My daughter will be 2 right after Christmas and we are having a party for her the Saturday after Christmas. In the past for fer first birthday and my 4.5 y.o. son's birthday I always did little goodie bags with candy and some little toys from Oriental Trading or the dollar store. As you know, they can get expensive. Honestly, I don't know where it became customary to go and buy cheapie gifts to give to party goers. Basically the only people attending are family and the only kids that I will have are my daughter and son, their 3 y.o. cousin, 12 y.o. cousin and 9 y.o. cousin and possibly another young cousin. I need to do the party inexpensively. I am having a Minnie Mouse theme, but will print out images online and use them as decorations (I am an artist so it's pretty easy to go and make up stuff) and I always make my own cake (I am into cake decorating). I also plan on having a piniata and filling it with candy. Do kids really need a goodie bag of useless junky things? I know kids kinda like this stuff but is it necessary? I thought I could just do party hats, decorate some colored gift bags from the craft store and write the kids names on them to use to gather the candy from the piniata and maybe I could include a full size candy bar (and decorate the wrapper) or make up cookie pops. don't have a plan for games or crafts (any ideas??). I need some ideas. Last year my sister in law included a small toy AND a $5 gift card for Target plus candy in the gift bags for my kids little cousin (which I thought was WAY overboard for goodie bags, and his birthday is a week earlier than my daughter). I just don't want to come across as cheap but just something different. Also... I am a caricature artist too, so I 'could' do a caricature of the kids as a gift. I always do them at other parties so maybe I do them at my own party. Thoughts and ideas please....
You said: "Honestly, I don't know where it became customary to go and buy cheapie gifts to give to party goers." I don't know when it became expected that GUESTS at a birthday party would receive gifts at all.
I didn't do goodie bags, theme parties, and pay-by-the-head venues when my daughter was little. Kids came over to my house, they played games, ate cake and ice cream, my daughter opened presents, kids ran around and played in the yard until their parents took them home.
The personalized luggage/bag tags are GREAT.
Got some from my friend's kid's party... years ago.
We still use it, it is not junk, it is useful and very nice quality.
Their personalized things from Birthday In A Box, is great.
Trinket cheapie toys/candies will be thrown away.
Waste of money.
If you're doing a piñata-that is really a prize for all the kids. The caricature for each child AND parent would appreciate.
For my daughters first we had an artsy party. We had rolls of paper and different mediums-crayon, paint, markers,etc. This was outdoor do we had close line hung for the creations to dry. For goodie bags I made edible jewelry kits-o shaped cereal and gummy candy with shoelace licorice and elastic included. Easy and they were a huge hit.
Just trust your own judgement. Simple is usually better-and all that matters is that the kiddies all enjoy themselves. Mine still LOVE musical chairs.
Go to etsy and do a Minnie Mouse favor search, you will get tons do ideas! I love to give as favors cookies with the shape, I did a Mickey Mouse theme birthday and the big cookies were a great success!
At my kids' parties, I have done a craft which becomes the take home "gift." (decorated cookies, handprints, decorated wooden frames) That takes care of what to do at the party and the take home. You'll also have stuff from the pinata - just give them little bags to fill with their loot. That's what one of my daughter's school friends did and that was fine. At other parties, we've usually gotten bags of candy or, like you said, the little oriental trading company things. Whatever you do will be fine.
How about just SKIPPING the goodie bags altogether. I do not believe there is a parent on earth who likes them. The cheap plastic toys break (and certainly are not good for the environment), the candy from China goes right into the garbage as does all but 1-2 pieces of the other candy. At age 2 - ALL the candy would have gone directly into the garbage.
No they don't need junk. I personally like the idea of a goody bag and will never stop giving them, but I try to be somewhat non-traditional. I like your idea of a caricature, but honestly, do you think you'll have time to do that and run a party?? If you can, then do that.
I think decorating a bag and doing candy from the pinata is fine. I also like the idea of cookie pops. Or you could make regular (or shaped) cookies and have them decorate them and send them home as a party favor.
You could also consider doing books or even coloring books. You can find those reasonably priced at dollar stores, Target dollar bins and half price books. The older kids especially might like a new book or cool book mark.
I really like your caricature idea. I would do that if I was you. I have no artistic talent :-) Regarding Goodie Bags, I don't like when my son receives a bag with candy etc but when I've had parties for him I always gave a goodie bag because I felt like it was expected of me. Funny how the people that are against them still do them :-) Anyway, when my son was 2, our theme was Elmo and music...we had a couple of books from $1 store that were Sesame Street/Elmo themed and a recorder and maracas I found cheap elsewhere (Party City, I think). Each bag was worth less than $5 and to my knowledge the kids actually played with them for several months as opposed to the ride home. In fact, my son is going to be 5 next month and still plays with the recorder and maracas. The board books were donated last year.
You could have them make a craft to take home, or do the caricatures for them, which as a parent I like, it's different :) My first thought was to make some homemade playdough, (my grandson and I are making gingerbread playdough for his preschool friends for Christmas) and putting it in ziploc bags with a cookie cutter, but the 12 year old may be past playing with playdough, lol.
Something I saw over the weekend that I'm thinking of doing with the kids at his birthday party in April, "Hand Cookies" :) I don't know a child that wouldn't like them, and they can be eaten on the spot.
I did a lot of make-your-own decorations for my son's construction b-day party. We had only a handful of kids in a pretty wide age range, which makes goodie bags even harder. I had the kids decorate construction worker hats for one of their part activities, and then I found a candy mold with construction trucks and tools and used those little candy melts to make their treats. I got lots of compliments. Personally, I'd rather have something the kids can eat and be done with instead of cheapie toys that create clutter and get tossed.
I think you proposed some great ideas. I personally hate the goodie bags - getting and giving them! I would not bat an eye either way, if you did them or not. I think the goodies from the pinata with a paper bag to put them in is fine by itself. The caricatures would be great if it's not too stressful for you. The 2 and 3 year old will just be glad to have their cousins there and have some candy. They are easy to please!
My kids are older and they do not have any kid gatherings...anymore.
Once my kids reached the ages of 9 and up, the goody bags were never even opened. They tossed them on the shelf as they walked into the house.
I would let the candy be the goody bag. Write their names very fancy on the candy bags.
One year I told the kids to walk over to me so I could tie a ribbon on their candy bags...just before I tied each bag, I added a small gift certificate for a medium ice-cream cone at a MOM and POP small business shop. The parents loved that idea!
If you have time, make caricatures of the kids ! That would be a great gift !!!
I would give them each a small toy or something. One year my DD didn't give her friends bags, but pails and shovels (she's a summer baby). This year the "goodie bag" was really the dinosaur skeletons they each dug up and the stuff out of the pinata (not candy, but other goodies). At 2, they won't care about a bag of stuff and if you're doing the pinata, let them decorate it with foam shapes or markers or something and let that be their pinata stuff bag. I think simple is appreciated. We recently threw out candy that DD got at a party in Sept. and never ate. She still hasn't finished her Halloween loot. Less is sometimes very appreciated.
Oriental Trading also has lots of crafts that the older kids could do and take home.
Oh, and a month or so back DD got some themed rubber duckies (aval. at Oriental Trading) out of her friend's pinata and she LOVES them. I think even older kids might get a kick out of themed ducks.
I think the pinata candy is plenty, but if you want to include something else, how about a Minnie mouse sugar cookie, you can make them and a small cup of frosting and sprinkles to decorate it. Or decorate cookies during the party as an activity. I did princess cookies for my dds 3rd birthday party, they were a big hit with the kids, and then the decorated cookies were their take home goodie. It cost me almost nothing.
I vote no on the goodie bag of "useless junkie items". A great idea could be books for the kids. target often has $1 ones in the entrance of the store. Or Barnes as like $3 ones called I think "Step into Reading" with like Fancy Nancy, Pinkalicious, etc. that may seem a little old for 2 year olds, but who doesn't enjoy a new book, and it certainly can stick around for a few years!
No, you don't need to do a goodie bag and you have the pinata candy anyway, right? I'm not a big fan of goodie bags, to tell you the truth. And for a 2 year old's party I would just skip it. If I'm inclined to do something, I've given gift certificates at Baskin Robbins for an ice cream cone. Those have always been a big hit.
Good GRIEF!!!!! I refuse to be sucked in, your SIL must be made of money because what she did was crazy.
I don't do them, I won't do them, I refuse to take them with us when they get them, I think they are the biggest crock!
Since when do "I" have to give the kids that come to a birthday party a gift for coming? Why do "I" have to give them something that could easily be more expensive than the gift they gave my child?
I refuse to be sucked in, I won't ever do them. Parents can think I am cheap and not normal or whatever but I think the cake and fun at the party are what is important. Not giving the kids that come a present.
We don't do goodie bags (although we also collect canned goods instead of birthday gifts), and I hate getting them at other parties. I like to do face painting, since most ages enjoy that. If it's not something you've done, you can get one of the cheap paint kits. The good stuff is pricier, but I recommend buying it if you will paint more faces. You could also get some cheap headbands and have the kids make their own Minnie (or Mickey) Mouse ears. No matter what, have fun, mom. She'll never be one again ;)
For my daughter's 2nd birthday, she had a rubber ducky theme -- I found clip art and made a coloring book for each child. A strip of duck stickers and a set of crayons. And then I also went to the library and checked out children's disks with songs about bath time and made a compilation of songs to play at the party and gave each kid a copy of the disk. I didn't do candy, either. I did baggies of cereal. And last, little duck stuffed animals that I got at the dollar store -- I think all together I spent about $3 a bag at most.
I wish I had been more created with my son's past b-days. Looking back, I would have made an extra cade and get cute take-home boxes for a piece for everyone to take with them. And print out coloring sheets in the party's theme off the internet for free and maybe buy the little crayon packs from the dollar store??? If you have a polaroid (even the old style) or can print pictures at home maybe a keepsake photo with the birthday girl? Just an idea. Good luck and I'm sure whatever you do will be GREAT!