The Tension of Fun & Junk: 20 Great Ideas for Junkless Party Favours - dignify

The Tension of Fun & Junk: 20 Great Ideas for Junkless Party Favours

September 19, 2014

Last week, my second daughter turned 4, and let me tell you, this event has been a Long. Time. Coming. As happens with an older sibling and lots of pre-school aged buddies, birthday parties are on the radar BIG TIME.

For me, kids’ birthday parties bring me one, massive dread: party favours! Or, in our house, where piñatas are king (queen): piñata contents.

You see, if my kids return from a lunch with Grandma at McD’s (or similar), the prize/toy/doohickey generally goes directly from our car into the curbside garbage bin. And while I way prefer that no-fuss solution to the build up of clutter in our home, I cringe at the waste of it all! Now, take that concept, multiply it and concentrate it and repackage it once per year at a larger scale: Party Favours be thy name.

I love fun, and I love celebrations, so I actually like the abundance of an exploding piñata, and my daughter loves creating a treat for her friends to take home. My problems are that A) I don’t want to spend an excess of money on a pint-size birthday party, and B) most of what is marketed for this purpose is, in my opinion, well, junk.

My definition of junk would include:

  • A “toy” that will fall apart within 1 week or 1 day of the party
  • Candy that does not seem to be made of food (see: those foil chocolate Easter eggs)
  • Something that seems like a good idea, but isn’t (plastic toy whistles or any noisemaker, erasers shaped like things, tiny or extra large versions of something – frisbees, pencil crayons, teeny notebooks – that simply don’t work as well as their full-sized version and simply don’t get used… etc.)

I hear again and again from friends, or read online, that parents loathe party favours, but feel obligated to buy them. I suspect that for many of them, it’s that same tension which I have experienced. You don’t want much expense or hassle, so you buy something that is simply packaged and cheap, but then feel irritated at having spent any money at all on items you don’t like.

I feel you!

Here are 20 ideas to help you fill your party favour bags or piñata with some great value, reasonable quality, well-received contents:

Best Value:
  • Un-inflated balloons
  • Glow in the Dark Stars
  • Stickers
  • Army Men (or astronauts or knights or animals or any other hard plastic play figure that comes in a bag)
  • Novelty Bandaids
  • Bulk Bin Candy: lollipops, gold coins, mini Nerds, Kisses
  • Crayons – loose* (see alt below)

As you can tell, I favour (so to speak) things that come in multiples in a bag or larger package, but aren’t packaged as favours, per se.

Classics:
  • Whoopee Cushion
  • Spinning top
  • Parachuter guy
  • Fake, sticky mustaches (cut up individually)
  • Hot Wheels
Consumables/ Things that will be Used & Gone Before You Know It:
  • Temporary Tattoos
  • Glow stick
  • Bubbles
  • Candy: candy bracelet/necklace, ring pop, mini chocolate bars
Useful (sort of):
  • Twistable Crayons or Pencil Crayons / Markers – loose (*way more pricey than crayons, but in my experience far better longevity)
  • Hair Paraphernalia
  • Swirly Straws
  • Seeds for planting 

Personally, I would avoid bouncy balls & marbles (choking hazards), anything noisy (sorry, slide whistle), or anything that might annoy the parents (like the coloured bubbles I already apologized for sending home last week).

Any more ideas? What are some of the best party treats you have ever sent or received from a party?

 


Leave a comment


Also in Shop Good Blog

Promises, Lies, & Fear of Trust in Bangladesh

March 15, 2019


Our production partner, Basha, began in one little office in Dhaka, Bangladesh — the most densely populated city in the world. Over the many years they have been in business, creating kantha textiles & jewelry, they have expanded: both in number of staff, and also locations.

It was helpful for some women to leave the norm of their old life environment, to get away, to start fresh in a new city. So, Basha created different offices in varied locations. They established a girls' home to safely house daughters & other vulnerable young women as they come of age.

As Basha has continued to identify the great need of women in Bangladesh, there is another area they have expanded: actively seeking women in brothels & whispering the potential of a new life.

Read More
Can I Bring A Blanket Onto a Plane?

March 01, 2019

As I was packing for our first family international flight (to London UK), I wanted to make sure that we had everything we needed to make our overnight journey the most comfortable. As you know, those flights can be a little chilly - so I wanted to bring blankets for all of us. Naturally, I wondered...

Can I bring a blanket onto a plane?

In short: YES! According to the TSA you are allowed to both check a blanket in your luggage and to bring a blanket on a plane within a carry-on (and this also includes electric blankets). You can even bring your own blanket in your arms as you would a jacket or hat, without it counting towards your carry-on or personal item limits or paying any extra fees.

 

Read More
Do I Need A Budget? YNAB Review From A Reluctant Budgeter

February 23, 2019


When I got married as a baby (4 days over 21), I was still a student. Then, we both worked for a bit, then we had babies, and then my husband was a student. For almost all of those years, our "budget" was: try to not spend money.

This head-in-the-sand tactic has served us... ok... BUT, now that I'm pretending to be a real grownup (at age 35 — youngest children tend to be late to the responsibility party), I'm taking a new approach!

After Christmas, I started using You Need a Budget (YNAB) to track every expense & plan for future spending. Two months in, here’s what I think.

Read More
Join dignify's "Keep Up" Newsletter

Join our mailing list for good words, great company, & first dibs on new arrivals.

 

We're learning to shop, give, & LIVE with more meaning.