So, I decided a few years ago to stop giving out goody bags at our kid’s birthday parties. I did it because I was tired of bringing them home from parties and watching our kids lose them or break them in a matter of hours. I felt bad that parents had spent hard-earned money buying these things for kids that didn’t even take care of them. Most of the time, the goody-bag treats are fun little toys, but often they break after you have played with it for a few minutes, unfortunately.
I found some great alternatives.
*At one party, instead of buying cups for the kid’s drink (while they had cake), I used a water bottle. The kids took these water bottles home. It was the perfect gift! (You can buy them at Target in the dollar section or at Party City or you can order tumblers online. )
*At another party I gave out little lunch totes (I bought them on Clearance at Michaels, so they ended up being less than $1.00 per tote and they are awesome! We use ours all the time!)
*At a pool party that we hosted, I gave out water squirters. I picked up this party pack of water squirters because it was cheaper than buying them individually and we saved the leftovers for our vacation (because between all of the cousins- there are 9 kids!)
*A friend of mine, Kristy, gave out little bags filled with things from the doctor’s office at her “Doc McStuffins Party”. Her doctor gave her tounge depressors, those long cotton swabs and she picked up a box of plastic gloves. She put them into a little doctor bag that they made (like my DIY kid purse) and the kids LOVED it.
*At our son’s most recent party, I gave out a bunch of great products that I knew the parents were going to love as much as the kids (because each of them mean more TIME with each other – read below to see what I mean)
Here is what was in the party bags:
- The pink lotion that our kids LOVE! (Our kids ask me for it every night & I know how quickly we go through it! This is a great way to bond with your kids- lotion them up every night!)
- A recipe or Baby Powder Play-dough (because spending time with your kids will be more important than giving them THINGS)
- Baby Powder to make the play dough.
- BAND-AIDS (Darth Vadar and Peanuts) – this was all of the kid’s favorites! Take 20 minutes to sit and play doctor with your kids today!
- Face & hand wipes for kids to keep in the car, although our daughter uses them to clean everything in sight when we are waiting somewhere. The other day she cleaned every chair at the Best Buy Geek Squad with these wipes! (ps- I also had a pack out to use before the kids ate the cake at the party)
- I also threw in a mini squirt gun to use at the party (the kids played in water) and then they could take them home at the end. The parents of our party-goers loved this gift.
In the end, my new goal is to either have PRACTICAL goody bags or no goody bags at all. Birthday parties don’t have to be expensive. They don’t have to be fancy. They don’t have to be detailed… they just have to make the birthday boy or girl feel special!
So my birthday rule: KISS – Keep It Simple Silly! I am less stressed and that makes me a happier host & that makes our birthday boy/girl a happier kid!