Ever since I embarked on the parental rite of passage of throwing children's birthday parties, I have struggled with what to do about party favors. There is a growing movement to nix these once obligatory party staples, and I fully support that effort because goody bags often consist of throw away plastic items that are hardly used. Since I strive to live a plastic-free lifestyle, it's pretty much the last thing I want to send home with people. However, I still feel that nagging sense of duty to send the guests home with something, and hope that one day I can let go and embrace the party favor-free birthday.
Most recently, I opted to do something that could serve as an activity for the party, and the finished product could be sent home with the guest that made it. I have organized this post with examples of such activities, as well as store bought items that are nontoxic and eco-friendly. Some of the store bought favors could definitely be DIY ones as well, if you feel so inclined.
This is an image of the set up for my daughter's last birthday. I flipped some crates over on the ground, put a sheet of plywood on top, and covered it with some old fabric. Since the guests were 3-6 years old I had all of this prepared ahead of time, but older kids could certainly fill the pots with soil on their own. When they were finished, we passed around a few watering cans to give the freshly planted flowers a drink, and the children brought home what they planted. While it's not exactly a "craft," it was something that served as both an activity and a party favor.
This birdfeeder project from Mommy Gaga is great for kids of all ages, and if a guest has a peanut allergy, you could always substitute sunflower butter.
Decorating tote bags is an easy and useful project. You can get a kit complete with markers like the one pictured on the left from GoodsInFabric on Etsy, or go to Ko-Ko-Ko Kids blog and find different ways to make stamps out of fruit.
Make it Do has a lot of wonderful ideas for throwing a woodland themed birthday party, including painting these birdhouses. They are very inexpensive at craft stores like Michaels, and make for a sweet take home gift.
I am in love with these little pompom bunnies and cardboard purses, both from the very creative blog ikatbag. I found some additional pompom making tutorial/photos at kraftcroch.
Clockwise from top left:
- Personalized jars of play dough from VintageBakeshopEtsy
- Felt pirate party hats from ImFeelinCrafty
- Wooden Yoyo's (available in large quantities) from OzarkRusticWood
- Felt Superhero Masks by SuperFlySprouts
I LOVE Stubby Pencil Studio! If you're looking for eco-friendly, cute toys to send home with your guests, this is the place to look. They also have numerous craft and school supplies. If you've never checked them out, you definitely are missing out!
You can find Fingermajigs in different designs (including dinosaur and fairy) as well as these adorable animal stamps at Magic Cabin.
Whatever you choose, hopefully this post will give you some new ways to approach the idea of a traditional goody bag.