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Old 10-11-2009, 05:05 AM
 
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I'm not sure what DD1 thinks (just turned 6) but I'm not a big fan. I have seen them at most parties shes been too, but wouldn't miss them. I don't do them. However the kids do go home with something, except the first year when she turned 3 and I hadn't really heard of goody bags.

At 4 the kids strung beads on pipe cleaners for bracelets. Her 5th birthday had a dinosaur dig in the sandbox and the kids kept the dinos. This time we had a backyard safari and they ended up with eight little animals each. I like the party favors to have some meaning/relationship to the party rather than just random stuff.
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Old 10-11-2009, 05:18 AM
 
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I have actually found goody bags a life saver at toddler / young kids birthday parties. While my kid opens presents I hand out goody bags for the other kids to open up. It makes the whole things go way smoother and keeps all the kids occupied without a struggle during present opening.

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Old 10-11-2009, 07:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post
But it seems to mean a lot to DD to get that darn bag, and I am not going to take her to another party where I know she won't be able to not feel hurt and disappointed. Better to just skip it.


I'm kinda confused by this. Wouldn't it be better to use this as a 'teachable moment' to help your DD learn about enjoying parties as gatherings of friends instead of just a place to exchange material goods?

This just seems to be reinforcing a negative societal expectation, and one your own values don't even align with (based on what you said about goodie bags in your post). YMMV, I guess.
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:36 AM
 
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I'm a goody bag hater. I actually try to avoid even getting one on the way out, but it's usually unavoidable. I never give my kids anything in the bag except maybe one piece of candy. So I am having my sons first real party (he's turning four). I've been contemplating the goody bag thing and I have come up with this: We are going to the firestation for a tour, then everyone is coming over to our house for cake and ice cream. Then my neighbor who is a cop is going to bring his police car over and let the kids sit in it (he will also be in uniform). So along with the theme of rescue vehicles the kids are all getting a firemans hat from the firestation (so no cost to me). That should be enough, but I love to go all out when I throw a party. So I'm making all the kids a police car out of a cardboard box. There will be handles cut out and it's something they can "wear" and run around in while holding. Everyone takes theirs home. Now of course, this only works when all the kids are the same age. No one especially older or younger is coming (like a sibling) so I don't have to worry about that yet. The cons to this idea is that I wanted the kids to be able to start playing with them during the party, but my house is small and there is no way there is room for 10 kids in boxes running around the house along with all the adults. So they will have to be in the garage, only to be taken home. And it will be a lot to make, but it's not hard and I love crafting. It should not be expensive, at least no more expensive then a typical goody bag. It takes construction paper (which I have) glue and a small, med. box. I believe I have all the supplies. I am likely to do something like this every year or nothing at all. Also, I have to make them all in November, b/c my sons birthday is Jan. 1 and I will not have time to do this in Dec. but this will prob. always be the way for his birthday,,, I'll have everything done in Nov.

Anyways, just wanted to give one more shout out for the firestation tour party. It's free and then you just have to come home and have cake and ice cream. I think the kids are going to LOVE it@

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Old 10-11-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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I hate them, my kids know I hate them, and they wouldn't mind not getting them. They'd much rather make a cool craft to take home.
That said, I still give them out because it's expected. Some years we do a craft instead. But really, you shouldn't expect to get a gift for attending a party. You should feel honored to have been invited, IMO.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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Personally, I consider all that the same thing; a decorated box, a craft, a goody bag, a balloon, what you pick up from a pinata... They are all party favors, something to take home as a momento. I can't imagine a kid with a bag of stuff from a pinata looking around for an additional goody bag.

And I don't see anything wrong with not taking a young child to a party if she doesn't understand them. They are a confusing situation. Kids have expectations that the adults don't know about. Sure you could work on it, have teachable moments, explain there might not be a goody bag (and be proven wrong again and again if there always is one). Or you could just wait a year until your child is more mature and can handle disappointment better and have more accurate expectations. There is nothing wrong with that approach, either.

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Old 10-11-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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Most people I know, who don't want to use paper plates at a party, set out all their own dishes; then if that isn't enough, they borrow a full set of dishes from one close friend or neighbor, rather than asking everyone to bring their own. That might be less chaotic, if you just borrow one full set; plus it's more traditional, so not likely to get on anyone's nerves.
yeah we do this for parties by our house, but ds wants to go to the beach this year and my dishes are heavy. maybe its too much to ask people to bring dishes, instead we'll do all finger-foods and cupckes and just bring compostable (paper) cups and napkins. we're going to make kites and obviously kids can keep them if they want.

When I put on a party I try to keep it in line with my own values and my son's wishes, and not worry about whether its "correct". If I go to someone else's party they are the host and making decisions, and I hope I am gracious and not judgmental. I want my son to enjoy himself, celebrate his friends, and learn how to be a good guest. I guess I do care more about that than whether or not he eats a few jolly rachers and cheetos. (to name some of the things he knows about only b/c of birthday parties!)

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Old 10-11-2009, 03:51 PM
 
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We try our best to avoid taking the goodie bags home, lol. They just trash up the car, or get thrown in the garbage at home because of the choking hazzards (I have a homedaycare). Sometimes I "accidentally" leave it by the door when we're putting out coats on to leave.

I do give out a favor when we have a party though....usually we play games and each child gets a prize for playing a game. It's always something that can be used. One year I did books.

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Old 10-11-2009, 03:52 PM
 
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I agree, something to take home is a party favor. So I should have been more specific in that I hate the goody bags with little toys and candy.
A cool craft, shirt, pumpkin stuff like that. Or even things like pencils and pads of paper I have no problem with. Useable items to me are great, little junky stuff not so great. But of course, everyone has an opinion and there might be parents that are annoyed I gave their kid a bigger item to take home. Ya just never know who will like what.

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Old 10-11-2009, 03:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by emmaegbert View Post
yeah we do this for parties by our house, but ds wants to go to the beach this year and my dishes are heavy. maybe its too much to ask people to bring dishes, instead we'll do all finger-foods and cupckes and just bring compostable (paper) cups and napkins. we're going to make kites and obviously kids can keep them if they want.

When I put on a party I try to keep it in line with my own values and my son's wishes, and not worry about whether its "correct". If I go to someone else's party they are the host and making decisions, and I hope I am gracious and not judgmental. I want my son to enjoy himself, celebrate his friends, and learn how to be a good guest. I guess I do care more about that than whether or not he eats a few jolly rachers and cheetos. (to name some of the things he knows about only b/c of birthday parties!)
WELL PUT! I still have my opinion about certain types of goody bags, but I leave my complaints for a thread like this..or my husband. LOL I am always gracious and try not to be judgemental. Not liking the bags is not judgement, its just my preference and is not in line with some of my values, as you stated. So well put, thank you!

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Old 10-11-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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I can't imagine a kid with a bag of stuff from a pinata looking around for an additional goody bag.
LOL - my step-nephew (age 10) is pretty used to the idea of goody bags I guess, because after he filled his pinata bag full of treats, he asked me, "so where is the goody bag?" I said "in your hands honey"
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:13 PM
 
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We recently came up with an idea for using all the goody bag stuff we accumulate over the year... We are filling up a bag with the goody bag goodies (which DS generally has very little interest in) over the year and will be using it to fill DS's pinata next year. Tacky? Maybe. But it answers the questions "What do we do with all of this *junk*?" and "What goodies will we give at our party?" at the same time!

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Old 10-11-2009, 10:03 PM
 
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Not a fan of goody bags, the useless plastic toys that get tossed and end up in land fills only encourages waste. I don't like the idea of my kids thinking that they deserve a toy or gift whenever they go to a party. Cake, ice cream and games should be enough. However I love craft projects, picture frames, flower pots, all that good stuff, gives the kids something to do and they they have a keepsake. Cool.

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Old 10-11-2009, 10:11 PM
 
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I had never heard of goody bags until I read about them online and then asked a few parents around here locally. Apparently they are a pretty normal thing, so I did them for DS's 2nd B-Day. It all felt really awkward and weird to me when it came time to hand them out, so I am not doing them again. It just seemed to not really be in line with my values, and such a waste of money and resources.

I wouldn't take one away from DS if he received one at a party, but I also would be silently thrilled if we didn't receive one at a party. I just went to a party today with him and there were no goody bags, and it was the best party I have been to yet for littles. Maybe things will be different when he is a bit older, but for now, I am in the "No-Goody-Bag" camp.

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Old 10-12-2009, 02:57 AM
 
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DS (3.5) couldn't care less. i don't think he expects them (although they have been given out frequently at parties and he seems happy when they are). We just went to a great party this weekend and there was no goody bag and I didn't even realize it until I saw your post! I don't think anyone cared. I think it's great to skip them. They send such a bad environemental message to kids - it's all plastic crap that breaks or gets thrown away within a couple weeks. One thing I like is when someone does something home-made or crafty. More work for sure, but way better than dollar store crap

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