When you look for kids' party favors, there are millions of options. While a popular trend is to send birthday party attendees home with "goody bags" containing small toys and candy, you can get creative and find favors that are unique as well as useful and fun.
Classic Goody Bags
You can piece together your own goody bags or buy a pre-assembled themed bag from a variety of retailers. It really depends on whether you find a bag that seems "just right" or whether you want to customize your favor bags.
Traditionally, goody bags contain small toys and candy. However, you can put together bags that have more wholesome options without spending a lot of money. Consider replacing toys with sparkly pencils, crayons, stickers or other craft supplies. Instead of candy, tuck in less sugary treats like fruit roll-ups, animal crackers or individual bags of goldfish crackers. Other good favor items include bubbles, fashion jewelry and miniature activity books.
Picking Great Favors
While goody bags are great, you can think beyond the classics for really phenomenal party gifts. Most children's birthday parties have themes -- carry your theme through your party favors, as well as your cake, decorations and activities. While your favor does not have to match your theme exactly, you can look to it for inspiration. For example, if you are having a garden party, send every child home with a small pot, package of seeds and watering can. Your daughter is having a swim party? Pick up inexpensive sequined flip-flops in a variety of colors and sizes for all her friends. Boys will love going home from a construction party with their own toolboxes. Or, have a tie-dye or shirt painting party and send the kids home with their creations as favors. Having a party near a holiday? Pick from holiday ornaments or decorations for unique favor options.
Your children will definitely have opinions about the party favors; make sure you include them in the decision process as you shop.
Craft Kits and Science Experiments
Craft kits do not have to be big or expensive. Many companies are packaging craft kits for kids that allow you to make one or two projects. Often, using a single larger item like this can cost you less than an accumulation of smaller objects inside a goody bag.
For example, check out these reasonably priced kits (each is under $5 per child):
- Kits to decorate your own tiara
- Birdhouse craft kit
- Space Sand lets you do your own outer space style science experiments
- Magnetic Marbles
Of course, you can always assemble your own free form craft kit by supplying markers, glue stick and scissors to each child.
Beach Party Favors
Beach parties continue to be popular and lend themselves to an array of great favor ideas. Send each child home with a beach towel, a pair of water shoes, or a bucket and shovel filled with candy seashells. Swim goggles are another great alternative for beach or swim parties.
Dress Up Favors for Kids
Little girls love to play dress-up. Greet each of your guests at the door with a feather boa, tiara and pair of sparkly sunglasses to turn her into a real star for the day. She'll love the celebrity treatment and will wear her fancy favors for dress-up play in the future.
Tea Party Favors
If you are hosting a tea party, consider hats, gloves or jewelry as favors for your formal guests. Or, find miniature tea sets to send home with invitees.
Slumber Party Favors
Slumber parties inspire a whole range of great favors. Give guests their own slippers, nightshirts or eyeshades to take home.
Books as Party Favors
Pick a book that fits your party's theme and send each guest home with a copy. Having a pirate party? Treasure Island is a sure fire classic hit. For your tea party, give everyone a copy of Alice in Wonderland. For your daughter's princess party, you can choose from Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White or any other favorite princess fairy tale.
Kids like items they can use, and moms much prefer practical items to more plastic toy pieces. Remember that just because an item is practical or useful does not keep it from also being fun. Children love to receive useful items with their favorite characters or themes on them. Look for some of these practical objects to use as birthday favors:
- Beach towels
- Tote bags
Kids' Party Favor Tips and Etiquette
Favors seem simple, but there are a few things to remember if you are giving out goodies for your partygoers to take home.
- Make sure you have a favor for each child who will be attending the party; if you can, have a spare so you can replace a lost or broken one.
- If possible, give each kid an identical favor. This will prevent envy. If you have children in a wide range of ages coming to the party, you may want to give older or younger children variations on the same theme.
- If there are any young children attending, make sure your favor is safe for that age range; many toys made for older kids can be choking hazards for babies and toddlers.
- It is usually easier to hand out favors as guests leave so they do not get lost or forgotten. However, if the favor is part of your party (such as a dress-up item for a dress-up party) you may want to hand it out as guests arrive.