5 Kids Birthday Party Favors that Double as Party Activities

5 Party Favors

That won’t end up on the floor of the car

or cause cavities


As a working mom, I don’t always have time to do the research, make something precious (my kids have received wonderful favors like personalized book bags, aprons and t-shirts), or spend time Googling for birthday party favor options. It is so easy to go to U.S Toy Company or BirthdayExpress.com, pick a theme and buy all of the accessories to go with that theme, including cheap plastic toys for the goodie bags. Over the years, my kids have been invited to parties or occasionally I have made the time myself to come up with some really fun, different ideas for party favors that would please both the kids and their parents.

Here are a few of my favorites that double as fun party activities.

1. A decorated flower pot planted with a small plant or flower seeds.

Flower Pot CraftFrom showmemama.com

All you need are small terra cotta or plastic pots, an inexpensive purchase at WalMart or Loewe’s. The kids can paint them with craft paints or decorate them with self-adhesive foam stickers. Let the children fill them with potting soil and drop in a small plant or a few seeds. They will enjoy the process of decorating the pot and watching the plant grow once they take it home. I really liked this blogger’s instructions and great photos on ShowMeMama.com

2. Tin box decorated with stickers

Lunch Box CraftSample box from OrientalTrading.com

When my son turned three, we went to my friend Michelle’s house for her son’s party. She had bought each of the 5 little boys a small white tin lunch pail at the craft store and filled it with stickers. The boys had a ton of fun decorating the boxes. It was a simple craft that they could do themselves. It was not messy and boys love boxes! Want to make it fancier? Add a Matchbox car or a box of crayons to the box for them to take home. My son still has this box full of crayons and he is 10 now. He loves boxes for sorting and collecting his treasures!

3. A Lego kit is a great treat and party activity for boys.

Lego Space Moon BuggyLego Space Moon Buggy $5.99

(I have a son and a daughter and have always found it easier to plan fun crafts and activities for her than him.) For $4 to $5, I could buy each child their own Lego car to put together and play with, before and after the party. It is amazing how boys will spend hours playing with Lego and this is a great way to get them to sit quietly for a while. I found that I was easily spending $4 per child on all of the other pencils, bags, candy and junk for a goodie bag that I knew would end up in the trash. This to me had better, lasting value.

4. A photo frame is always popular with kids and parents.

Foam FrameFrom Amazon.com

You can buy simple kits at the local craft store, make them out of popsicle sticks or buy inexpensive wooden ones. Watch for sales at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby or check your dollar store. Give the kids stickers, adhesive foam pieces, jewels, ribbons, feathers, etc. and let them decorate the photo frame. Send them home with a picture of them at the party or send the photo later with your thank you notes.

5. Homemade play dough.

Great recipe for Homemade Play Dough

This is tons of fun for the kids. You can make the play dough ahead of time and just let the kids add colors or let them help with the whole process. It depends on how brave you are and how comfortable you are with flour spread around your kitchen. Let each child take home a baggie of play dough and a few plastic cookie cutters. Homemade play dough will last for several weeks.


Dr. Minette Riordan is the publisher of North Texas Kids and a certified coach for parents. She loves cooking and doing crafts with her kids in her spare time and she adores birthdays! Minette is a dynamic public speaker who is always looking for speaking opportunities to local mom’s groups, women’s groups or business meetings. You can reach Minette at minette@northtexaskids.com or call her at 972-516-9070.



  1. Elaine Ferguson

    I tried to open the link to the homemade play dough to get the recipe but was unable to retrieve it. Would you be able to e-mail the recipe to me? I would really appreciate it. I have my granddaughters for spring break and need some activity help. Thank you. Elaine Ferguson eferg50@aol.com

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