When it comes to party favors for kids, candy is a go-to solution, but it’s not always the most fun, most thoughtful, or the most appropriate, especially given today’s wide range of food allergies and dietary concerns. So just what birthday party favors should you consider when looking for a way to thank your guests for coming? Something non-food and affordable. Like these seven party items:
- Books: If you’re hosting a birthday party based around a theme, give kids party favors that reinforce it. For princess parties, think classic fairytale books. For a superhero party, go with comics. And for a pure play party (one with no theme), hand out activity or coloring books and crayons or colored pencils. This way, the kids can continue the fun once they’re back home.
- Seasonal Specialty: Give your guests a gift that celebrates the season. For instance, if you’re hosting an autumn birthday party, give them a mini pumpkin, for winter, consider a special cocoa packet and mug, in the spring, give them each a packet of seeds that they can use to grow their own fruits, veggies or flowers, and for summer, give them party items they can use at the park, beach or pool.
- Chalk: No matter what the season may be, kids love to write on chalkboards, chalkboard walls and tables, and sidewalks, so give them birthday party favors that encourage their creativity, like colorful chalks and a portable chalkboard, or just a bucket of sidewalk chalk that they can use on their front walks, driveways or sidewalks. If you’re feeling particularly crafty, you can even decorate the buckets with ribbon, and a custom-made sticker featuring each child’s monogram or name.
- A Single Flower: This is particularly useful if you’re hosting an all-girls tea party, slumber party, or other feminine and frilly celebration. And as far as kids’ birthday party favors go, it’s also one of the least expensive. Just let your little one choose a bouquet of flowers at a supermarket or flower shop, then as her guests leave let her hand a single flower out to each child. The girls can go home and enjoy flower for days, then throw them in the trash or compost once they’ve wilted.
- Gift Cards: It may be unconventional, but if you’re hosting a small party and many of the guests are siblings (or even if they’re not), you could consider giving each child (or family) a gift card to a restaurant – like a pizza place they love, a book store, an ice cream shop or another local spot where they can treat themselves to some family time.
- Self-Made Crafts: If you’re hosting a party and you want an organized activity for the kids to participate in, consider making the activity a crafty one. This way, the kids can make their own birthday party favors – all you’ll need to do is purchase the supplies. Superhero masks, princess or wizard hats, paint-your-own pottery, jewelry making, and make-your-own modeling clay are always fun ways to pass the time and give the kids something to take home.
- Active Party Favors: If your child and his or her friends are active and love to play, consider picking up jump ropes, hula hoops, soccer balls, basketballs or footballs, or even just yo-yos and bubbles, and give the kids something they can enjoy outside at home – with their parents, brothers, sisters or friends. If you know each child’s favorite color, you can even buy the favors according to their likes. Best of all, many of these items can be found on sale at big-box, sporting goods, and even dollar or discount stores, making them easy on your budget.
Party favors for kids’ parties run the gamut from simple to extreme, and while there’s a movement against distributing favors and reducing waste (and clutter), most kids would still like something they can take home. So why not compromise – and give your guests something they’ll use, like a gift card, book, jump rope or modeling clay? This way, you can send them home with something special that their parents will also appreciate.
Check out Chuck E. Cheese’s for more info on planning kid’s birthday parties.