One of the best parts of being a parent is watching your children grow and develop – the worst part is how fast it goes. So instead of mourning that your little tykes are turning into adolescents before your very eyes, focus on ways to celebrate their biological advancement by planning the spectacular birthday parties that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. This could mean bringing together all the elements that go into creating a theme party, arranging for some spectacular kids’ entertainment (clowns are out, singing waiters dressed like Disney characters are in), or choosing a venue that is a little off the beaten path (water park, race track, etc.). And you can have a lot of fun with all the little touches, including the gift bags full of favors for your kids’ friends to take home at the end of the party.
If you choose to do a theme party, you can easily come up with party favors that will play into it. For example, many young girls want a party with a Disney princess theme, in which case there are all kinds of branded items you could throw in (although to keep costs down you could simply do generic items like plastic tiaras and sparkly pink nail polish). And tweens that prefer a spa party could send their friend’s home with all the stuff they need for a mani-pedi and an at-home facial. As for boys, they might prefer a racing day at the local go-cart track, in which case you could include some Hot Wheels cars and NASCAR caps in their party gift bags, or a pirate party complete with favors that include an eye patch, a head scarf, and a bag of booty (chocolate coins in gold foil).
Of course, you might not have a ton of money to spend on creating gift bags for a dozen or more of your child’s closest friends. Or perhaps you’d rather blow your dough on a spectacular venue or a cake as big as your kid. On the other hand, you might just be a really crafty person who loves to get creative. In this case you can forego the price tag that comes with manufactured products and focus instead on putting together gift bags full of handmade favors. Every kid loves a pinwheel, such as, and you can find online templates to make them. For the girls you could create all kinds of stuff, from headbands to jewelry to bedazzled trinket boxes. And for boys that are into super heroes you could sew up masks and capes. Anything that gets the DIY treatment is going to save you some money.
And you can always have the kids make their own party favors. If you’ve got a great idea for arts and crafts projects, baking, or both (gingerbread houses?) the kids at the party can virtually create their own gift bags full of goodies to take home. As a bonus, this method can do double duty by providing the entertainment for your party, as well.