You’ve already done everyone a favour by throwing a party. Warm goodbyes are a fine way to see guests off after a party.
Why distribute stuff that simply contributes to the expectation that people are supposed to get stuff at a birthday party? Anyway, balloons are bad for wildlife, noisemakers make, well, noise, and plastic boxes and trinkets clutter the house and ruin the environment. All just more stuff – as in the Story of Stuff.
What should I do for party favours?
So what do we do for party favors? A parent who has attended a kiddie birthday party featuring wrapped presents given to every guest may worry about how to measure up. In fact, I have found that if you do something simple, others genuinely appreciate it, because it is different, creative and also because it de-escalates the pressure and brings back the fun.
Here are some of the favours my daughter has given and received over the years:
1. Baby Pictures – On our baby’s first birthday we gave wallet size photos to close friends and family. To this day when we visit them, we see these pictures on their fridges.
2. Fruits – Traditional gift for guests. Good for kids 3 and below, since you will really be giving it to their parents.
Starting around age 4 or 5, kids can make the party favour – it’s part of the party!
3. Sock Puppets – One year, I asked everyone to bring lonely socks from home. I supplied glue, felt and cloth scraps, yarn and buttons. We made the puppets, and did a puppet show. Afterwards, each kid took his or her puppet home.
4. Paintings. At one party I attended the hostess handed out pieces of paper to each child and also a set of water colors with a brush. All the kids painted and got to take home their painting, colors and brush.
8. Seeds: A neighbor gave out seeds at her daughter’s party, with instructions for planting. Sweet, simple and long lasting!