Birthday Goody Bags

?? - posted on 09/24/2010 ( 39 moms have responded )

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Do you give out goody bags at your children's birthday parties? Do you expect them for your children when you bring them to a friend's birthday party?

My son's 2nd birthday is coming up in a month and I have decided to give out goody bags full of things that I know Gabe loves. Each bag will contain;

1 hot wheels toy, some diego and toy story stickers, some toy story rub on tattoo's, a bouncy ball (not a small one), a noise maker -one of those tubes that you blow into and it makes an annoying noise while ribbons flow out from the end of it), a couple mini-dinosaur toys, a package of fruit snacks and 1 lollipop.


The party won't be a large party so I'm fine putting a lil more into the goody bag than I think I will when he's a bit older and we have a chance to meet some other people in the area and he can make more friends.



Is there anything that you think people should NOT put in a goody bag?

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Amie - posted on 09/27/2010

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I was talking to my mom about this thread this weekend. It reminded me of something too after reading a few posts.

When our oldest had her birthday party one year we took all the kids to the zoo. We rented a minivan to haul them all and got the parents to drop off and pick up the kids here so it was less of a hassle for them all. (so we had the rented on and ours) The zoo is on the other side of the city.

After we got back, the kids were all running around in our front yard waiting for their parents. One mother showed up for her daughter and is lucky I didn't kick her.

When she had dropped off her daughter my husband and FIL had gone to pick up the other minivan. She walks up to our daughter and starts going on and on about how much we must love her to spend so much on her. The rented van, the good toys and treats in the goodie bag. My god! The girl just turned 6, shut it and shove off. If you have an issue, especially one as petty as that, keep it to yourself. =/

Charlie - posted on 09/25/2010

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I dont expect them but i always give them out because i LOVE parties and goody bags are one of the magical things i remember of childhood birthdays .

I put in a few lollies , toys , bubble blowers and an animal balloon um and no possible allergens.

[deleted account]

I don't do goodie bags, but I give a goodie! I'll buy something from the dollar store that goes with the theme of the party and give one to each kid. Year one I gave each kid a big water gun that cost $1 each. Year two each kid got an Elmo coloring book that came with stickers. Again, only $1 each. God bless the Dollar Tree. Next year I believe we are doomed to some Disney princess crap.

Is there anything I wouldn't put in a goodie bag? If I did goodie bags, I wouldn't include candy. They get sugared up enough from the cake, ice cream, and sugar "juice" that is served at the party.

Jenny - posted on 09/25/2010

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No, I gave it up last year. I buy 1 thing per kid in the $ range the bags would have cost. I'm DONE with buying shit that kills the planet and no one wants.

Jodi - posted on 09/24/2010

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"Is there anything that you think people should NOT put in a goody bag?"



I think you should leave out those tubes you blow into that make the annoying noises!!! Taylah has been walking around blowing one of those all week, and I'm about to find an opportunity to *disappear* it..... hahahaha :P

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39 Comments

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Stifler's - posted on 09/28/2010

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@ Julie - people have bonbonieres at their weddings though, and the wedding is still defintiely about the bride and groom!

Sara - posted on 09/28/2010

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"Is there anything that you think people should NOT put in a goody bag?"



Cocaine. Or any other illegal substance really. :D



I'm throwing Rowan a Dora themed party next month. We're going to have a pinata, which I'm going to fill with candy and small toys, so that'll be the goody bag. I thought about having a Dora pinata, but then i thought it'd be too traumatic for the little kids to watch people beat Dora with a baseball bat, though it might be cathartic for me.

Julie - posted on 09/28/2010

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My son is not yet 3, so we haven't have the goodie bag issue come up yet. However, I don't like them. I think it is OK for kids to learn that sometimes a party isn't about THEM it is about the birthday kid! I think it is OK for other kids to get gifts in front of my son while he does not get one. I don't want him to always be expecting gifts and be looking forward to those instead of what really matters -- the personal interactions.

I always thought that the food and fun was why parties were thrown and attended, NOT the expectation of a goodie bag.

I forgot who mentioned it, but I LOVE the idea of a pinata filled with treats and little toys! They don't go home empty-handed but still get something special, just for them:) Plus, it's tied to a "game" and not an expected gift.

Perhaps I am a scrooge, but I don't like how materialistic everyone seems to be these days (even if it is Made in China crap).

Stifler's - posted on 09/27/2010

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Party bags are a good tradition. They're fun for kids so why not? Sharp stuff is probs not a great idea but that's about it. And if it's food check with parents whether kids can have nuts etc.

[deleted account]

Wow, I would have been honored for my kid to be invited to such an amazing party. Shuttle to the zoo, awesome goodies! It's pitiful what that mom turned her daughter into.

?? - posted on 09/27/2010

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That is awesome, I remember you telling us about that girl before, Nicole has good character, you should be proud :)

Amie - posted on 09/27/2010

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Nope they haven't. The girl herself has turned into quite the judgmental lil twerp. Nicole wants nothing to do with her.

One of Nicole's good friends is a big girl, I mean big... she's taller than I am but weighs about the same. That's huge for a 10 yr old. This other one and a few others have taken to making pot shots at her the last 2 years. Nicole is thoroughly disgusted by it all and ignores all of them. If they go too far though she has a freak out. lol ♥ She makes me so proud some days.

?? - posted on 09/27/2010

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I don't blame you ! Has their child and yours stayed friends? Do they wonder why they're not invited to the birthday parties anymore?

Those things always bug me cause the mother could have just shut her mouth, and because she didn't it (could have) seriously affect their childs social comfort level :(

Amie - posted on 09/27/2010

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Ya, sad to say but we didn't invite her back again the following years. =S

?? - posted on 09/27/2010

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Wow that's brutal, Amie. Some people have no sense of when to stfu and walk away :\

[deleted account]

I did goody bags for Jacob's 2nd birthday but I'm not doing them this year because money's too tight and we basically can't afford the added expense. Plus, we only know one couple with kids anywhere near his age that are coming this year and I just feel like it would be unnecessary with all the other stuff we're doing. I went way overboard last year and personalized the bags for each child because we had a wide variety of ages at the party and there were really no toys I could get that would be ok (or safe) for all of them. I've been to kids' parties where Jacob got a gift bag and I've been to parties where he didn't, so no, I don't expect him to get one at all. I mean, I've never been to a party where he didn't get one and thought "WELL, how RUDE! No gift bag!" LOL Either way is fine. It's about the birthday boy/girl anyhow :)



Edited to add: Oh, I forgot to say what I put in the bags last year! I basically raided the Dollar Tree and got little sets of Jacks, balls, matchbox cars, washable tattoos, stickers, small packs of crayons and these cute little mini coloring books I found, a few pieces of candy, and then in the older girl's bags I also put these cute little cross stitch kits (about the size of a christmas ornament), kid friendly nail polish, glitter glue....stuff like that. Like I said, I went WAY overboard lol

[deleted account]

Becky how do you make choclolate monkeys, we are having a jungle theme for Ethan's first birthday in a few weeks and monky lollies sound like fun. :-)

[deleted account]

Another thing we did at our daughter's party and they got to take home with them: we made hard candy and chocolates. We had the kids "help" us make some hard candies and lollipops (they helped take them out of the molds and they measures the ingredients, they didn't help with the boiling candy part at all - we put up the baby gates to keep everyone out of the kitchen while the candy was hot). We also had them help with making chocolates and chocolate lollipops out of almond bark and they loved it! :)

They each got to take home some candies and chocolates and we didn't have a cake, just ice cream (and it was fat free ice cream because my MIL and her husband are borderline diabetic).

Becky - posted on 09/26/2010

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I just started doing goodie bags at my youngest's first birthday party earlier this month. For my oldest's second birthday, I made up candy cups, but then forgot to give them out! D'oh!! I try not to put cheap, useless crap in them. :) Since it was his first birthday, we had several babies there. For them, I put in little animal hand puppets that I got on clearance at MIchaels (it was a zoo-themed party) and animal crackers. For the older kids, they got a wild animal note pad, stickers, animal crackers, and gummy worms and jellybeans. And everyone got a home-made monkey chocolate lollipop. I think for future birthdays, I'll try to do something that goes with the theme of the party. I was going to get a craft for the kids to do and take home with them, but only 2 or 3 kids who were coming were actually old enough for that. But once the boys are a little older, I may do something like that instead of treat bags.

[deleted account]

We gave our oldest daughter's friends bracelets that cost about $3.00 each. My daughter made them for her friends herself with stuff we bought at Michael's craft store. All the girls loved them and I still see some of the girl wearing them from time to time at school. My daughter hasn't taken her off (except for showers) since we gave it to her. They are just ropes with beads that say each girl's name and a couple hearts. It's a nice gift to thank her friends for coming, and since she made them herself it's even more special.



We haven't given out goodie bags for our younger daughers' birthdays yet because they are just too young (and so are the other kids that come). We'll start with goodie bags when they start school and start making friends to invite to parties.

Lindsay - posted on 09/26/2010

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I don't do goody bags but I usually do a pinata instead. I'm not a fan of my kids getting them. I much rather the kids not get them at all than to deal with the breakdown five minutes later in the car when this or that cheap trinket breaks. I also put "No Gifts Please" on all invite though.

Alahnna - posted on 09/26/2010

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The past few parties my children had we did the piniatas instead of goodie bags, but I had quite a few little trinkets in them, like little hand helped games or puzzles, pencils, erasers, bouncy balls, little harmonicas, stick on earrings, temporary tattoos, parachute men, little foam airplanes, etc. I had a bit of candy, but more toys than candy because I feel the children get enough sugar with the cake and ice cream, plus more junk with chips, pop, etc. Each child went home with a full piniata bag, so I feel it was plenty for a take home prize

Lucy - posted on 09/26/2010

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We have come across some really extravagant goody bags given to the kids at their friend's parties. But as Jennie says, it's usually loads of disposable tat rather than a nice single item the kids will value and look after, and that irritates me. I hate seeing the blowers and other cheapie toys gradually disintegrate and have to be thrown away. They're not usually recyclable either.

It was my son's 3rd birthday party yesterday. We had a good, old fashioned tea party at home with party games (over the top outings and hiring expensive venues being another of my pet peeves for kids parties) and as they left, each child was given a piece of the birthday cake and a little, decent quality, wind up dinosaur toy. All the kids were delighted with them, and hopefully they will last longer than the usual rubbish we clutter our land fill with!

Kate CP - posted on 09/25/2010

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Candy. I hate it when they put candy in gift bags because there are some candies my daughter can't have like taffy and gum. Lollipops (not tootsie pops or bubble gum pops) and fruit snacks are okay, but anything that's actual candy is a big no-no in my book.

Kimberly - posted on 09/25/2010

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I give them out but I don't expect one. When I make them I try and put things in that they will actually use and not junky things that will get thrown in the garbage. I have given each kid a small toy, filled a sandpail with a colouring book, crayons, stickers, fruit snack and juice box. I did a pinata that was filled with crazy straws, tattoos, suckers, stamps, little plastic toys. This year we are making pizzas so each kid will go home with their own apron and chef hat.

Rosie - posted on 09/25/2010

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i don't give them out, and i don't expect them. i think it's a nice thing, but i feel i already give enough with the cake, food, and whatnot. and also considering it's MY childs birthday, i don't get giving other peoples children a gift. i may sound stingy, but oh well,, lol!!!

Tawny - posted on 09/25/2010

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I like to give goodie bags and put stuff that goes with the theme of the party I dont expect when my child goes to a party that he has to get a goodie bag. I try not to spend too much on the items that go in the bag. But I knew someone who spent $800 on the items to go into the goodie bags and I thought that was ridiculous. Who in there right mind has that money to spend on stuff for a goodie bag. I would never spend that much because I dont have that kind of money to be spending if Im lucky I can get by under $100 for the entire party... :)

[deleted account]

Roxanne just had her second birthday and I DID do goodie bags. We don't have a lot of money but there were only 3 other lil' girls there so it wasn't too much.

Isobel - posted on 09/25/2010

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I use reusable bags now (for Eve's last year I gave bamboo pencil cases with stationary sets inside and added some candy) but she's older so she loved it!

[deleted account]

The last 2 parties I did a pinata. It was filled with a combo of candy & trinkety toys. I'll most likely do the same next Feb. for the next birthday.

But I never expect a goody bag in return. we were at a Chuckee Cheese party recently and there was no goodie bag. I expl;ained that all teh tickets he won and the prize he got was his goodie bag treat.

Iris - posted on 09/25/2010

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Oh Sharon, just reading your post makes me feel like a failure mom. I'm so Un-American when it comes to birthday parties. In Iceland where I'm brought up, we don't have goody bags.

My husband don't know what to do and my friends are all like, "just put whatever (smile!)".



Same with thank you notes. We just say thank you for coming when you're leaving and that's it! Now I have to write thank you notes all the time and I don't know what the heck I'm doing! The last thing I want to do is embarrass my children...

Sharon - posted on 09/25/2010

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I give out a gift bag and yes I expect one for my child when they attend a party.

I hate the noise makers but the kids love them so I usually get them. The kids are older now, I try to get 1 item that will last a long time. Last year the girls got a small thin wire bracelet with crystals. They still have them and tell me about them.

When we have a party or go to a party I give out pictures to say thankyou.

?? - posted on 09/24/2010

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haha I'll decide when I'm putting the bags together. I think the kids might have a lot of fun with them together too so we'll see !

Jodi - posted on 09/24/2010

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Just leave them in Jo. Most of us are pretty good at making things disappear when we need to!!!

?? - posted on 09/24/2010

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I thought of that too, Jodi ! I might end up giving them out AT the party so the kids can all go nuts at the party with them, then I can throw them out as soon as the kids leave lol orrrrrrr I might leave them in and let the parents decide whether they want to listen to that crap - I know 1 mom that loves them cause her kid will spend HOURS playing with those things... so she can get some crap done while her lil noise maker is occupied!

?? - posted on 09/24/2010

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I was thinking about that too Amie, about the toys being unisex. This year there will be 2 girls at his party. Both are 2 years old. All of the Toy Story stuff has all of the characters, including Barbie and Ken. And the hot wheels is simply cause Gabe LOVES Hot Wheels and everytime his friends come over - boy or girl - they always play hot wheels, so I thought it was fitting to give everyone a hot wheels toy.

When he's older, I think I might do more of a 'boys goody bag' and 'girls goody bag' or unisex goody bag idea - or I might just stick to the theme like this year and give everyone things that Gabe loves.. like he's sharing his fave toys with all his fave people.

Amie - posted on 09/24/2010

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Anything a child may be allergic too. We avoid that stuff as much as possible, otherwise we go nuts.

Jonnie's bday is next week. So far we have the standard candy, some little play doh bins and I need to go shopping tomorrow to finish. He's also older and has girls and boys coming, so trying to make the goodie bags as unisex as possible is hard when they're his age. lol

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