probably be impartial or just grateful that you made their kids feel special.
Forget the bag, give a favor
Or, forget the goody bag altogether, and choose one simple gift as a special party favor "thank you" for coming.
Think coloring books, a colorful beach ball, flip flops, a small toy, kiddie umbrella, fannie pack, a kite, McDonald's or Baskin Robbins gift card, a group party picture in a frame, sunglasses, or bubbles.
Shop around or check online crafts and party goods at Michaels, Oriental Trading, Target, The Dollar Store and Wal-Mart. You're bound to find something you can buy in bulk that won't break the bank.
Alternatives to goody bags:
While we're at it, here are some more creative ideas if you want to give a goody bag that's not a bag:
- Try paper or plastic cups (with lids) or how about toy piggy banks filled with chocolate coins or candy?
- Flower pots or straw baskets - filled with seed packets and flower stickers - are perfect for a "Flower Power" theme or garden party.
- A beach pail with shovel and party theme stickers are great for a pool or beach party.
- Colored cellophane tied with a ribbon, or a cheap party hat filled with goodies are other alternatives to plain 'ol, same 'ol goody bags.
More about party favors and goody bag ideas around the Web: