Kid-Friendly Party Favors
The date is set and the theme is chosen for your event. One added detail will make sure every guest goes home with a smile: the perfect party favor!
“Favors are such a great addition to parties and events,” says Apex artist Laura Kelly of Laura Kelly Designs. When children are celebrating milestones like birthdays, graduations and successes, giving favors is a way to extend your gratitude to those who join in the festivities.”
Party favors don’t need to be expensive or elaborate to be memorable, but they can also go beyond bags of trinkets and candy.
“The best favors are ones that have a useful purpose that lasts,” Kelly says. “Goody bags filled with candy have a place in a party environment because they are decorative and delicious. However, creating additional favors that connect the attendees to the event make a fabulous addition.”
Read on for creative, memorable and fun kid-friendly party favors you and your kids can make for birthdays, graduations and beyond.
Raleigh mom Melanie LaChance lets her creativity run wild when planning a celebration for her children’s birthdays — and never misses a chance to incorporate themed favors the kids will love.
For her daughter’s rainbow-themed party, she created rainbow-colored tulle tutus for all the girls, which they wore during a dance party before dancing their way home. For her son’s knight-themed party, she found foam swords and created “royal armor” out of felt for each brave knight.
Jen McLean Foster of Raleigh hosted a spy party, during which she scattered clues for a mystery the guests were asked to solve — the mystery of the missing cake.
“For the spy birthday party, there were two party favors: A security clearance badge, and a Top Secret notebook with a pen and lock,” Foster says. “The badges were incredibly easy. I printed them on cardstock and cut them to fit standard clip-on badge holders. As children arrived, they used a black ink pad to stamp their thumbprint on the badge and drew their “spy name” out of a hat. The names were the most fun! Red Mercury and Purple Pickle were favorites,” Foster says.
The notebooks were also easy to customize, she says.
“For the Top Secret notebooks, I found mini composition books at a dollar store and got pens to match. I ordered mini luggage locks online, and used a hole punch to punch through the notebooks. I expected it to be a lot of work, but I could do about a third of the pages each time, and it really went quickly. The whole thing took me less than an hour.”
If the party will take place outside the home, check with the hosting venue since many often provide custom favors as part of an overall package. Kelsey Brookerson hosted her son’s fourth birthday at the Cary Fire Department.
“I can’t say enough good things about how well they treated our group,” she says. The department gave out hats, pencils, tattoos, coloring books and stickers, and Brookerson provided stuffed Dalmatians for the kids to “adopt” on their way home.
From preschool to high school, graduations are about moving forward, which can be tough when you’re saying goodbye to favorite friends and teachers. That’s why Kelly loves to create graduation party photo frames, which can be painted in the graduate’s school’s colors. She embellished this frame with a graduation cap made from Sculpey clay. Kelly suggests sending a photo for the frame with the thank-you note. These can also be handed out to family and close friends during a graduation party.
Incorporate sweets with a twist by offering these candy pencils and diplomas to guests. Make the diplomas by wrapping white paper around a candy roll, like Mentos. Tie a thin, dark ribbon around it to create that distinguished look.
For the candy pencils, get Rolo candy rolls, Hershey Kisses, crimped yellow paper, tin foil and pink paper cut into strips and circles. Wrap, tape and glue as pictured, then place in a prominent location to create a party favor guests can’t stop talking about.
Books have become another popular favor. For preschool and kindergarten graduations, a Dr. Seuss-themed party featuring a classic Dr. Seuss book like “Oh the Places You’ll Go” makes for a memorable and inspiring keepsake. For an added bonus, have partygoers sign each other’s books and encourage parents to inscribe a note of pride.
Other Special Events
If you’re planning to invite families to your baby shower and would like to offer a favor that will impress kids and adults, custom cookies from Kicker Konfections in Apex specializes in treats such as baby shower-themed cookies.
For a baptism, first communion or other religious event, “good deed beads” and bead crosses are meaningful reminders of the occasion and create fun party crafting activities as well. Personalized tote bags are fun to make and useful for transporting party crafts or goodies.
“A simple white canvas tote embellished with felt cutouts in the event colors works perfectly,” Kelly says.
An art party theme works for birthdays, graduations and other special events, since guests can create their own favors. Guests can personalize plastic buckets stuffed with new art supplies, like this one created by Kelly, and take home home their very own masterpiece,
Mix and match the ideas above to create party favors sure to keep your guests smiling long after the party is over.
Mandy Howard is a freelance writer and mother of three in Raleigh.