For my final post about Eleanor's party (I swear), I'm wondering how other parents of young children feel about the whole party favor situation. I feel like it's kind of a no-win prospect. I always end up spending more money than I want to, on dumb toys that break after 5 minutes. And I try to avoid the candy, because I know that's usually the last thing I want Eleanor to have, after a day of loading up on sugar: more sugar to bring home! But I feel like I'll "look bad" or unprepared if I don't do the favors.
Who likes the favors? Are they necessary? How did the favor bags start, anyway?
This year, I bought small books from the dollar section at Target, and some punch balloons. Then I spent most of the "favor budget" (not that there really is one) on craft supplies. During the party, we had a folding table with cardboard crowns and stars/dowel rods to make wands, and a ton of different crafty items for kids to decorate their crowns and wands. I think I liked doing that a lot better than the typical party favor. It gave everyone (not just the kids!) something to do during the party, and they could take home something they made themselves.
Plus, we adults had fun with the crafts, too! I know I had a great time planning and buying materials and helping Eleanor "make sure it all worked" before her friends arrived. And we have lots of leftover craft supplies, to enjoy many more times. If you have any other suggestions about party favors, I'd like to hear them!