More tips on birthday parties, I will begin this post with a note to myself: Eliminate all the junky plastic favors. My girls LOVE going home from birthday parties with presents of their own, but I know that myself and moms everywhere cringe when piles of soon-to-be-discarded plastic junk floods our home. And no one is guiltier of this than I am. For the last couple of birthday parties, I sent pint-sized partygoers home with the requisite boxes and bags loaded down with what was, essentially, garbage. With the exception of the adorable little travel marker set and a board book or two, much of the stuff that I gave away in those bags was destined for the trash. When my girls were littler, and parties were less crazy and were entirely my domain, and before the girls knew or cared about their parties, I was very creative and gave gifts that were well thought-out and had lasting value. When the guest list swelled to 35 (the number Eva had at her December birthday), spanning both sexes and a wider range of ages, special favors became more challenging, not to mention cost-prohibitive. Now that I am on a campaign to reign in the birthday party madness, I am going to put a little more thought into favors once again, and present our little guests with something really special. So my new rules for party favors: They should be useful, or readable, or edible, or offer real play value, or be super-special. (For example, Andrea gave small packs of modeling clay and a Mr. Richard CD to each child – both truly inspired choices!) Here are some of my favorite ideas:
1. Pewter Bubble Wands, $34: Sure, these are expensive, but for a small party for a special princess, they are truly unique and magical. They come in a variety of styles and take a childhood icon like the bubble wand and turn it into something collectible. I gave these as favors for Lola’s second birthday party.
2. Princess Goody Bag, $12: These pretty, petite purses are the perfect size for a special birthday treat.
3. Embroidered Initial Ponytail Streamer, $9: I love the preppy appeal of these monogrammed ponytail streamers, and they can be personalized for each guest.
4. Pretty Jewelry, prices vary: I am a huge fan of Haba’s fresh, youthful wooden jewelry, and the chic, fanciful styles from Stella & Dot. Shown, Haba’s “Little Luck” bracelet, $9.39, and Stella & Dot’s Mini Soiree bracelet (on sale for $10). So sweet!
5. “Treasure” Box, $5.99: I got Lola one of these sweet, Haba jewelry pouches for her birthday a couple of years ago, and she uses it to keep her favorite treasures. These are sweet, affordable party favors on their own, or use them to stash a special trinket.
Tomorrow, favors for boys!