Friday, December 2, 2011

HELP! Mom Advice, Please. QUICK!

Okay. I'm 48 years old and I'm hosting a child's birthday party on Saturday for the first time in my life! What the hell can I get for the damn goodie bags? Seriously, I hate them. I've given Sunshine a lollipop from a goodie bag, then discretely "forgetten" the rest. But everybody does it. I've had moms tell me they like picking out the plastic crap, because the kids love it so much. Part of the challenge is that there will be a somewhat wide age range of kids. A 3 month old, an 18 month old, three 2 year olds (including mine (you've got give your own kid a goodie bag so they won't freak out)), a 3 year old,  a 4 year old, and a 10 year old. I'm not planning on giving a goodie bag to the 3 month old.

What can I get that's cheap budget conscious, isn't made in China, and might appeal to a wide age range. I'm taking a vacation day tomorrow to get everything ready. I plan to hit the local discount stores (of which we have many, I live in the land of the mom and pop dollar stores) for decorations, plates, napkins, etc. in the morning after dropping off Sunshine at daycare. Then grocery shopping. I can go out for goody bag crap probably early afternoon. Help me, internetz!!

Any other cheap budget conscious toddler party ideas would also be welcome.


Kristin said...

Better than a goodie bag...hit the sales rack at Wal-Mart and get a pack or two of white t-shirts/undershirts that will fit the age range of kids that are coming. Remember that it's ok for the t-shirt to be becomes a night shirt then. Find some cute images on google, print a design on t-shirt transfer paper (also available at Wal-Mart or any office store but you may have to ask to find it), and then iron the designs onto the shirts. You end up with a cute memento that doesn't end up in the trash and money outlay is about equal to the plastic bags o crap.

Baby Smiling In Back Seat said...

If you'd posted earlier I'd have some different suggestions involving online purchases (including things personalized with each kid's name), but in a pinch... personally I'd do some interesting art supplies (such as crayons in fun shapes), booklets of stickers, a little bit of not-too-unhealthy sweets, a book, maybe a little handmade wooden car, all in a cute little reusable tote bag. Whatever else you do, get the sticker booklets.

Also see:

Don't go crazy decorating, the kids don't care. Just get a few mylar balloons and brightly colored paper plates.

niobe said...

I say skip the goodie bags.

If you really want to give the kids something plan some activity like decorating cookies (the cookies can be big store bought sugar cookies, then just give the kids tubes of frosting and sprinkles).

One cookie to eat and one (or more) to take home.

Kristin's idea is great! You could even plan an activity decorating the shirts (though not one using an iron) so the kids can decorate their own shirts.

MeAndBaby said...

I wish I could help. Just wanted to say I feel your pain. I went through the same thing for the twins first birthday this past August. I made up goodies bags with age appropriate crap from the dollar store and walmart (although not all of it was crap for the older kids). I had ages 2 through 11. We didn't do activities - no time for me! - but I did do some store bought goodies for each kid and was careful about the goodies for the one egg allergic cousin who attended. Good luck!! Let us know how you make out.

Eb said...

50 % off goody bag crapola!

Lavender Luz said...

You have very smart commenters. I'm going to mark this post for the next time I'm confronted with the goodie bag dilemma.

Happy birthday to your daughter! Let us know how the party goes. You'll do great, I'm sure!

Anonymous said...

Gah, I'm too late!

Oh well, I'll just leave some ideas anyhow:

- for loot bags: give each kid a helium balloon, a tub of play-doh, and a small treat. That'll make them happy.

- for the party: why not throw the kind of party we had as kids? Musical chairs, that game where you unwrap layers of wrapping paper until someone gets the prize in the middle, bingo, pin the tail on the donkey.

- Get a musical friend to come and lead a sing-a-long for half an hour.

- Just throw the kids in a room with some toys and let them have fun. As long as there's cake, other kids, and something fun to take home, it's a party!

Heather said...

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Kristina said...

We have been getting lots of sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and mini play doh. All of thAt is cheap and PERFECT.