How did it come about that a bag filled with plastic, factory-made toys became the norm for kid birthday party favors? The hosting parents don’t enjoy spending the time or the money buying them, and the parents of kids receiving them don’t want more stuff, especially not junk. Goodie bag toys (and the bags themselves) soon get thrown into the trash where they will end up in the landfill. And yet, these kinds of favors have become a standard part of kid birthday party etiquette.
Why do we do them at all?
Of course, the idea is nice—a small token of thanks to your guests for joining in the celebration—but parents should remember that it’s a thoughtful gesture, not a necessity. Thoughtful should be the operating word. If you’re not ready to disavow party favors, try to make the gift something that is considerate, both of the receiving family and the planet.
Luckily, there are plenty of eco-friendly options that won’t cost you more than if you went the traditional route. It’s also good to remember that while kids do love goodie bags, they often don’t really care what’s in them—they’re just happy to be getting something. So it really can be easy.