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Are You A “Party Favor” Party Pooper?

04/25/2015 12:38PM ● Published by Hood Magazine

Photo courtesy of Creative Spirits

By Kara Weber, Creative/Events Director

Parents of birthday children feel the need to send party guests home with their own huge collection of bobbles and trinkets. In many cases, parents of attendees dread the piles of candy and trinket toys that end up cluttering children’s rooms and are never played with.

But don’t worry! Child birthday party etiquette says that party favors really are not necessary. Amazingly, most parents won’t be upset when their child doesn’t come home with a bag full of bouncy balls or character rings. The party experience alone should be all that a child should expect from a family hosting a party. It is important to teach your child to attend parties to celebrate their friend’s special day, not to get stuff. For those who feel the need to send your party guests home with something, here are two guidelines to keep in mind.

1.    Have the party favor be a part of the party experience, or a party activity.

2.    Forgo small trinkets and large amounts of candy for one larger more useful item that costs the same as other smaller items would have, it is not about quantity, but usefulness.

Here are some ideas:

  • Decorate shirts, water bottles, hats, crowns, fairy wings, or capes. Make jewelry or other wearable items for a party activity. Then it becomes a project and a party favor.
  • Superhero capes worn at the party can be made from a decorated pillowcase that can be used later at home for both, a cape or a pillowcase.
  • Build your own light sabers from pool noodles and duct tape, use them for party games and activities and send them home at the end of the party.
  • At a camping party, decorate a hiking stick or marshmallow roaster. Use it, and then send it home!
  • Decorate cookies or cupcakes! This can be a great activity and party favor you can send home. Parents are ok with this because once the cookie is gone; there is no clutter leftover.
  • Costumes, hats, or masks a child makes and uses as part of the celebration are considered a party favor.
  • A box of crayons, some play dough, or sidewalk chalk can make a great balloon weight and party favor that will get use outside of the party more than your average trinket. Try to avoid slime, paint or other messy items kids cannot use without supervision.
  • A party passport or activity badge that has activities to check off can also be a low-cost DIY memento from a party. Kids will remember all they did and share the stories with their parents when they get home. It also helps guests know what to expect next.
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