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I just realized that I'm going to need to provide stuff for my DD's preschool b-day party in early September. The cupcakes are easy, of course. But where on earth does one buy goodie bag stuff? I can't NOT do the goodie bag, it's a big deal for her and she knows that it's what goes with birthday parties at school. I don't mind spending the money at all, really, but I would much rather spend it on something a little more useful than a lollipop, a plastic ruler and a plastic stencil, IYKWIM!

Suggestions? I'd love to provide something with more lasting value
 

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I did kazoos one year for my son's party, which at least are an instrument of sorts. I also like small compasses. My beef has always been throw-away junk in the bags rather than usable, lasting stuff. Perhaps a polished rock? (if everyone is over 3?)

I'm curious what others come up with.
 

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Coming from a teacher, I'd do things like crayons, fun paper/stationary and colorful pencils. I'm not sure that's those things are "goodie bag material" (I know typically they are kind of small) since I don't have kids, but definitely do something usable. The other good thing is that all school supplies are on sale right now, so you might be able to find some fun things. I'd love to hear everyone else's ideas, though.
 

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I *hate* traditional goody bag stuff, especially the cheap crap that falls apart after 2 uses and/or was made in china. Sorry for the rant.

Ahyhoo...for dd bday I usually put in an organic fruit leather or two (love trader Joe's), a chocolate bar (again TJ's) & then some other things kids like...I've bought a big huge tube of sidewalk chalk and put in 3 or 4 pieces in each bag, bubbles, or a box of crayonsn (I stock up around now when the crayola 24 packs are a quarter
) & a little tablet, this past year I did sticker books, oh and I found these bouncy balls that lit up when they bounced (pretty uncharacteristic of me, but dd loved them). If you're crafty you could also make a cute drawstring bag as part of the goody bag.

Good luck!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Nicole!
The other good thing is that all school supplies are on sale right now, so you might be able to find some fun things.
Yep, Target, etc. has good deals on school/art type stuff this time of year.

We've done books as goodie bags (not even actually putting them in a bag) before. If I see a good deal on something I like in Scholastic flyers, I stock up for that very reason. It isn't all Power Rangers and Power Puff Girls; there is some good in there too.


One year we did hand puppets. I found them in multi packs at Costco and just opened them up and put one in each goodie bag. There are actually really cute princess/mermaid/etc. ones there right now - just saw them two days ago!

Deck of cards, yo yo, sidewalk chalk - anything with a little play value over the regular throw away goodie bag junk.
 

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I definitely think that the back-to-school sales at Target have some great things that you can get, crayons, colored pencils, for $.10-25. I like to go to Michael's and buy those $1 wooden boxes or toys (cars, planes, doll house furniture), which are occasionally on sale for 2 for $1 and put those in a goody bag. You can even set out paint at the party and make it a craft, so that the children can put it in their goody bags once dry at the end of the party.

I also find that there are some inexpensive half-decent things at http://www.orientaltrading.com . Just beware of the small cheap stuffed animals (the plush realistic horses in particular). One time I ordered 25 of them, knowing we were having 22 guests, and 5 of them were deformed and misshapen beyond recognition (stuffing hanging out, eyes sewn in the totally wrong places, totally misshapen heads) - they were really cheap though (half the price they are listing them for now). But some of the items are perfectly good, like the cloth bags, for instance.

Even Lillian Vernon sometimes has really neat things in their outlet and sale sections for really cheap.

You didn't really mention your budget. I think if you look around, you can get $4 and $5 stuffed animals in numerous places, nice ones, too. So if you just throw a cute stuffed animals in a colorful paper bag (or a plain paperbag that your DC can decorate with stamps and paint or stickers), you can stop at that, or add a plastic ball, box of crayons and a fruit leather.

HTH
 

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Actually, if you check out dollar stores, you can frequently find picture books for $1 and even at the chain stores, you can get softcover storybooks for $3.50 or $4.00.

Another fun gift that I've seen in place of goody bags have been wooden craft kits (to make cars or planes and such) but I'm not sure what age range your preschoolers are actually going to be...you have to make sure that the craft is age appropriate, naturally.
 

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Oh for my son's last birthday I made 3 different colors playdough and put it in baggies and put some in each party favor bag. Then I got a big set of colorful mini- cookie dough cutters and put a couple of the shapes in with each baggie of playdough. (the idea being the child can roll out playdough and then cut it into shapes)

Homemade playdough is great because you can add oil essences to make purple smell like lavender yellow like lemon. the kids really get good play time out of it and its cheap.(you can buy dollar store bleached flour to make it)
 

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We haven't really gotten to the "goody bag" age yet, but for my dd's first birthday we gave out merigolds. If I had a fall child I would give out mums. There were 2 other babies at the party and one 5 yr old. The 5 yr old loved "her" plant and was very proud to carry it around with her. I plan to continue with the plant theme for many years to come....hope the kiddies enjoy them
 

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We once did bags with stickers (gold star type cheap ones), multi-colored marbles, glittery pom-poms from crafts dept., and stretchy plastic animals that about 8 for a dollar. I also got those tiny mini-cars that are about 1" long and came in six-packs. I look for things I can split up from single packages that are already cheap because these things add up so fast. A bag of marbles was super cheap.

Try pretty seashells from the crafts section! You might even be able to make a little theme around that and they are a nice natural thing. I once gave a little girl a fancy bag with seashells, polished stones, and those colored glass baubles for floral arrangements as a "treasure bag" and it was a really good gift for her.
 

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I just made some goodie bags for a party. I bought the items from a back to school sale at the supermarket. You can find crayons, stickers, colorful pencils, miniature playing cards, and other kid friendly items for a reasonable price. Price Cutters, the Dollar Store, the 99 Cent Store are also good for inexpensive fillers.
 

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I've had very good luck with dollar stores. My son's b-day was in July and I got full size cans of playdough ($1 for 4 cans - 1 can for each bag), fancy "crazy"straws (10 for $1), sheets of stickers (8 for $1), and some other crafty stuff. Anyhow, I just wander the aisles and look for interesting stuff. Also consider things like flashlights, which kids seem to love.
 

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We did books for my son's birthday party goodie bag last year. I actually found them at a garage sale, by luck. They were all beginning chapter books (like Danny and the Dinosaur), all different titles, and all brand new. They were quite the find. And, the kids loved them. One of the moms told me a few months later that her son wanted her to read that book all the time - lol. I think a used book sale at a library or a used book store could turn up some good finds too.

This year, ds wanted to do "gag" stuff. So we went to a party warehouse and got some finger traps, fake cans of beans that a "snake" pops out of and some candy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
THANK YOU, mamas! Some really great ideas here, which I'll sock away for future parties,
! I think we're going to go with the school supples idea, since it's the beginning of the school year anyway. I've already tracked down some cool hologram pencils, and I'm going to head to Staples this week for pencil boxes, safety scissors and crayons. I'll also put in some other cool stuff, but I'll need to find some first. My best friend pointed out that there are very neat little bracelet kits and "make a monkey face" kits in the Target $1 section, so maybe that will be the extra little fun thing, if I can pull together enough of them.

Thank you all again. I always knew this day would come, I'm just not sure how it got here so fast, you know?
:
 
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