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7 Things That Should REALLY Be in Kids’ Goodie Bags

Photograph by Twenty20

Parents, let’s talk amongst ourselves. We really hate those birthday party goodie bags, don’t we? I can’t figure out which is more tortuous, having to make them or trying to figure out what to do with all of the crap you bring home in them. Sure the kids love them and can’t leave a party without them, but it’s the parents who have to go through the stress and anxiety of figuring out what to do with all of those plastic bracelets and cute erasers.

So how about we make a pact to stop sending all of those useless items to each other's homes, and take a more practical approach? Here are a few ideas for changing up your goodie bag game:

1. Old Clothes

With 15 kids the same size as yours in your house for a party, what better time to clean out your little one’s closet? You might get a few odd looks from the other parents—until they open up their bag and find that gently used pair of khakis that fits their little Liam perfectly!

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2. Keurig Cups

Personally, I would be beyond thrilled if I opened up my kid’s goodie bag and saw the words "French Roast" peeking back at me. Besides, everyone knows that the promise of caffeine in the near future makes even the longest game of duck-duck-goose less painful.

3. A Storage Box

Yes, little Harper might cry when she’s handed an empty box instead of a bag full of treasures but disappointment helps children grow.

If you’re all about finding solutions and not being part of the problem (and I know you are) why not give them something to store all of their goodie bag items in? Yes, little Harper might cry when she’s handed an empty box instead of a bag full of treasures but disappointment helps children grow.

4. A Hamburger

It’s common knowledge that no one has ever had enough to eat at a birthday party, ever. So how awesome would it be if your guests left the party with a nice, hot, steamy cheeseburger? The best part is all kids fall asleep in the car on the way home, so mom doesn't have to share.

5. Your iTunes Password

Tell all of your guests they can download one song, on you. You know that if you had to buy all of those whistles, miniature dolls and Ring Pops that each goodie bag will have set you back $45, so $1.99 is really a steal. Of course, you’ll have to change your password a few hours later because people are greedy.

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6. A Goldfish

When my daughter was in kindergarten a little girl came over for a playdate and her mom brought us a goldfish. That night we had to rush out and buy a bunch of fish supplies and I hated that mom forever. But it gave me a great story to tell at birthday parties. Your guests will never forgive you, but they’ll be grateful when they’re regaling a crowd with a tale about your crazy-ass party favor.

7. Copies of "The Catcher in the Rye"

This might not make sense at your 6-year-old’s Spider-Man-themed party, but in eight years when all these kids are in high school and they forget to tell their parents that they need to read it for a book report the night before it’s due (and there’s a 99.999 percent chance that will happen) and all of the bookstores are closed, you’re going to be the hero.

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