“Greener” Party Favors

Kid’s birthday parties are so much fun.  Not only do they get to enjoy their friends, they are learning to participate in important social rituals.  So why, oh why, do we send them home with a bag full of sugar and plastic choking hazards their parents are planning to send straight to the landfill the moment their backs are turned?  That’s right, we’re talking about… party favor goody bags.  Chances are even the best of the best favor bags you’ve gotten in the past generated more trash than you’d like, and contained at least one toy you and your kid could live without.

Here are ten awesome party favor ideas that are great for the kids, better for the Earth, and can even be expanded to make a great party activity.  Why not pick one or two instead of loading up a basket at the party store?  Your occasion will be more memorable for your guests, and less memorable for the trash guy!

With reasonable prices, multi-car packs, and adorable styles to choose from, these unfinished, handmade cars make a GREAT birthday party option.  Even better, because they are handmade by Marv, you know that they are not imported from China, home of the poisonous adulterant and slave labor.  Buy some washable paints and a pack of little paint brushes, and each kiddo can paint a car to take home after the party.

Little Red Riding Hood Peg People by Semele’s Riches

Little wooden peg people delight children on so many levels.  Decorate them to fit in with a favorite story and watch them act it out over, and over, and over again.  They’re the perfect size for easy, manipulative play.  They also love these because they can be absolutely anything!  Let them decorate a set apiece with  markers or non-toxic paint, and they’ll take home a party favor to treasure.  Available here, your purchase benefits the Joy Troupe General Fund.

Available in 9 different designs and a multi-pack, these plantable bug cards will make cute thank you for coming notes tucked into your goody bags.  They’re also a darling addition to a spring birthday party!  Your child’s friends will love watching their party favor grow all spring and summer long.

Cookie cutters/Home Made Playdough

Download a free copy of the 2008 Joy Troupe cookbook and turn to page 87 for a quick and easy play dough recipe that is low in salt and contains no inedible dyes.  You and your child can have fun making the dough and packing “single serve” amounts in containers or bags for her guests.  Add a cookie cutter or two that tie in with your theme, and you’ve just sent home the perfect rainy day activity for around $2 per guest.  Their parents will thank you!  For extra fun, toss in a little rolling pin and complete the set!

Bitty raisin boxes

No goody bag would be complete without a treat of some kind.  Who doesn’t remember how fun it was to carry around a little box of raisins that was just your size?  As an added bonus, raisins are high in iron.

Home made trail mix or granola

Not only can this be a fun, pre-party activity for you and your kids, you get to control what goes in.  Which means you can cut down on the “bad stuff” and sneak in a few extra bonus nutrients.  Be sure to submit your recipes to the Cookin’ Hot Mamas for inclusion in our next cookbook!

An easy, stash-busting DIY for anyone with a sewing machine, these make a great pop-in-the-purse on-the-go entertainment.  You can take advantage of the free tutorial here, or there are numerous reasonably-priced patterns available on Etsy.  If you’re short on time or sewing isn’t your thing, you can also order these on Etsy, and support a small business person at the same time.  Everyone wins.

Made from soy wax, these crayons give good colors and the unusual shapes make them easier for little hands to hold.  They help build the manual dexterity skill so important for when kids learn to write.  Plus, they are just fun!  Order the big box, print out a copy of their product info for those who’ve never seen them before, and divvy them up into the goody bags.  (You could tuck the product info into one of the bug tags or another small note from your child!)

We all brush, right? Kid’s toothbrushes come in virtually every theme and color you can imagine, and they are available in multi-packs.  Nobody is going to let a toothbrush go to waste, and the kids will remember how much fun they had at the party every time they brush!

These make perfect take-home bags for the goodies, and you can turn them into a party activity with the help of some fabric markers, paint, and chunky stamps.  Or decorate them ahead of time with each child’s name!

About Meghan G

I like blues, punk, and crime drama. I love having boys, keeping active, and the outdoors. I'm a cat person, but I think dogs should have equal opportunities.

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