Favor bags have become an expected part of children’s birthday parties. Many parents are at a point of frustration with favor bags, however, as they can be expensive and full of knickknacks and candy that no one really wants.

I’m going to let you in on a secret—I love favor bags. For me, birthday parties are as much about honoring the people who were important to the birthday child that year as it is about celebrating the birthday child himself. However, I like to put together favors that will be used long after the fun of the party is over. Years later, party attendees will tell me how they are still using their favors from our parties, and this always brings me joy, as I know each time they use it, they are likely thinking about the fun we had together that day.

Want to provide party attendees with a favor that will live on long after the party? Below I have provided two “rules” I follow when designing memorable party favors. At my parties, I usually aim for $5 to $8 dollars per child (if you have done goody bags in the past with toys and candy, I bet you spent just as much!), but you can easily provide a memorable favor for as little as a dollar per child.

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1. Make the Favor Useful

The best favors are ones that have a practical use beyond just being a favor. For example, you might provide attendees with:

  • A book related to the party theme
  • A bucket, basket, or bin personalized with designs from a cutting machine or stick-on letters available at craft stores
  • A pencil case or other school supplies decorated to match the theme of the party
  • A small toy (like a car) with a custom playmat. You can draw a mat, print copies, and have it laminated for very little money at an office supply store.

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2. Include the Favor as Part of the Party’s Activities

If you are on a tight budget, party activities can often do double duty as memorable favors, such as:

  • Having children stuff their own stuffed animals (unstuffed toys can be bought inexpensively online) and design accessories and/or shirts to dress up their new furry friends. When the party is over, they take their stuffed animals with them.
  • Providing children with the materials to design their own jewelry at the party and they can wear their creations home!
  • Decorating blank shirts with dye, fabric paint pens, puffy paint, or fabric markers.
  • Preparing a kit of random crafting materials for each child. Have children make their own inventions at the party, and then allow them to bring home the extra supplies and their creations so they can build again!
  • Providing children with a small bag of building blocks and allowing them time to free-build during the party. Later, they can bring their blocks home. You can often find assorted pieces in bulk at consignment and yard sales.

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Hopefully these tips will help you to create affordable, memorable favors for your child’s next party!

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