You have the perfect place, theme, cake, decorations…just about everything for your child’s party.  Now all that is left is the dreaded goodie bag!!  Year after year it’s the same stuff (yo-yo, ball, stickers, pencils, noise blowers, etc.).  With so many kids’ parties it’s hard to be original.  Why not give out a goodie “gift” instead?

In the olden days, bags filled with small toys and candy (i.e. “goodies”), were passed out at the end of a party so that the other kids wouldn’t feel jealous of the birthday boy/girl. Now in the year 2012, gone are the days when parents pass out a one small toy or one piece of candy. These days kids receive bags packed full of cheap plastic toys – each Mom trying to out do the rest (yes, 99% of us moms are guilty of this).

This year when planning your child’s party, why not hand out one toy instead of a bag full of junk?  In other words a goodie “gift”.  Trust me that bag full of junk matching the theme of your party starts adding up – just do the math.  Each stuffed goodie bag ends up costing at least $5-$10.    Kids actually appreciate getting one big item – it’s more like a real present.

The key is to look out for deals, store closing promotions and “buy 1, get 1 free” items well in advance of your party.  Since you are buying many items in bulk try to negotiate a good price with the store.

Here are some ideas for under $5
Books, bubbles, puzzles, crayons, pencil cases, playdough, a big plastic beach ball, bucket with shovel, themed water bottle, cars, dolls, umbrellas, stuffed toys, mini-board games, etc.

Once you have the perfect goodie “gift”, then the next step is wrapping it in a creative manner.  Make your own tags in the party theme and attach it to the goodie “gift” with a ribbon.  The tag serves multiple purposes – it acts as a thank you, makes the gift look pretty and goes with the theme of your party.

In addition to the goodie “gift”, stick one lollipop or small chocolate bar to each goodie gift.  This way the kids are still happy that they got a sugary treat and moms are happy that their kids are not stuffing their face full of candy in the backseat on the ride home from a party.

Just try giving out a goodie “gift” for you next party.  It costs the same amount of money, so what do you have to lose?  I am pretty sure it will not end up in the trash like the other plastic junk.

Happy Party Planning!

Extra “Super” Tip:  If you buy something from Toys ‘R’ Us, they can wrap each goodie “gift” for free.  Tell them to wrap it inside out, so only the white side shows.  Then put your own ribbon and themed tag or stickers on the white wrapping paper.