As I've mentioned before (see here and here), I have major issues with the standard birthday party favor. While I'm rarely thrilled about gifts of candy after vast amounts of pizza and cake, it's the trinkets that really get me. The trinkets used to accumulate for months at a time; now I surreptitiously dispose of them at the first opportunity. And pencils--useful, yes. But at this point, we have enough pencils to make a log cabin village.
My son's 9th birthday party was supposed to have been a few weeks ago but was cancelled for the Blizzard of 2013. In the party favor department, that was a good thing as I had nothing then. I really wanted to make something ourselves, as we did for my daughter's birthday party, or provide the kids the means to do a project of their own, which we did for my son's 8th birthday.
Last year, my son's party was about building things, so we made each guest a binder of projects they could build at home. This year, the party is themeless. They will be roller skating and playing laser tag. I think this is a suitable trade-off for nine-year-old boys, but it made the party favor process more challenging.
I dragged both kids to Michaels on Friday, and my son immediately seized on these colorful water bottles as the gift idea. At $1.00 a piece, I couldn't argue with that. I bought a couple paint pens and personalized each bottle.
I decided the bottles would be much more interesting if they had something in them, so I made a simple bookmark for each guest from card stock and ribbon we had on hand.
Maybe other families do not spend hours of their lives searching for bookmarks, but it seems we're always doing that here, and I love anything that encourages a kid to read. In fact, we made a different sort of bookmark using paper clips and ribbon for my daughter's party.
My plan was to fill the rest of the bottle with a few gratuitous Hershey's kisses (pandering) and a bag of snack crackers.
Unfortunately, the snack package wouldn't fit into the bottle. Well, I could have gotten it in there, but it seemed odd to give our guests bags of cracker dust. If we'd been hosting the party at home, I would have omitted the snacks and used the colorful water bottles as a display.
Because we have to haul everything to the skating rink anyway, I chose to bag all our pretty items in brown paper bags.
Less pretty, but kids like to have something to open. At least that's what I'm telling myself.