Thursday, February 18, 2016

Doing Away with Party Favors

Over the years the rise of bigger and better birthday parties for our children has some parents reeling.
Their child comes home from these parties sugared and artificial colored up, and carrying a bag of more sugar and colorings or cheap plastic party favor toys.

Some mothers take it in stride.
It's all part of the fun of birthday parties.

Others aren't so happy, and they are beginning to speak up.
Junior is messed up for a week from all the artificial colors.
The toys get lost or broken quickly and wind up taking up space in a land fill.

I, personally, don't want parents or guardians to feel obligated to give my child anything for coming to the party.  We're just happy we got invited to celebrate!  We don't need tokens or gifts of our own.

But, some parents feel it is necessary or just want to give back.

So, here are some ideas of how to "favor up" a child without the cheap candies and toys:

1.  PHOTO BOOTH:  You can either hire one or set one up yourself.  Children can dress up or just pose for a cute picture you can print out for the family to add to their album.

2.  SEED BOMBS:  This can double as an activity at the party.  Children can make seed bombs to take home.  Seed bombs are seeds mixed in balls of clay and allowed to dry.  The bombs can then be planted or thrown on the side of the highway (check local laws).

3.  FACE PAINT:  Instead of carrying a bag of goodies home, a child can wear a bit of fun on their face!

4.  MANICURES:  Get those nails done!

5.  PONY RIDE OR PETTING ZOO:  Give your guests something special by hiring a pony ride or petting zoo.  Experiences trump things!

6.  U-PICK FARM:  See if you can have the party at a U-Pick farm and children can take home some produce as a favor.

7.  HOMEMADE GUMMIES:  Find a recipe online for healthy, homemade gummy candies and make it ahead of time or as an activity at the party.

8.  RECYCLED CRAYONS:  Have your guests bring (or hit your own stash of) broken crayons.  Kiddos can melt the crayons (with adult supervision) and use molds to create their own new crayons.  
9.  FAIRY GARDENS:  Buy or gather natural materials, or have the children raid your yard for materials to build a fairy scene or garden to take home.

10.  CARDS:  Perhaps your child and his/her friends are card gamers, or collect cards like sports cards or character cards.  If all the guests are involved in the same game or interest, have them bring their collections to play or exchange and provide some new packages for them, or sleeves.

11.  BIRD SEED:  Guests can depart with their own bag of bird seed for their feathered friends at home or at the park.

Do you have any environmentally friendly and health conscious ideas?  Leave them in the comments.

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