Goody Bag Alternatives: No More Junk, Please!

Photo by AshBayGrammy

Somewhere between the time I was a child and I had a child, goody bags became as de rigueur as cake at children's birthday parties. And what a shame.

Sure, the idea is nice, but these ironically named bags rarely contain anything good at all. Instead, we regularly tote home a bunch of plastic junk that interests my children for about five minutes, then litters my home and makes me crazy for months.

I'd like to see these bags banished all together, but I'm also not really willing to send guests home empty handed and disappointed. Instead, here are a few alternatives to the traditional bag o' junk that I intend to use.


I once attended a party where the mother simply set out a basket of fruit at the end of the party and told each child to choose one piece. There had already been pizza and snacks and cake and ice cream, so what a nice, refreshing gesture it was to take home an orange.

Less is More

I prefer one nicer item that kids may actually keep for awhile (and mom won't be dying to throw out) to a million little things. Dollar stores often have cute stuffed animals that work nicely. And books that go with the party's theme make great parting gifts.

Dual-purposed Decorations

You can get more bang for your buck by having the decorations serve as favors. Send each child home with a Mylar balloon; fill cheap plastic vases with colorful candy as centerpieces; or personalize picture frames to serve as place cards.

Those are just a few ideas, but the possibilities are endless. C'mon moms, let's start thinking outside the bag and put a stop to the glut of junk.

What goody bag alternatives have you seen or used?  

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