So you’re planning your child’s birthday party—you’ve picked the place, the food, the cake, and the invitations. Just when you think you’ve just about planned it all, you realize there is one more thing to decide on: party favors! You know, those little gifts that need to be unique (or at least different from what your child received at every other party) and items that might be thrown away, or thrown to the bottom of the toy bin never to be seen again.
While many birthday party favors end up being not-so-exciting throwaway items, they don’t have to be! Here are a few great ideas for party favors your tiny guests will love—and ideas you don’t have to come up with yourself!
Personalized place mats. Every child eats, and every parent wants to keep mealtime messes contained. So personalized place mats—adorable and functional—are great birthday party favors for any age. Choose place mats with your child’s favorite theme, animal, or character from sites like Birthday in a Box and Etsy and have them sent straight to you—it’s that easy. Kids love seeing their names on items they use every day, so this favor is sure to be a hit.
More fun with names! You can put kids names on almost anything, and most likely there is a great local gift store nearby that will personalize everything from snack cups for little ones to simple plastic lunch boxes for school-age kids. For all of you DIY-ers, you’ll save some money by doing the personalizing yourself! Once you decide on the item (other great options include mini sports balls, tambourines, water bottles, and pencil cases), pick up an array of paint pens at your local craft store (they can instruct you which pens to buy) for writing names and designs yourself.
Books. You can never have enough kids’ books in your house, right? Give all of your child’s guests a great birthday-related story or a book about your child’s favorite character and you’re sure to make everyone—parents included—very happy.
Play-Doh. Once upon a time you loved Play Doh, so it’s fair to say most kids today do too. This colorful, smushy stuff has been around for decades and it doesn’t get old—even for many adults. Purchase a party bag with mini containers in a variety of colors or buy some three-packs of the bigger containers to fill up kids’ goodie bags. Add dough cutters in fun shapes to round out the party favor.
Sticker/stamp sets. Since arts and crafts is a big interest for little kids, sticker and/or stamp sets (Melissa & Doug makes great ones) are the perfect parting gift. Especially a hit with kids age two and three, these sets come pre-packaged so you don’t have to do a thing, and you can take comfort knowing that whatever money you spent will be put to good use.
Sweet treats. If you’re the kind of person who likes to bake and do crafty things, this may be a great project for you—and if you’re not, something you can outsource to a professional (like Eleni’s). Package up decorated cookies or cupcakes with cute designs, your child’s age, or that say something like “Billy’s 2nd Birthday”, and add some ribbon to make the favor look festive. Make them cookie pops for an extra cute treat! It’s a super sweet way to say goodbye to your little guests as they walk out the door.