8.26.2008

Reader Birthday Party Dilemma

We all know how much work birthday party planning can be - add in two classes worth of 4 year-olds as party guests, and the task can be quite daunting!

Christy wrote to me needing help with favors:
"My daughter is having a "polka dot picnic" as her 4th birthday party. I want to make something to coordinate with the theme for party favors. However, we will have both boys and girls and won't know the exact number attending... we are letting her invite the preschool group from church AND her preschool class. Therefore, it can't be something too elaborate or expensive. Any cute suggestions?"
My first thought was to fill bags with all sorts of round toys and treats - bubbles, bouncy balls, etc. Once again, though, I discovered that my idea was not all that new - Martha had already thought of it (imagine that!). 


She suggested using a bubble wrap "bag" (actually a shipping envelope) and filling each bag with candy dots, gum balls, rubber balls, yo-yos, pots of lip gloss, or any other round object.

A variation of this idea would be to have a favor buffet. Each of the above items (yo-yos, candy, etc.) could be in brightly colored containers (the dollar store has tons of cute baskets and buckets) displayed on a "buffet table." Then each child can go down the line filling their own bags. 

I'm all out of ideas, but I know that you aren't. Tell us what favors have been a hit at your parties!

13 comments:

Christian said...

The Crafty Crow has a really cute post on a polka dot birthday party.

Anonymous said...

My kids love to have their party guests decorate their own "goody bags" when they first arrive at the party - we decorate white paper lunch bags (I'm thinking lots of circle stickers for the polka dot theme..). We then have a candy hunt instead of a pinata,etc. We toss lots of goodies (candy, little toys, etc.)in the yard and set the kids off on a hunt. This is ALWAYS a HUGE hit and has worked with as few as 4 kids and as many as 24 kids. We even did it in the dark with little pen lights for our 8 year old's sleepover!

The Powell Family said...

I don't like all the little "toys" that generally come in goody bags, so we did something different this year. We filled differnt colored see through cups (Hobby Lobby, 99cents) with healthy snacks. A friend of mine gave away small pumpkins with baies full of googly eyes, etc. for her son's October bday.

Boo and Hooties Mom said...

I love the bubble bag idea!!

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Paige said...

I am not a big fan of the toys and trinkets that are so popular as party favors. They can add up to a lot of money and typically end up in the trash within a few hours. One suggestion is to buy some large glass decorative jars; two of them. Then fill them with candy. You can get a great price on candy from Sam's club. You could fill it with some kind of polka dot candy, or even fill one jar with dot shaped fruit snack bags. Then tie a ribbon that coordinates with your party (in this case a polka dot ribbon) around the top of the jar. You could do a camoflouge (sp?) ribbon for a boy's solider party, etc... Then at the end of the party have the kids fill up a clear bag with candy. Tie the coordinating ribbon around the top of the bag to keep it closed. You have to buy the glass containers initially, but you can reuse them for every party in the future. If you watch for a sale at Hobby Lobby, you can even buy them half price.

Andrea said...

I like the buffet idea. That way kids (moms) don't bring stuff home they might just toss anyway.

How about instead of a bag of goodies, just one item? For example, give everyone a bottle of bubbles with a cute saying printed on cardstock and tied to the bottle of bubbles. Very inexpensive and not too much work. You could use daubers to stamp the cardstock with polka dots or buy polka dot cardstock at a scrapbook store.

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

I love the polka dot party! That might have to be my next idea, as long as an Elmo party, or something similar, doesn't overrule it!
-Carrie

lewister said...

Challenge with a buffet is keeping kids (especially four-year-olds) from going crazy with the grabbing and not sharing bit. I like the idea of maybe a single largish cookie wrapped in cellophane with white glaze type frosting, then make dots with food coloring. Or maybe cheap t-shirts that you stamp with dots. Then let the kids decorate them more using magic markers.

koala brains said...

I didn't want to spend a lot on my daughter's 3 year old bday party favors so for each bag, it contained a pack of $1 bug puffy stickers from Michaels, grouped about 8 dum dums to make a lollipop bouquet, and an ice cream cone bubble container. The latter came in packs of 3 at the dollar store so it was inexpensive and stuck w/ her multi-theme of "bubbles, bugs, and lollipops".

Tracye said...

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Positively Creative! said...

You need to check out polkadotbirthday.com and also polkadotmom.com for some really cute ideas! love yor blog by the way!

Greta said...

I just thought of this when I gave my son a treat - YOGOS! They are little polka dots themselves!

Rebecca U said...

I think school supplies are still on sale at many stores. How about getting some composition books (or other types of notepads) and gluing on a polka-dot cover? Use modpodge to glue on and then to seal. You could use polka-dot wrapping paper, or if feeling creative, first glue punch circles on paper and then glue that onto the notepad and then glue/seal. Make sense?

For this age adding a pencil might be a thrill - I know my 4.5 year old boy is really into using a pencil instead of crayon/marker these days. If you can't find polka-dot pencils, you could wrap them yourself or just get them in a few different colors and let it go.