Since becoming a parent I’ve noticed how stressed other parents get about birthday goody bag items. There are constant Facebook posts of parents asking other parents if they should have goody bags at the birthday party at all. Then if they decide to have them they aren’t sure what to put in them.
I was curious what other parents thought, so I put the question to my mom’s group of what kind of goody bag items they liked.
Goody Bag Items Parents are Happy to Take Home
I have to start by saying that no matter what you do when it comes to goody bag items you’re not going to please everyone. Even within my group of polled moms there were items that some parents loved while other parents hated.
Most parents agreed that they hated the cheap toys that you buy in bulk. It was felt that those type of items break easily and are usually just junk. One mother on the other hand said she loved those type of toys because of the fact that they break easily. She felt they were great for entertaining her kids for about an hour and then they would break so she could pitch them and not feel bad about it.
The moms I polled did give me some great ideas for goody bag items though. Here are some of the best suggestions that I got:
A Single Specialty Food Item
Most of the moms that I polled agreed that they didn’t like receiving goody bags filled with candy, but many of them noted that they were always happy to take home a specialty food item. What the parents liked about something like that is their child could eat it one time as a treat and then they were done with it.
The type of food most often mentioned was a specialty cookie or brownie. One mom mentioned that she had custom cookies made at a local bakery for her daughter’s birthday.
Stacey from Creating My Happiness was one of my friends in the group that I polled. She mentioned that for her daughters birthday party she made Rainbow Pretzel Wands for all of the party guests to take home and that they were a huge hit.
Learning Type Items
While food was a popular choice many parents mentioned that there were other types of items that they liked a lot as well. One type of item often mentioned were learning or school supply type items.
Items such as:
Small Fun Items
Useful items were mentioned a lot, but most parents didn’t have any issues with their children bringing home goody bags that contained a small object that could be played with. They just didn’t want to see toys that are broken quickly. As one mom put it she liked seeing, “things I won’t want to toss straight into the trash.”
Many such items suggested were:
Non-toy items that were a well liked idea as well.
Items suggested were:
Many of the moms mentioned that with the cups and mason jars they often filled them with little goody items and/or a small amount of candy.
Fun Craft Activities
One parent mentioned how she doesn’t do goody bag items at all. Instead she has the kids make something during the party that they can then take home with them. This suggestion especially stood out to me because this is what my mother did for many of my parties as well. I think this is better for slightly older kids, but I have always loved this idea. Plus it gives you an activity to help keep the kids busy during the party. Talk about a win-win!
I will say that the one thing all of the parents I polled agreed on was that their kids loved whatever goody bag items they got. At the end of the day it’s still the thought that counts. I wouldn’t give a goody bag of stuff just to give something, but a nice party favor bag, with a nice themed item, will still be liked and appreciated.