Guests should never leave a party empty-handed, especially a kids' birthday party, which is why party favors are so popular. Most birthday parties have a “theme” such as a cartoon character or animal, so try to pick party favors that match the theme.
Don’t spend a lot of money on favor bags or boxes. Some “party kits” contain colorful cardboard boxes that may look nicer than thin plastic bags, but keep in mind they will be thrown away as soon as the child gets home. Spend more money on the favors inside the bag, and stick to a simple plastic favor bag with a picture or color that matches the party theme.
Small toys are the most common party favor, but use caution when buying a bag of cheap plastic toys to use as favors. Many pre-filled favor bags contain items that are not only low quality but are sometimes dangerous. Parts can break off and become choking hazards for small children.
When choosing toys for party favors, stick with the party theme and choose quality over quantity. Rather than giving each child a handful of flimsy plastic toys, for instance, choose a well-crafted stuffed animal or a miniature electronic game for the same price.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid candy as party favors. So many children have food allergies nowadays it’s difficult to find candy that’s safe for everyone. Also, candy has become passé in the wake of childhood obesity and cavities. Your guests will get plenty of sugar with party snacks, cake and ice cream. Parents will thank you for not including more candy in their child’s favor bag.
Crafts are always a good idea for party favors because they give the child something to do at home that will remind him of the party. Try to pick a craft related to the party theme. Craft stores sell inexpensive foam craft kits that allow kids to make everything from placemats to door hangers to masks.
Coloring books are always a good choice because most kids love to color. Rather than a single coloring page that will be thrown away quickly, you can buy a full-sized coloring book and a box of crayons from the dollar store. Stickers are also a great choice because they are inexpensive, fun and mess-free. Pencils, erasers, notepads and stationery are all good choices for favors as well.
If you’re looking for something different to put in your guests’ favor bags, consider a gift card to a fast food restaurant or tokens for a local video game arcade. T-shirts can be decorated and signed by all the children at the party. Picture frames and placemats can also be decorated and signed by party guests.
Some party favors can be given out during the party, and some crafts can be made during the party to keep as a memento of the fun the guests had. They can be used for scavenger hunt items or given away as prizes for games. Other favors can be saved for the favor bags given to guests as they leave.