Ah the dreaded goody bag. It’s every parent’s arch nemesis. And with my son’s 2nd birthday soon upon us, I’m determined to avoid the seemingly unescapable “bag of junk” that people seem obligated to give kids who attend their party.
I’m not even sure why they call it a “goody bag” because there’s just nothing good about it.
So here are some simple ways to create eco-friendly goody bags that kids and their parents will thank you for, and ones that won’t kill your budget.
1. Paint Your Own Bag
We’re huge fans of small family birthday celebrations, and we can actually still get away with them since my daughter’s birthday is in the summer and my son is not yet in school. For my daughter’s 4th birthday, I purchased a few canvas bags at Michael’s ($1.29 each) and had her paint them. If you’re brave, make it part of the party activity and have the kids do it. You can cover up their birthday best in old shirts and let them go to down. In fact, you don’t even necessarily need to stuff the bag; it’s pretty cool on its very own.
Whether you pop a book in the bag you (or the kids) painted, or just give it alone, a book is an awesome take home gift. You can find cheap books at your local discount stores or you can purchase via your kid’s Scholastic ordering and give a little money back to their classroom. Either way, buy a few blank white labels and have your birthday kid write or draw on them. Then stick them on the back (or inside cover) as a way to say “thanks” for coming.
3. Art Supplies
If you definitely want to pack a goody bag, then raid the “shelves” at Stubby Pencil Studio. They’ve got everything from soy crayons to scented pencils made from recycled newspaper — all of which are eco friendly and completely kid approved.
Take your old crayons or buy a bunch of new ones to melt down and make cool multicolored crayons. Your kids can help you make them and you can easily pack them in a paper bag with a ribbon (if you want an extra fancy presentation). I purchased silicone letter and number trays and used those — a HUGE HIT.
5. Seasonal Crafts
Instead of doing a goody bag, make something with the kids as your party activity and send them home. Have a Fall birthday? Decorate small pumpkins (or send them home with a mini one). Winter birthdays are great times to decorate ornaments. It doesn’t need to be extravagant or expensive – just something that fits in with the season and that kids will think is cool – which is often times just a cool rock.
They’re kids. They’re not picky.
[This post was written by Kristen Chase.]