Party Favors - Thumbs up or Down?

Updated on June 01, 2010
R.F. asks from Plano, TX
22 answers

My daughter's 4th birthday is next week - we combine adults and kids because my husband's birthday is right after hers, so we have quite a large turn out.
Party favors - I found some really cute horse themed toys at Oriental Trading Company - little crafts and whatnot, that will add up in cost.. I hate to admit my husband's point of view, but after the pizzas, other food, treats during the party, etc., are party favors really still expected? I know that the last few parties we have attended, the favors usualy end up in the trash. Is it cheesy/tacky NOT to offer favors (we are already having a face painter, possibly pony rides and a bouce house), so it's not like the kids won't have anything to do!

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So What Happened?

Some really good ideas! Maybe one 'themed' give-away would sufficient, like a nice plastic pony or the hat idea! I also love the picuture idea! We also are aren't 'requiring' gifts. On the invitation, I made a note the they can donate to in lieu of presents (if you don't know about this organization, check it out!). I want the kids to know it's about fun with friends, not about stuff! But, knowing me, I'll still do 'stuff'!. Thanks!

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answers from Killeen on

It is nice to have something to go away with from the party- but it seems like they will have their face painted, so that would do. Maybe a bowl of candy by the door so they could grab themselves a little treat to take home. (like lolypops, m&ms or fruit snack (my little pony fruit snack since you were looking for a "horse theme") )
And I think a photo of each child on the pony would be an excellent "favor".

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answers from Austin on

I do Special Events and there are hardly any parents that do party favors any more.
I have never heard a child ask for a party favor, EVER at any of the many, many parties I have coordinated.

Remember when we were young? The party was for the birthday child and we did not expect party favors.

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answers from Seattle on

Favors are optional.

One thing I LOVE LOVE LOVE though that some parents have started doing is taking pictures of the party and emailing them out. A signup list that gets mentioned at the door. The last part we were at had a family member assigned to make sure they got a couple pics of every kid.

I know as a parent I would love to have a pic of my kid climbing the rock wall, or bouncing, or riding a pony, or decorating a pizza, or sliding on a slip'n'slide... whatever the party is all about... and that my kiddo at least is excited about the pic for about an equally long time as he's excited about a favor bag.

You're still spending... but it's spending time instead of money.

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answers from Houston on

You might have a few kids who come up to you (or your daughter) before leaving the party because they just know that usually when they go up to the host and say thank you and happy birthday they usually get a goody bag to leave with. Not a big deal to not have one, parents won't mind at all.

If you feel the need to have something to give them, choose one thing and go with that instead of a whole bag of stuff. Walmart has bubble wands, small boxes of sidewalk chalk, jumpropes and other outside play toys for $1 each and they are something that most kids will at least use when they get home.

Good luck,

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answers from Las Vegas on

I'm not a big fan of party favors for the very reasons that you stated but I usually do end up giving a little something to the kids on their way out; I just try to keep what I give them simple and useful. But it sounds like you have a really great party planned for the kids already that, that should be enough.

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answers from Norfolk on

wow sounds like they are gonna have a blast! i feel that the favors are useless too. why bother ya know.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I seldom do party favors - partly because of cost and partly because they are mostly junk and end up in the garbage :) The one party favor that I really liked came from a horse themed party - each of the kids got a straw cowboy hat. I don't think they were terribly expensive and you would only do it for the kids. Another idea would be to buy kerchiefs that the kids can tie cowboy style around their necks. As a mom, I would rather the kids came home with one thing or nothing rather than a bag of stuff that is going to get spilled, break open, or I have to clean out of their room and put in the garbage the next day.

Have fun!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Party favors are not required. They are definitely not worth spending a lot of money on.

For my son's birthday, I did give small favors. I bought a large box of cookie cutters (100 for $10) and gave each kid a few cookie cutters and one small can of playdoh. The total came to about $1 per child. Here are the cookie cutters I bought:

K. - all the best presents for your child!

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answers from Dallas on

I view it as my personal responsibility to keep birthdays simple, sweet, and full of love. They're not about stuff, they're about celebrating your child and having fun with friends and family. Oriental Trading junk is everywhere in our culture, and it makes me sad: who needs more trashable trinkets from China? I love the picture idea. If you must offer a favor, why not send home a homemade goodie that matches your theme or a CD of your child's favorite music? I also love just plain old bubbles or sidewalk chalk: cheap, easy, and can be used up.

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answers from Tulsa on

I think it's silly to give the kids coming to your birthday party a present.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

IMO, Party favors--thumbs up....bag of junk--thumbs down!
What about a cute chocolate sucker for everyone tied with a bow?
Or--I did this O. year--buy large Hershey Bars and make "wrappers" on your computer to take around the candy bar wrapper saying "Thanks for coming! Your friend, XYZ" (I still sent thank you notes, but I bought those really large ($2) candy bars and O. other thing--I think it was a small velvet painting project that came with 5 markers or something. I just despise the bags of random junk that just gets pitched anyway....
You could do a candy bar and a small toy horse in a cute reusable bag or something?

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answers from Dallas on

I'd forgo them. I don't think it's expected and given that there's a face painter I think they'll all live ;-) If you REALLY feel you need something go buy bubbles at Party City or from Oriental Trading Co. and tie a little tag note that says "thanks for attending my party" and your daughter's name on them. They'll have them to play with at the party and take home with them if they want to.

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answers from Washington DC on

We did party favors for my child's third birthday - we got gift bags from the dollar store and filled them with stickers, kazoos and small chocolates. We also gave each child a "punching" balloon that also came from the dollar store (very popular with the children). I had a lot of help, though, as my sisters each contributed something to the bags, and my son's father also bought presents, so we shared the costs. All in all, not bad, but still a little expensive.

We went to one party where they gave out homemade rice krispie treats as the party favor - my son loved this, and it was wrapped in pretty, colorful plastic wrap, and was a nice memento from the party.

Don't feel pressured to give party favors, especially if it's a large group - I'd give something edible (a little treat), or stickers. Enjoy!!

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answers from St. Cloud on

I'm not a fan of "party favors" that equal JUNK!

For our daughters' 5th birthday party we went to Walmart and I found some GREAT deals in the clearance aisle! I was able to purchase $15, $20, and $25 TOYS for $1, $2, and $3. Each child went home with something GREAT! (Some went home with a better item than what they brought for a gift.....) Because this is the only friend party she will be getting we also did a goody bag that included: fruit snacks, juice box, bottle of bubbles, ring (princess themed party), porcupine ball, and a butterfly helium balloon attached to a large sucker.

I think after figuring it out, each child's "party favor" items only totaled like $7 to $10 per child.



answers from Dallas on

I agree that the junkie stuff just ends up in the trash. A couple of different things I've done is:

Hershey bar with a note done on the computer with a thank you for coming to the party on it.

one on those big all day suckers with a big bow tied to the stem

$5 Braums Gift Cards



answers from Dallas on

You're expecting them to bring a present, right? Then yes, by all means, bestow your little guests party favors as they depart. It's the thought that counts. And speaking of the thought, that's the key to favors that do not end up in the trash. One idea I like is to have a craft table where the kids get to somehow make and/or customize their party favor - like painting a little plaster horse? Everything else during the party is entertainment.



answers from Chicago on

I would skip the party favors unless you do something like tie a thank you note onto a pc of side walk chalk and hand those out at the door as they leave.



answers from San Francisco on

thumbs down for your party-- usually i would say put a little something in a party bag-but since you have so many activities etc.--- no need. enjoy the party!! the kids sure will !


answers from Dallas on

As a parent I would be fine without party favors, but the kids (at least mine) are always looking forward to the favors...

The last party we went to didn't have those horrible cheap toys that go in the trash right after, but the host bought some inexpensive water bottles, decorated them with the guests names and added some candy and mini chocolates to it....

The kids loved it and all the candy/chocolate got eaten....the bottles are still being used every day...

Maybe that would be an idea.....



answers from Dayton on

For my daughter's birthday I put together gift baskets for every kid. I bought stuff from the dollar store that I know kids love. Every basket had
1) Coloring book
2) Mickey mouse figurine since that was the theme
3) Bubbles
4) Candy
5) Beach bucket with shovel since it is summer

Each baseket cost me $5 and the kids loved them.



answers from Dallas on

I think that the sweet little 4-year-olds love to take home a treasure bag. It is such fun for the guest to have a bag. It need not be elaborate....just a few pieces of what we consider junk and some candy...but to them it is so much fun! (I always end up throwing away the bag in a few weeks....but it was the thought and the moment that were the lasting treasure.) And I think that it teaches the birthday child that it is not just about receiving, but also about giving.



answers from Dallas on

For my daughter's 5th birthday party (we had a gymnastics party), I went to Dollar Tree and picked out some cute little things (pencils, gold medal necklaces, blowers, etc.) They also have little card games (Go Fish, Crazy 8's, Old Maid, etc.) that come in packs of four for $1. My daughter still plays with the card games.

We had 15 kids at the party and I spent less than $20 at Dollar Tree. I even got the goodie bags, plates, cups, napkins and plastic ware from there.

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