family fun

Party Supplies: Unique Birthday Party Favors For Kids

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Happy birthday cone hat with confetti and party horns By the time my oldest child was about 4, he had attended enough birthday parties that we seemed to be drowning in stale pinata candy and cheap plastic toys with a short-lived fun factor.

I set out to come up with new and different ideas for party favors for my own childrens' parties - ones that I felt good about handing out to kids and to their parents.

Feel free to take these and adapt them to your own family's needs. Some require a little effort on your part; others are easy enough to pick up at the dollar store. Be creative!

Party Favors Kids Will Love

Birthday CDs

Burn a CD of the music your child really loved from the last year. You can use free label-making software, like Memorex exPressit Design Studio to design a custom label for the CD, usually around the theme of their party. If you buy the blank CDs and labels in bulk, this is a fun and inexpensive way to commemorate your child's big day. The party guests always want to listen to the music as soon as they leave!


Handmade iron-on T-shirts make great party favors that last and last. You can buy inexpensive cotton shirts and iron-on T-shirt transfers at most hobby or craft stores. Avery Office Products has a free online design tool that helps you create the iron-on transfer with the images and words you want, then print them out on your computer. Iron and go! My son is 8 and I still see boys wearing the Mario shirt we handed out as a party favor in kindergarten.

Make Your Own Wands

Turn that princess or fairy party craft into a favor! Buy foam wands at a craft or dollar store and purchase scads of stickers, stick-on jewels, sequins, and inexpensive ribbons. Set it all out at a craft station and let the girls go crazy designing their own wands to take home.

Personalized Water Bottles

Kids are always losing water bottles! Find a cute style in assorted colors, and write each party guest's name on a bottle with either a Sharpie or craft paint pens. If you really want to give candy, drop some inside the water bottle.


Shop bookstore sales for age-appropriate books. Wrap them so the party guests can unwrap a gift themselves.

Pool Toys

Inflatable pool toys like beach balls, floaties, squirt guns or pool noodles can make a great gift at a summertime party, and will definitely get used by the kids well after the party is over.

Homemade Chocolates

If you just can't resist handing out some sweets, find some themed candy molds from a hobby store and make homemade chocolate candies with melted colored chocolate bark. Kids will love the unusual shapes - tie up the treats in a cellophane bag with a bright ribbon.


A 24-piece boxed puzzle is a fabulous party gift idea for preschoolers. Usually costing about $1-$3, you can purchase a bunch and stack them on a table for passing out when the party is over. Kids love them.

So at your next party, just say no to the goodie bag. You can do it! What unique party favors have you handed out in the past that were a huge hit with kids?

Gigi Ross is a mom of 2 from Austin, Texas who keeps her personal blog at KludgyMom, where she shares her sometimes snappish, sometimes neurotic take on parenting and blogging. Gigi is a freelance writer and social media consultant. She is the business columnist for ShePosts and the Managing Editor of Business 2 Blogger. Her work has been syndicated by Mamapedia,, and BlogHer. Connect with Gigi on Twitter at @akludgymom.


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Gigi Ross

Gigi is a mom to 2 school-aged kids in Austin, Texas. She blogs about the art of living haphazardly and gives blogging tips at her personal blog, KludgyMom.


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