No Goody Bags - Mothering Forums
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The Childhood Years > No Goody Bags
Porcelain Interior's Avatar Porcelain Interior 09:04 PM 09-30-2009
What's the general attitude about not getting a goody bag at a children's birthday party?

BellinghamCrunchie's Avatar BellinghamCrunchie 09:19 PM 09-30-2009
My DD cried all the way home when she went to a party that didn't have goody bags (she's 4.5). A few of the other kids were disappointed, too. It didn't seem to matter that they had a fun time and had cake and ice cream and played games. She didn't get over it quickly, either. Four months later she's still trying to process that she didn't get a goody bag. Its like goody bags are now part of the american birthday party ritual, and some kids aren't able to be flexible to deviations from that.

I wish goody bags had never been introduced I like old-fashioned cake and ice cream parties and fun and that's that. 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.
Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 09:45 PM 09-30-2009
We do goody bags at our kids' parties. All of the kids have been thrilled with them. At ds1's last party, a bunch of his friends were there and they all seemed really surprised by them.

I don't think they should be expected. My kids have never said a word about not getting one and love it when they do.
daytripper75's Avatar daytripper75 09:48 PM 09-30-2009
We don't do them and no one has ever commented. However I usually rent a helium tank and have a gazillion balloons. Everyone takes home a balloon and a gc for an ice cream cone.
zinemama's Avatar zinemama 09:54 PM 09-30-2009
I think they are ridiculous. At least, the ones I've seen. An assortment of cheap plastic junk that gets broken in a minute. A waste of money.

We tend to send littler kids home with a helium balloon. I've also gone to the library's book thrift store, where you can get hardcovers for 50 cents and wrapped those nicely to hand out as kids leave. Or we make something (craft project) that kids can take home with them.
ChetMC's Avatar ChetMC 10:16 PM 09-30-2009
I like having our kids prepare goody bags to give to their friends. I think that it helps to take the focus off of the host child just getting stuff at their birthday party.

Also, kids really seem to enjoy goody bags. Our kids don't get candy and junky toys on a regular basis, but I can tell you that the enjoyment they get out of even the crappiest treat bag (containing the junkiest of the candy and dollar store toys) is worth the trouble that went into making it.

I don't think our kids would be upset if they didn't get a treat bag at a party. They're still at the stage of it being a surprise when the goody bags come out when it's time to leave. It can be so hard for young kids to have the party end, that a little bag of surprises really seems to help ease the transition.

For the record though, I think that any give-away or take home falls into the same category. Letting kids take home helium balloons, a single $4 or $5 item, or a craft that they made at the party is really the same thing as a treat bag as far as I'm concerned.

I appreciate the complaints on MDC about really junky goody bags, but there are so many nice and inexpensive favour ideas. In the spring, I got neat little "Grow Your Own Tree" kits from the dollar spot at Target for $1. Or I saw somebody on MDC recently who sent home playdoh and mini rolling pins they made by cutting up dowel from the hardware store.
marybethorama's Avatar marybethorama 10:19 PM 09-30-2009
I'd personally be thrilled.

The kids would probably be okay as they're older now. They might have been upset when they were younger, but I don't know.
aprons_and_acorns's Avatar aprons_and_acorns 10:24 PM 09-30-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post
What's the general attitude about not getting a goody bag at a children's birthday party?

The last birthday party we went to didn't have goody bags. DS (age 5) didn't notice it or mention it to me if he did.

We didn't have goody bags at DS's birthday party either. No one said anything to me or to him about it. It was a really casual party, just lemonade, cupcakes and playing.
mamazee's Avatar mamazee 10:28 PM 09-30-2009
I hope you start a trend.

I'm not so brave, but I am trying to substitute something else for goody bags. Last year, I got Dover coloring books.
CanBoo's Avatar CanBoo 10:52 PM 09-30-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChetMC View Post
I don't think our kids would be upset if they didn't get a treat bag at a party. They're still at the stage of it being a surprise when the goody bags come out when it's time to leave. It can be so hard for young kids to have the party end, that a little bag of surprises really seems to help ease the transition.

For the record though, I think that any give-away or take home falls into the same category. Letting kids take home helium balloons, a single $4 or $5 item, or a craft that they made at the party is really the same thing as a treat bag as far as I'm concerned.

I appreciate the complaints on MDC about really junky goody bags, but there are so many nice and inexpensive favour ideas. In the spring, I got neat little "Grow Your Own Tree" kits from the dollar spot at Target for $1. Or I saw somebody on MDC recently who sent home playdoh and mini rolling pins they made by cutting up dowel from the hardware store.
I like what Cht MC said...
I did not used to be in favour of a goody bag, but I now like them. It is the easiest way to bring back DD1 to the car after all the fun.
In the past I've also given a single inexpensive toy per child, which is the same as the goodie bag in my mind too.
It doesn't have to be just sugar and crappy toys. My DH cousin put socks in the ones from her son's 3rd b-day along with a juice box. All the kids were happy with that.
savannah smiles's Avatar savannah smiles 10:58 PM 09-30-2009
DD1 is having a party this Saturday and I was thinking that since she's getting older (she'll be 8) that I could get away w/ not doing them. My dh, however, really wanted to do them so we are. I am making sure to get decent little gifts, not cheap ones.
orangefoot's Avatar orangefoot 11:06 PM 09-30-2009
We don't do goody bags either. You have a good time, you eat cake and ice cream and jelly and you go home happy. At least it seems to work for us and new friends have commented on the fact that their kids didn't even notice that they didn't get a bag of tat to take home.
bugginsmom's Avatar bugginsmom 12:53 AM 10-01-2009
We do them and it has always been a nicer type toy/favor in a bag with a healthy theme oriented snack. For the farm theme several years ago, we added an apple with a Dover coloring book and crayons, this year my ds is having a steam locomotive theme and we are giving out those metal heavy duty pencil sharpeners in the shape of a steam locomotive, two train pencils, and personalized note pad (that I made for each child) and bag of homemade trail mix. All of the birthday parties we go to have favors and I would actually feel awkward not doing them, since ds has received some really nice favors from his friends parties. Also, I agree with the pp who said whether it is in a bag or not, if you give the guests something as a party favor, they make a take home craft, etc. it is the same as giving them a goody bag.

ETA: It is also part of the fun for us when planning the party. DS helps me pick out the favors, assemble the bags, decorate the bags and hand them out to his friends. It's all part of the process and he really enjoys the act of giving, so it works wonderfully for us to have him involved.

ETA: (again!) That my ds doesn't expect them and I would care less if someone else didn't do them, as I don't think they are necessary. I honestly can't remember a party without them since my son has been attending parties. I never had a party as a child nor was I ever invited to any , so I can't speak as to what it was like during my childhood.
newbymom05's Avatar newbymom05 12:54 AM 10-01-2009
I"m not a fan because they are almost always candy and plastic junk, but DS is thrilled by them. He's 4.5 and doesn't expect one, but then again, I don't think we've ever been to a party w/o them. Around here, goody bags are as much a part of the celebration as the cake.
Drummer's Wife's Avatar Drummer's Wife 02:13 AM 10-01-2009
My kids would not even notice.

ETA:

We did hand them out at DD's party, but it's not something they would ever expect.
vbactivist's Avatar vbactivist 02:18 AM 10-01-2009
[QUOTE=BellinghamCrunchie;14461197]My DD cried all the way home when she went to a party that didn't have goody bags (she's 4.5). A few of the other kids were disappointed, too. It didn't seem to matter that they had a fun time and had cake and ice cream and played games. She didn't get over it quickly, either. Four months later she's still trying to process that she didn't get a goody bag. Its like goody bags are now part of the american birthday party ritual, and some kids aren't able to be flexible to deviations from that.

I wish goody bags had never been introduced I like old-fashioned cake and ice cream parties and fun and that's that. 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.[/QUOTE]

Are you really saying that if there won't be a goody bag, you won't attend the party? couldn't you explain to your daughter that it's the birthday child's special day, and so she gets teh present. but taht youyr daughter gets to enjoy the party, playing,eating cake etc...? I am surprised by this.

also, will you ask when you call to rxvp, "will there be a goody bag, because if not, we won't come?"
karemore's Avatar karemore 11:04 AM 10-01-2009
We've been to a lot of parties in the past few years and we have always come home with a goodie bag or some token.

It would be noticed here and the kids would be disappointed if there wasn't something. Even a balloon would be fine, a flower to plant, an extra cupcake they decorated, all those are fine substitutes for a plastic bag with plastic junk.

I don't mind the plastic junk bags either. I put them in a large bag in the closet and when we are heading on a road trip I mix them all up and pull them out at intervals to entertain DD, it works great.
loraxc's Avatar loraxc 11:09 AM 10-01-2009
I hate them and I don't do them. In our circle, some people do them and some don't.

I think that if a kid can't have fun without a goody bag...well, I dunno. I'm not that sympathetic to that.

FWIW, we have also always had no-gifts parties.
GardenStream's Avatar GardenStream 11:14 AM 10-01-2009
My oldest is 3, so we're just getting started with the b-day parties. I hate the goody bags, but thankfully we've only been to one party that had them. The last party was a no gift and no goody bag party. That was wonderful. The kids did a tour of the farm, a hay ride, everyone got to pick out pumpkins, and then they all got their choice of a cupcake or an apple.
caiesmommy's Avatar caiesmommy 11:20 AM 10-01-2009
I HATE GOODY BAGS!..for the most part! Ds is 3 and I have to search through them constantly, we have a no gun policy and it seems like almost every b-day party gives some form of a weapon and we're vegan so I have to make sure there's no chocolate or ds will get very ill.

We do give out loot bags for ds's bday. Last year it was an assortment of toys-bubbles-playdough-crayons(all toys that get used up) and raisins/fruit leather.

This year ds had a train themed b-day party and F-I-L made all the kids wooden train whistles and we got wooden trains from the dollar store. Each kid got a train whistle and a train...that's it and truthfully the kids didn't seem to expect them but we're totally excited by the whistles when they got them
olliepop's Avatar olliepop 11:29 AM 10-01-2009
I am not opposed to goody bags, although I don't do traditional ones myself. When my dd had a flower themed party this summer, each girl decorated 4x6 sized frame and took that home, along w/a green bean sprout I'd planted days before in a clay pot with their name, and a flower clip that I made. I took a picture of each girl with the birthday girl and sent that picture in the thank you card.

I thought everything was practical and cute. Goody bags or take home gifts aren't always a bad thing, especially as people become more aware of the junky toys and try to steer clear.

If my dd gets one from a party, I'm ok with it. The toys don't last long and eventually get tossed.
lonegirl's Avatar lonegirl 11:34 AM 10-01-2009
I think Goody bags are fun!!

I love making them and even do ones for the grown-ups at my hubbys BDay! For Tyr's I buy colouring books, crayons, playdoh, books (all bought at the dollar store) and I buy a big pack of Hotwheels and put one or 2 in each bag. Plus if it is themed ...I find something of that theme. This year is going to be High School Musical so I will get some HSM pencils and notepads for drawing on.
limabean's Avatar limabean 02:05 PM 10-01-2009
We sometimes do goody bags and sometimes don't. I definitely don't think they're a must-do, but if I have extra time, see some cute stuff, and know how many kids are coming, I'll throw some together.

At the parties DS has gone to, usually there are goody bags, but a couple of times there haven't been, and he didn't say anything about it, if he even noticed.

He would get a stern talking-to from me if he complained about not getting a goody bag at a birthday party.
ollyoxenfree's Avatar ollyoxenfree 02:36 PM 10-01-2009
We usually didn't give out goody (or "loot") bags filled with candy and plastic junk, however the children would often participate in a craft and take that home.

One party was at a ceramics studio and they painted and fired something. One year we had the party at home, and the kids painted and decorated terra cotta pots and planted a little flower or herb. One year we did an "Amazing Race" theme in the local park, and the kids took home their team-colour bandanas and water bottles that I handed out at the beginning of the party.

It's easy to avoid the junky stuff and still send home a little treasure/memento of the day. I was determined to avoid all the junk that I felt burdened with when the kids went to other birthday parties.
GardenStream's Avatar GardenStream 02:42 PM 10-01-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
We usually didn't give out goody (or "loot") bags filled with candy and plastic junk, however the children would often participate in a craft and take that home.

One party was at a ceramics studio and they painted and fired something. One year we had the party at home, and the kids painted and decorated terra cotta pots and planted a little flower or herb. One year we did an "Amazing Race" theme in the local park, and the kids took home their team-colour bandanas and water bottles that I handed out at the beginning of the party.

It's easy to avoid the junky stuff and still send home a little treasure/memento of the day. I was determined to avoid all the junk that I felt burdened with when the kids went to other birthday parties.
Great ideas
sunnmama's Avatar sunnmama 02:58 PM 10-01-2009
I don't think my kids would notice or care if there were no goody bags at a party. We've been to lots of different kinds of birthday celebrations, and certainly not all have involved goody bags.
wombatclay's Avatar wombatclay 03:15 PM 10-01-2009
Around here some do bags, some don't. We don't, though sometimes we do send kiddos home with something from the party (dd1 had a tea party birthday, and each kiddo kept their cup and saucer).

Personally I don't like the way bags make the party feel so "tit for tat"... as if a fun party wasn't enough, the guests need gifts of their own to top it off. But then, I'm not fond of birthday parties with lots of gifts anyway. We generally tell people that their attendance is the gift and if someone does bring a gift we thank them but don't open it at the party.

I do like the idea that bags let the host "give back", and that a "no gift" party isn't for everyone, but in general I don't see the benefit of goody bags. Crafts or memory items from the party sure, but generic bags?
MyFillingQuiver's Avatar MyFillingQuiver 03:52 PM 10-01-2009
Whatever parents want to do, you know? I think it's a shame (and this goes for way more than goody bags) that kids have to be constantly entertained nowadays, "given things", and basically bribed with things. I think anytime our children expect to be given things, it's kind of an ugly thing.

However, a party to me is a special day to celebrate. I don't have a problem with letting kids be kids and have a bit of fun and candy! I like making something special for a take-home, or a goody bag with something little...I have had my children receive HUGE bags FILLED with tons of candy..that's just a problem for US because I have to take the bag and ration the candy, since we don't freely eat junk in our home. I don't expect other parents to comply with our thoughts, though.

For my DD1's 5th birthday, I had a very special tea party with only 5 girls total. We made picture frames, and decorated little purses to take home. I still see some of the girls at church with their purses on occasion. We had no candy whatsoever at the party..they had tea sandwiches, tea and lemonade and cake. No one complained or anything. Even with it being ultra-fancy and making real things to take home, I spent less than I did on my DS2's birthday with lots of kids and junky goody bags.

So, whatever people want to do...we just try really hard to teach our kids not to expect things from others...it should be enough they got invited to something where they likely will have fun and eat birthday cake!
Peony's Avatar Peony 04:24 PM 10-01-2009
I like them for younger kids, older ones are fine without one. DD1 is almost 7 and would be fine not getting anything, but for DD2 that would be horrid. I'd be carrying her out kicking and screaming if there wasn't one. She just doesn't quite understand why some one else is getting all the cool toys.

I do simple goody bags, fruit leathers, bubbles, stickers, stamps, paper, markers, seed packets, or tattoos are things that have been in our bags. If I do candy then it is just one piece.


Our birthday parties are not huge events, just a little party at home with a few friends, there are usually more parents then children.
bandgeek's Avatar bandgeek 04:36 PM 10-01-2009
We don't expect them when we go to parties and I don't think DS would even notice if he didn't get one. But goody bags are my favorite part and I just went all out for DD's party. I made them as "junk-less" as possible. Homemade playdough, handmade puppets, cookie crayons (melted down crayons to make swirly ones), a few lollipops, elmo board books for the little kids and notebooks and pencils for the big kids, and whole grain goldfish. The elmo and cookie monster puppets were a huge hit!

For DS's b-day, I'm going to make I spy bags. I don't know what else yet, but that will be the big thing.

I just love to see the kids having fun and I really like to put them together anyway.
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