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no goodie bags at DD's bday party: do I dare? - Page 2

post #21 of 38

First, I thought I already replied to this thread and I don't see it so...oops.


Second, I marked a post as "helpful" up thread when I was trying to quote.  Doh!

 

Third, my point, I would do some kind of take home for guests.  I guess I never thought of it is "entitlement" on the part of the guest but a thank you on the part of the host.  If the expectation in your area is pretty solidly b-day party = goodie bag/party favor, I don't think I'd make my kid the one to buck that trend and have to answer awkward questions on Monday at school.  At the same time, I do not enjoy taking home odd bits of plastic and most parents complain of the same thing (of course, I get that if your child is in on the goodie bag shopping process, the first thing they want to do is pick random familiar-from-from-other-parties bits of plastic).  I think art supplies, home made treats, or something that goes with the theme of the party (seeds and a pot, a book, a picture, etc) or a craft they've done together (you can get tee shirts from Hobby Lobby for like $2, iron on something and let them sign each other's shirts), candy from the pinata - all those are great.

 

I guess I don't see the whole thing as necessary but if it's an expected part of birthday parties where you life, as the mom of the birthday kid...I don't think I'd be the first one to put an end to it.  As a mom of one of the attendees, I would be thoroughly embarrassed if my child ASKED about bags but she's five.  I still coach her on some things on the way into any party.  I don't see this ending anytime soon.

post #22 of 38
I don't like them or expect them and I don't do them. I have done parties where the kids each make a craft, but that's all. The same kids come to our parties year after year, so they seem to be holding up through the tragedy. wink1.gif
post #23 of 38

i don't think they are necessary at all, but i did put some together for DSD party this past weekend. it was at a petting farm with pony rides and they each got to take home a craft they made there and a fresh chicken egg that they collected so i really didn't need to do goodie bags, but it was kind of fun. i just put a few glittery halloween stickers, a rubber bat and a paper halloween decoration in each, plus three halloween themed cookies with different coloured icing that i made myself. 

post #24 of 38
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for  your wonderful insights, opinions, and practices!  Admittedly, I have a bugaboo about the whole goodie bag thing, but I'm willing to have my horizons expanded.

 

I like the idea of a craft to take home or a book or a single item along those lines.  It's the bag of candy and plasticky junk I dislike so.  And the sense of entitlement.  But I'm much more comfortable looking at it as a thank-you-for-coming memento.  That makes more sense to me.

 

Now, to find something attractive to 9 yr old girls AND boys... 

post #25 of 38

Be brave!! If you feel guilty about it though, maybe do a craft like a photo frame and then print out photos of the guest and the birthday girl.

post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin2004 View Post
I like the idea of a craft to take home or a book or a single item along those lines.  It's the bag of candy and plasticky junk I dislike so.  And the sense of entitlement.  But I'm much more comfortable looking at it as a thank-you-for-coming memento.  That makes more sense to me.

 

Now, to find something attractive to 9 yr old girls AND boys... 



I have come to the place you are at in the last couple of years.  My home does NOT need anymore happy meal toys, etc.  We have done one big thing or a craft to take home; this year I was going to do screened t-shirts for dd's party but ran out of time.  They still had fun with no "prize."

post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueStateMama View Post

Vital extraction technique for parents ("You can open your goodie bag in the car!!")  Cruel to take that away  ;)

 

I've never given out goodie bags and don't see it as cruel. No one has ever left in tears or even asked about them. One year, DS's friends did a craft and got to take it home but our other parties didn't have a craft of any kind. I don't mind if my kids get a party favor when they go to parties but they aren't mandatory. Our gift to our guests is the party experience.

 

post #28 of 38

DD2 is going to have her very first Bday party this year.  We're having it at Pump it up.  The fact that it's going to be there and we're feeding them pizza and cake means I'm not even going to consider a goodie bag.  I'm already trying to figure out how to nicely beg them to not go crazy on toys.  She doesn't play with them at all.  However if they feel like bringing them you can bet she'll be loading them in the car and asking me to return them so she can get some books or more art supplies. 

post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

DD2 is going to have her very first Bday party this year.  We're having it at Pump it up.  The fact that it's going to be there and we're feeding them pizza and cake means I'm not even going to consider a goodie bag.  I'm already trying to figure out how to nicely beg them to not go crazy on toys.  She doesn't play with them at all.  However if they feel like bringing them you can bet she'll be loading them in the car and asking me to return them so she can get some books or more art supplies. 



 DS would LOVE to have his birthday at Pump It Up! I don't think we've ever gotten goody bags at a Pump It Up party.

 

OP - I hear you on the goodie bag dilemma. This year I did caramel apples and they also had a little pumpkin craft to take home. One year I made small books and gave markers and stickers with it. It's fun to get creative with it instead of just buying stuff grudgingly because you have to. I know someone who sent the kids home with bags of homemade popcorn.

One yeare we did  pumpkin decorating and had a pinata, and did not do goodie bags, I think one kid asked and I just replied "oh you have your pumpkin to take home".

post #30 of 38

We do a pinata and then buy several cheap smaller gifts at the party store and play a game for every child present and rig the games so that everyone wins a game and gets a bigger present, like silly giant sunglasses, or little toy frogs, or cheap mardigras beads.  These things are inexpensive but fun.

 

We have also just done the pinata thing.

 

I think of it as a thank you for coming, thing, as well.

 

The kids parents here spend a LOT of money on the kids presents, so sending them home with a bag of candy, an extra slice of cake (we always have way too much). and a few wee mindings seems reasonable.

 

I don't think anyone expects it, but it is nice.   It can also be a fun way to work a theme and be remembered. 

 

I am sure that if people know you've had a bad year no one will hold it against you if you keep it sort of low-key.

 

 

post #31 of 38

Sometimes I have done them, sometimes not.  Sometimes a child asks, and I tell them that we don't have goody bags but we hope they will take home the good memories we made today.  Sounds corny, but it's an honest and polite answer to an innocently impolite question.

 

I have seen balloons given out as children leave, which I think is a neat idea since the bunch of balloons doubles as a decoration for the party.  You could get them at the dollar store, but for 20 kids, that does add up.

 

A lot of times, doing some version of a pet rock activity works well as a craft and then we put it in a paper bag (house) that the child also decorated to take home.  We did an owl theme for my daughter's birthday, so I put out feathers and dried beans and the kids made pet rock owls.....you get the idea.  Don't underestimate the lure of the pet rock!  Even the older cousins loved this.

post #32 of 38

 

I like the idea of sending well-wishers with a gift.  However, I am TOTALLY against bags of plastic crap that never biodegrades and is made by children in sweatshops!!!

 

For dd's bithday I bought a flock of ducks from Heifer International (www.heifer.org).  We then made little cardboard ducks which dd decorated.  When they left each guest got the "duck" and a Heifer brochure, with an explaination that one duck had been donated in their honor.

 

There could be all sorts of variations on this theme, benefitting any kind of charity.  (We almost gave out rubber ducks but I was glad dd was happy to make cardboard ones).


Other ideas:
You could start bulbs (put rocks and water in a clear plastic tumbler with the bulb, we did this for our wedding reception) that the kids can take home and watch grow all winter on their windowsill, then plant in the spring.  Or have the kids assemble them at the party, a la craft station.

 

A friend had kids build little terrariums in goldfish bowls (with plants from a local nursery).  She had little dino and fairy and critter figures too.

 

A food craft--decorate a cupcake/cookie/whatever.

 

Decorate anything, really---little boxes, notebooks for school, wee cloth bags.  It's winter--decorate gloves with fabric paint?  You can get lots of mittens/gloves/scarves at the dollar store.

 

Best wishes! 

Crappy trends need to be bucked. 

post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnygir1 View Post

 They were thrilled when stickers and peanuts came out of the pinata, and they didn't care that we didn't have perfect pink decorations or a pink frosted cake.  We ran around and played together and sometimes stopped to eat.  Fun.


LOL, your post made me shudder as the mother of a peanut allergic child!

 

We did goody bags for DS's 1st birthday (most guests were 2 or 3 - the same age as DD) but they contained a matchbx car, crayon, silly bands and a small pack of smarties. You can see them here on my blog - http://www.rookblog.com/2011/04/moustache-party-goody-bags.html

 

It was low key and non-junky. I hate getting goody bags which are either filled with sugar or contain dollar store items that break fast (and break DD's heart).

 

post #34 of 38
I don't think they are necessary, either. This year we did craft bags with a couple magnets and a paper wand craft that the kids could work on at the party or take home. We did a pinata as well, but no little toys. I don't really care for the junky toys that end up breaking. The year we did her party at Fairy Tale Town, I made those fairy princess halos with curling ribbon streamers on the back. I don't think that you actually have to do anything, though.
post #35 of 38

We just got back from DD2's party and we did goodie bags with crafts.  Things to make bracelets and ornaments.  I did put some kisses and a candy cane in each bag.  The kids loved it and I invited some adult friends of mine who are really just grown up kids and they made the party so fun!  The kids didn't care about their goody bags at all.  The only cared about playing. 

post #36 of 38

I must be a mean party throwing mom because I hate gift bags and just don't do them, for all of the reasons you mentioned. Granted, my kids are a bit younger, but DS1 just turned 6 and I didn't do gift bags. All of his friends parties (which were in the last 2 months) had gift bags.. and no one asked for one. I just... hate them! LOL. They're always full of junk or candy I don't want in the house anyway. I feel like our society is so centered around "what's in it for me" instead of being there to celebrate someone elses special day. 

 

So yeah, no party favors here thumb.gif

post #37 of 38

I knew that gift bags were becoming a problem with our girls when they started asking me, discreetly, when we're leaving a party, where the gift bags were.  I knew there and then that we would never be doing gift bags in our parties.

 

So for Dd's 6th birthday we made puppet crafts with wooden spoons, and they got to take home their puppet.  The whole craft probably costed about $10 for 6 girls, and took up about 45 minutes of party time. 

 

A friend of mine is obcessed with gift bags and parties for each of her 5 kids.  Even when we aren't able to come to a party, she still makes a point of handing us a gift bag from the missed party, even weeks later!  I hate to tell her but I really don't like all the dollar store junk, and the hockey puck sized, home made chocolate lollypops that she includes with each bag.  Its one thing if its good chocolate, but its "craft" chocolate, bought at Micheal's and comes in weird colours and flavours.

post #38 of 38

I despise the plastic goody bags filled with junk as well.  I also really chafe against the attitude that a gift bag is expected because somebody sprung for a big gift.  In some way (I know this idea might seem offensive and I admit I'm climbing up on a bit of a soapbox here . . ) I think the whole gift bag thing is a reflection of things gone wrong in our society  - - the pervasive sense of entitlement; the need to spend money to make people happy; the idea that things equate to caring, and the addiction to horrible plastic things made in China. 

 

Ok, rant over.  :-)  I do think something small and meaningful, sent home with guests, if the host so chooses, is lovely.

 

What we've done in the past is either completely eschew the gift bag notion altogether, or do something simple.  If we do a gift bag, we use brown paper lunch bags (which my Dd paints in polka dots, and we will fold over and then punch a hole in the top and secure with a bit of raffia ribbon or twine), and inside is something like a few seed packets (our farmer's market gives them away for free, and DD's birthday is early June, so it is perfect seed planting weather).  We have also made homemade playdough, as a PP mentioned, packaged in a small, attractive bell mason jar, and once we included 2 - 3 small jars of finger paint.  Now that my older DD is a bit past the age of playdough and finger paints, and very into the idea of "playing spa" (not sure where this came from - it's not like I frequent spas!), we will probably make some sort of homemade bath salts or facial scrub with oatmeal and send home in a little jar.

 

But then again, maybe we won't, if I am feeling harried and unmotivated, because I have so little invested in the idea that a gift bag is a must.

 

In general, my humble opinion is that the gift bag is the choice of the host, no one should feel bad about foregoing it, and that any child asking his/her parent about the lack of a goodie bag presents the perfect opportunity for the parent to say, "didn't you just attend a fun party and play games and have cake and ice cream (or whatever)? That experience was your present!"

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