The other day I got a text from my friend that read:
"Unless u can help me come up with a cool party favor, I'm just NOT doin it!!! I'm not givin JUNK!!!"
I immediately called her and said, "Take a stand!! Don't give party favors!" I said that because I really hate party favors. I always find it kind of ridiculous that kids expect a gift for going to a birthday party and giving a gift to their friend. I certainly don't remember party favors when I was a kid. The only time we ever walked away from a party with something (other than bellies full of cake and ice cream) was when we did a craft activity such as decorating shirts with puffy paint.
At our house, we don't usually give out party favors for our kids birthdays and when we don't I am always left feeling like a cheapskate. SO... for my friend... I decided to think about it... BECAUSE some people just feel better giving party favors... and if they're gonna give them... the least that I can do is put some thought into it and help them come up with something besides a bag of plastic junk that will most likely end up in the trash can/landfill/oceans.
So here's what I told her:
- Pencil Holders: Last year, for my son's 7th Birthday party... I wasn't going to give out party favors. Then I had some Smencils from our fundraiser... so I bought some to support the initiatives of the non-profits that I'm directly involved in. THEN... I looked under my kitchen sink and there were SO many steel cans. I decided that I was going to reuse repurpose the cans and make pencil holders for the kids. Here's how: I ran the cans through my dishwasher to make sure they were free of all gunk, let them dry thoroughly, then I spray painted them. (I did purchase acrylic markers for the kids to decorate their "pencil holders.")
- "Sponge Balls." These are great in place of water balloons :) My mom and I made them for my daughter's pool party last year. We had a total of 4 friends invited plus a few brothers...so it wasn't too much work. The kids had a blast playing with the sponge balls in the pool, however, they didn't really hold up well to the older kids throws.
- Cloth Napkins-- Put the kids names on their own reusable cloth napkin. Use fabric paint to let the kids decorate their napkin with their handprints.
- A Growable Favor-- Get small peat (or terracotta) pots, fill with dirt, plant a seed (flowers, vegies, etc) and if you want to make it fancy: tie a ribbon around it.
My friend and her 6 year old daughter decided on giving a planted sunflower seed in a peat pot :) I am SO grateful that my friend asked me my advice AND took it... woo hoo!! Now there are 23 kids (and their parents) who have seen a different kind of party favor!!