Surprise your youngster's party guests with favors that are a cut above the rest. Make custom goodies, assemble a collection of theme-related loot or look for personalized favors for each guest. Instead of ordinary loot bags, make your party favors pop by using miniature gift bags, small tin buckets, flower pots or mini canvas totes to stash the goodies. And if you're adding candy to the party favors, consider a new toothbrush for each child, too -- a gift moms are sure to adore.
Send your guests home with an activity for later. Fill a jar with beads, jewelry wire, pendants and clasps for older kids to make jewelry at home.
Give a child of any age the makings of a movie night; a basket full of single-serve chips or popcorn, candy and cans of soda.
Delight young scientists with experiments to conduct at home. Fill buckets with diet sodas and mints, pads of paper with lemon juice for invisible ink, and glitter glue and borax to make glitter slime. Include the instructions to conduct each experiment.
Surprise young chefs with cookie mix in a jar and cookie cutters to make sweet treats at home, or make planting kits for little gardeners from small flower pots, seeds, baggies of soil and instructions.
Let your guests fill their own goody bags. Have your child choose items, such as mini basketballs, silly putty, modeling clay, scented markers, lip gloss or hair accessories. Pick up several of each item and place them in boxes or baskets. Arrange the containers on a party table and let each guest fill a gift bag with some of your youngster's picks.
Alternatively, use the party's theme to fill a favor bar of goodies. For a princess-themed party, fill bins with tiaras, wands and dress-up jewelry. For a pirate-themed party, buy eye patches, compasses, treasure maps and chocolate coins instead.
Instead of filling a gift bag with discount store trinkets, fill them with personalized goodies. Look for pencils, erasers or hairbrushes personalized with each child's name, or opt for personalized toothbrushes to make your guests' moms happy, too.
Pick up miniature teddy bears for your guests and have their names printed on tiny t-shirts for the bears. Add photo frames for a picture of the group at the party or photo ornaments during the holidays instead. Have candy bar wrappers customized with the birthday child's name and birthdate or replace the labels on water bottles with labels printed at home.
Give a memorable goody to each guest without breaking the bank. You can gather broken crayon pieces from around the house, melt them down and pour the melted crayons into candy or chocolate molds. Wrap a bunch in cellophane for each guest.
Buy sidewalk chalk and wrap each one individually in waxed paper. Twist the paper ends to make each piece resemble a piece of candy. Tie several pieces together with a ribbon for an instant, inexpensive favor.
You can make a music compilation of your child's favorite songs or videotape the party and transfer the video onto discs for each guest.
Pick up inexpensive bags of gummy candies. Thread them onto skewers to make candy shish kabobs and wrap them in cellophane.