I am just being honest here. I am so tired of my girls coming home from birthday parties with goodie bags full of candy. Maybe it is just me, but after letting them indulge in highly processed pizza, cake, juice and in some instances even soda do kids as young as 3 and 4 years of age really need a bag full of candy?
I don’t want to sound ungrateful because my daughters have so much fun at these parties, and I know it’s a lot of work and expense for the parents. But, it is a pretty solid reminder that we are very much the minority with our “real food” desires. And frankly, I don’t know what to do with these bags full of junk food that the party hosts keep handing out to my kids.
Luckily my girls are still young enough that they often forget about the party favors shortly after the party, but ever since Halloween last year I started giving them quarters for each piece of candy that they chose to give up to me. I certainly don’t want them to “miss out” on anything special and they happen to love saving up their change so they can go pick out a toy with their very own money. This of course means I end up throwing that bag of candy in the trash, which unfortunately seems like such a waste.
Earlier this month we celebrated our youngest daughter’s fourth birthday, and I was on a mission to come up with fun candy-less party favors. I know some say everyone should go without party favors all together, but I am not quite on that bandwagon yet. Plus I used to be a corporate event planner in my old life so I think it is fun to get into the details of an event.
So, without further ado, for only a couple bucks each we gave out the pictured pots, bags of soil, seed packets, shovels and plant tags to all our little guests. I was lucky to find almost all of the items marked down in the dollar bins at Target.
And I was even more thrilled to learn that most of the kids have since “planted” their party favor including my own two daughters who both really enjoyed the task. So hopefully these will last at least a little bit longer than the candy-filled alternative!
I recently reached out to my wonderful facebook community to get even more candy-free party favor ideas and here is the list of ideas that they came up with. We’d love to hear your ideas as well so please leave them in the comments below!
- Books / bookmarks
- Craft projects (can usually find $1 packs at craft store)
- Small pads of paper
- Chinese yo-yos (found at Pier 1)
- Bouncy balls
- Mandarin oranges
- Boxes of raisins
- Small containers of Play-Doh or a homemade version
- Bracelets that can be made at the party
- Snacktrap holders
- Boo boo bunnies
- Animal or other fun hats (can be found at A.C. Moore)
- Finger puppets
- Scholastic books (they offer many books for only a dollar!)
- Karate kid headbands (made at party with white napkins)
- Magic wands
- Paint supplies
- Homemade sword/shield sets
- Goodie tote bags that the kids can decorate at party
- Silly Bandz
- Balloons / water balloons
- Water guns / goggles
- $5 gift card to bookstore
- Shirts that kids paint, decorate, or tie dye at party
- Sidewalk chalk
- Tulle tutus that kids can make at party
- Glow in the dark stars kids can find on scavenger hunt
- Hand-me-down stuffed animals
- Foamerators made at party http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/the-foamerator-785017/
- Lego mini figures
- Diego place mats and binoculars
- Matchbox cars
- Sand toys
- Small puzzles
- Jedi robes and pool noodle lightsabers
- Nail polish
For more ideas go to this post: Easter without the junk![Entered into Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday]