Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Goody Bag – Yes Or No

I was expecting more of you to tell me that I am crazy to think about hosting a lightsaber birthday party. It would indeed be simpler to head to a party place that provides the entertainment, lots of child-sized tables and chairs, hand sanitizer, and clean-up, but Q-ster is a shy kid, and he’s going to be more comfortable and have a better time if we have the party at home.

I was a shy little girl. SwingDaddy was a shy little boy. It’s not exactly surprising that our firstborn turned out that way, and we’ll just encourage him in his forays into new experiences. Hopefully, he’ll outgrow the shyness, or at least enough of it, with loving support.

So anyway, the party will be at home. Perhaps we’ll make it more of a general playdate with cake, so that we don’t end up with two hours of diminutive shrieking Sith.

After that meandering introduction, today’s topic is the goody bag. It comes to mind because I cleaned through piles of toys last month, wanting to sort and donate things before the holidays. I found gobs of plastic tidbits that had come as gifties from preschool and treat bags – mostly played with just once and half of them broken.

Is a goody bag a necessity at a birthday party? Will the children be disappointed if they don’t get one or will they not notice? I’m thinking that if we do make treat bags, they’ll be filled with consumables – healthy snack crackers and a pencil – something like that, instead of contributing to landfill. Not sure whether that would seem dull to a four year old.

I’m going to stop thinking about this for a while, since the little dude’s birthday isn’t for almost two months, but if you have ideas about goody bags or the Star Wars party, please share!


kittenpie said...

I like the idea of consumables, or one or two simple, nice, theme-related items. I have given a T-shirt and book to each of six girls, for example, and we have been given a book and pencil, which was far more appreciated than random cheap crap. I think any art supplies are good at this age, as well. (And I think they certainly know the drill well enough now that yes, I've seen kids ask about the goody bags and Pumpkinpoie has checked with us after we have left parties to see if we remembered to bring it with us.)

Suzanne said...

I have the same problem with goody bags. My solution has been to give each child a book at the end of the party. I do think kids expect some kind of favor, unfortunately, but at least I don't feel as guilty about giving them a plastic bag full of plastic junk. (There are a lot of affordable Star Wars books out there -- some with an easy reading level for young kids.)

Mir said...

Yeah, I think some sort of takeaway is expected, but you can definitely get creative about it. Star Wars stuff is SO abundant, right now, you'd have lots of choices. One of my favorite party favors when my kids were that age was a themed coloring book and a new box of crayons. Easy, relatively time-limited (they can color it and then throw it away), cheap, and NOT PLASTIC. :)

Damselfly said...

We're not at that stage yet, so I can't help you with ideas! But I know what you mean about all the little stuff that accumulates. Fly got a goody bag at a Halloween party last year, and I ended up throwing the whole thing away.

Mamacita Tina said...

I vote for the book idea, too, or a coloring book and crayons. I've seen some nice ones at dollar bins at Target and Micheal's.

ewe are here said...

Sadly, entertaining them for a few hours without charge, and feeding them to boot, doesn't seem to be enough these days. We're supposed to give them 'parting gifts', too.

I really really wish this would stop... says the mom who will probably end up having to cave in to the dark side, too.


Desiree said...

Well with less than a week until Andrew's birthday party and no time or energy to be creative, I am opting for the goody bag. I tried to get stuff that would be played with more than once though - a beach ball, a little card game, some foam dice (Andrew likes to make up little hopscotch games using these) and a Hot Wheels since that is the cake that he chose. We have been to parties where we get one gift rather than random plastic junk - like footballs, a little remote control car, etc. I love the ideas of getting some crafty type stuff or books. Will have to file that in my brain for next year. :)

Rose said...

Instead of a baggie of cheap plastic toys I got each of my daughters guests a nice little puppet like action figure. It was made of wood and seemed more durable than the usual stuff. Everyone was thrilled.
What if instead of a goodie bag you got everyone a light saber or something thematically appropriate?
Not that I'm saying that goodie bags are necessary! I live for the day that 100% present free parties are the norm! But then, I'm a scrooge. ;-)

Magpie said...

I'm all about the party at home, with real food for the grienups and general mayhem from the kids. At Mir's last party, everyone got two pairs of socks. They were supposed to have been part of a game during the party, which never happened. But I had a big bowl of socks tied up with bows, and each (girl) got to pick two pair on the way out.