10 Birthday Party Accessories That Are a Waste of Time & Money

fancy child's birthday cake

All parents want to throw their kids a memorable birthday party -- only in the frenzy of planning, it's easy to go overboard and buy things that you might think are important, but add nothing to the big day. So save yourself the trouble and don't buy these 10 things, which both parents and party planners agree are a waste of time and money.


1. Pointed party hats. "No one wants to wear them," says one parent. "And if you put it on them for the picture, they cry!"

2. Bags filled with cheap party favors. "They are almost invariably filled with useless plastic garbage that goes into the recycling bin the moment my girls turn their attention to something else," says another parent party guest. "These things break easily and are probably made by children no older than the kids playing with them in some hellish factory somewhere."

3. Intricate party favors that go way over the top. As one parent put it, "I don't need a lollipop with your 5-year-old's picture on it, or anything with their picture for that matter, or a CD of your 8-year-old's favorite songs."

4. Piñata. Because some kid inevitably gets whacked. Plus, all those strands of tissue paper and candy kids miss on the ground create a mess.

5. A goody bag of candy. "The kids just had cake and ice cream," points out one mom. "Is more sugar really necessary?"

6. Healthy foods in goody bags. "Come on, it's a party," says another parent. "And chances are that candy is going to have a higher chance of actually being eaten."

7. A cake that costs an arm and a leg. Parents often pay through the nose for a fancy cake decorated with their kid's favorite cartoon characters. Ripoff alert! Kids honestly don't care that much. Cake is cake! A homemade version is just as good.

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8. Too many games and too much entertainment. "Kids get bored easily, yes, but if you supply them with too much to do, they will overload and have a meltdown," says party planner Danielle Rothweiler. "Keep things simple but fun."

9. Clowns, magicians, or superheroes. Having Spider-Man swoop in is so overrated -- not to mention expensive. For a cheaper option, rent the costume and have a friend put it on.

10. Snail mailed invitations. Evite exists for a reason: Stuffing envelopes and licking stamps is so unnecessary.

Are there things you think are unnecessary at birthday parties?

Image ©iStock.com/Yamac Beyter 

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