I think goodie bags get a bad rap at birthday parties. I kind of enjoy looking for neat little things to hand out at the end of our parties, and don’t think I really end up spending more than I would if I just grabbed a bunch of trinkets.
Yes, if you are going to any section of a store called the “goodie bag section” or the dollar bin, the majority of stuff is going to be junk, but here are some of my favorite ideas that aren’t junk at all:
* Or, have a scavenger hunt for items that would sense for your party theme and let the guests “find” the items for their goodie bags. Just make sure you label each bag and set them by the front door to hand out at the end of the party. For my daughter’s fairy party, the guests found bottles of bubbles, fairy wands, fairy wings, gel pens and stickers—yes, little trinkets but still pretty useable and they made sense for the party.
* LEGO lovers should check out the Fun Favor Pack with a real build-able toy that can go into a little goodie bag with a handful of Candy Blox. Or grab a bunch of Minifigures and let each child pick one on their way out—our local toy stores sells them for $2.99 each. Playmobil now has a version as well.
* Search Etsy for “recycled crayons“, and you’ll find so many different shapes and styles. These make a great gift for an art party or, really, any party where the guests are still of coloring age.
* For my daughter’s mock-sleepover, I found cute mugs for a dollar each. I then put a packet of cocoa and homemade chocolate-dipped plastic spoons inside for each guest.
* A movie party might send guests home with microwavable popcorn and, if you are one to splurge, a $5 Redbox gift card. We once did a $2.50 Blockbuster store gift card (which was the cost for a child’s movie rental, but—alas—that option went the way of the dinosaur).
* Have a great local ice-cream place? Kids’ cones are often under $3, and I’ve giving gift cards to each guest for one free cone. Make it extra cute by rolling up the gift certificate into an empty ice cream cone.
* For my son’s pirate party, all the adults got a mini bottle of Pirate Bay Coconut Rum. Hey, any adult who sits through a kids’ party deserves a little something too.
Feel free to add your own ideas for not-junky birthday party favors. After all, I still have three kids who keep having birthdays.