10 affordable party favors

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Hosting a party for your child and her friends is a big job—you have to buy the cake, set up the decorations, find entertainment and, increasingly, pick out the perfect party favors. Sending guests home with goody bags is becoming customary at kids’ parties, but if you aren’t careful, this tradition can quickly eat up your party budget. Use this list of affordable favors to find memorable parting gifts guests will love, all without draining your bank account.

1. Personalized bubbles: This idea works well with the elementary crowd, who are still young enough to get a kick out of blowing bubbles in the yard. Buy inexpensive, brightly colored containers of bubbles at the toy store and customize the labels with your own design.

2. Balloons: Everyone enjoys helium balloons, which cost as little as a dollar each. Choose simple latex balloons or pick up a bouquet of the printed, Mylar variety. You can find both types of balloons at most dollar stores and party supply shops.

3. Books: As you visit yard sales and discount book stores, collect reasonably priced children’s books you can later use as party favors. Children will love trading titles, and their parents will be glad to see an educational gift make it home.

4. Art supplies: Children enjoy creating art, so provide them with the crayons, markers, watercolor sets, colored pencils and notebooks they need to get started. You can customize this favor by stuffing the art supplies into Ziploc baggies sealed with a personalized cardstock label.

5. Homemade treats: Have the guests help you in the kitchen as you bake a generous batch of your child’s favorite cookies. Then, send a few home with each child. Make the favor more appealing by wrapping the cookie in colorful wax paper and closing it with a sticker that matches your party’s theme.

6. Party hats: Party hats are anything but goofy when they’re crafted from lush cardstock and topped with paper streamers. Allow older kids to make and decorate their own hats, using glitter, stickers and beads.

7. Flip-flops: Ask parents for their children’s’ shoe sizes. Then, buy a simple, colorful pair of flip-flops for each kid. You can even embellish the shoes by gluing on buttons or bows.

8. Trinket box: Children need a safe place to store their treasures. Give them one with a simple ceramic trinket box from the craft or dollar store. Choose boxes in various colors and patterns so each child can have a unique object to take home.

9: Baseballs: If your party has a major league theme, send guests home with their own baseball. It’s a simple, classic toy that will encourage kids to head outside and play hard.

10. Jewelry: Inexpensive but fashionable jewelry makes an exciting favor for girls’ parties. Give younger children simple, safe pieces, such as plastic bangles or sticker earrings. Older girls will enjoy more fashion-forward jewelry; try handing out sparkly cuffs or beaded earrings.

Party favors have become a must-have at children’s’ fêtes. However, you don’t have to devote your whole budget to goody bags; you can leave some money for the cake and ice cream! Simply choose one of these exciting but affordable party favor ideas to give guests a gift that’s long on fun and short on cost.

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