Favors are probably the part of party planning that I put the most thought in to. I refuse to do little plastic bags of candy, stickers, bubbles and pencils. Yes, those tchotchkes are an inexpensive way to thank your guests for coming but I truly believe you can do better and still keep to a budget. A little creativity goes a long way.
Jax’s mermaid party was actually second choice when I was brainstorming themes. My first choice was an old fashioned carnival theme. And my inspiration for that was a gold fish. I knew I wanted to give away a gold fish as the party favor. So I thought an old-style fair with carnival games, like a ping-pong ball toss, would be perfect for that. I’d already worked out some details in my head. Then Jax started falling in love with mermaids — and BAM! — I switched gears to a theme that better matched her interests and I could still do a fish as a party favor. After all, Ariel had Flounder, proving that every mermaid needs a sidekick with gills.
Now, I will admit fish give me the heebie-jeebies, so I did start to second guess my idea. I also started to stress on the logistics. Needless stress.
The little fishies in the bowl turned out to be one of the easiest and most inexpensive party favors I’ve ever done. I purchased the bowls and the gems at Dollar Tree and the fish were 14 cents a piece at Petco. I also purchased a container of fish food which I divided up into little vials I found at Michael’s and gave them to guests help get their new pet started in their new homes. This party favor ended up costing less than $2 per guest — can’t beat that.
I did worry that a pet as a party favor would not go over well with parents. I don’t think I’d be all that excited about Jax bringing one home if she attended a party with fish as a parting gift. But again, I was wrong, almost every guest took one (or two) home and were excited to do so! The fish was a first pet for many of the kids and I got extra points for the creativity to it.
I am glad I sucked up my odd fear of fish and did this.
In addition to the fishes, the guests also took home frosted cookies from Cathy’s Cookie Creations. And the kids took home a stuffed mermaid (for girls) or a sea animal (for boys). I gave these out as a “prize” for participating in the bean bag toss I had made for the party.
It’s also a great idea to include an activity during the party that doubles as a party favor. Age appropriate make-and-take crafts fit the bill. I did that with the “Create Your Own Treasure Chest” and “Ocean Wave Sensory Bottle” crafts that I blogged about in my previous post. The kids will get a kick out of making something on their own and taking it home to enjoy.
Be sure to set out gift bags so guests can pack up and carry their loot. You can find packs of kraft gift bags on the cheap at either Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. Just tie a thank you tag on it and put out in a basket or decorative box.
Oh, and in case you were wondering how guests transported their fish home. Easy. Glad Press and Seal did the trick!
Thanks again for tuning in. Check back tomorrow to see the gorgeous cake and bountiful buffet!