After much searching and brainstorming, here are several — in fact, 101! — birthday party favors grouped by idea, rather than theme. We wanted to create a list that was not limited by current party fads, but instead provide inspiration for most any type of party your kiddo may really, really, really want.
Below, you will find 13 different categories of party favor goodness (many are from some of my favorite Etsy shops!):
- Reading Materials
- DIY Kits
- Personalized Gifts
- Art Supplies
- Purses & Pouches
- Holiday Cheer
- Travel Games
- Pretend Play
- Slumber Party Gifts
- Sweet Treats
- Toys & Puzzles
Party favors need not sit idly by waiting to be handed out at the end of the party. Oh no…they can be integrated into the party as prizes to games, surprises at the end of scavenger hunts, or an arts-n-crafts activity that keeps little hands occupied.
Except maybe socks & underwear, kids usually like wearable gifts that are very silly or very pretty. Choose wearable gifts that match your theme or color scheme. Also think about charms or items that can be attached to backpacks, lunchboxes, shoe laces and coat zippers.
- Pastel Headband - spoiled N sweet
- Dinosaur Mittens - Martha Stewart
- Monster Buttons - Chaya Raine
- Rainbow Necklace - lilmar and co
- Paper Airplane Tattoo - black tag tattoos
- Floral Apron - Bloom Woosie
For parties based on books (or for the love of books in general): the very book you’re celebrating — Harry Potter, The Wizard of Oz, Dr. Seuss — to name just a few, bookmarks, bookstore gift cards and journals all make treasured party mementos.
- Detective Bookmark - Bethy Designs
- Handbound Journal - Bound by Hand
- Flower Bookmark - Papers and Petals
Rather than purchasing a ready-made party favor, why not double the fun with a DIY kit? Assemble the needed items to bake cookies, plant an herb garden, sew an ornament, decorate a picture frame, or any other craft, baking or construction project that complements your party theme.
What could be more special to a child then receiving a gift with their very own name on it? The possibilities for personalization are endless… with enough time and planning almost anything can be embroidered or screen-printed today. However, be cautious about placing a child’s name on an item that might be worn or carried in public, as some parents may be sensitive to privacy concerns.
Art parties seem to be extremely popular these days. Even if you aren’t having an art party, art supplies are always a favorite favor. Don’t forget about cute erasers, colored chalk, stamps, coloring books, and of course, stickers.
- Felt Pencil Case – Martha Stewart
- Pencil Pencil Case – Gwenny Penny
- Sticky Note Clipboards – Next to Heaven
- Quote Chalkboards - the cottage market
- Bird Notebooks - Be My Bee
- Watercolors - Beth Proudfoot
- Marker Wallet - Delva B Tree
- Glitter Clothespins - lucky girl goods
- Sailboat Magnet Clothespins - Sugar And Paint
Purses & Pouches
It is so much fun to have a special place to put every small trinket. Kids will adore a pint-size pouch they can fill with secret treasures. Choose a pouch that is full of whimsy and versatile or one that is perfectly constructed to hold one particular object.
- Piggy Bank – At West End
- Earbud Keychain – Erin Erickson
- Cat Coin Purse – Straight Stich Society
- Owl Coin Purse - msnizbit
- Macaroon Pouch – Craft Passion
Party favors can also make beautiful holiday ornaments — at Christmas or anytime of the year. Add a string to the top of your gift so that it can be hung on a Christmas tree, door knob, bed post or bulletin board.
- Bee Ornaments - Bossys Feltworks
- Owl Ornament - eleventh monkey
- Racoon Ornament - Monkeys On The Roof
- Mushroom Ornaments - scratch craft
The idea of travel-friendly favors comes straight from my good friend Mari over at Small for Big. She designed the label for the tin, then filled it with lots of little goodies: stickers, magnify glass, finger puppets, plastic animals, etc. This little tin of treasures travels in our diaper bag and is taken out whenever we go out to eat.
- Travel Game - Fave Crafts
- Personalized Playing Cards - Pink Frosting
- Tin of Bits & Bobs – Small for Big
The perfect dual-purpose favor: dress-up clothes and pretend toys. Your party guests can wear their favor at the party for uber-adorable photo ops, then take it home to pretend play some more. More dress-up favor ideas: feather boas, tinsel wigs, tutus, sunglasses, flower leis, sheriff badges, plastic handcuffs, superhero capes, bandanas and fairy wings.
- Personalized Fireman’s Hat Labels - Green Beansie Ink
- Tool Belt - Make it Love it
- Cowboy Vest - Family Go
- Pirate Eye Patch - Elegant Party Plans
- Lion Finger Puppet - Hello Clementine
- Pirate Treasure Map - Enchanted Dandelions
- Animal Masks – Petit Pou Lou
- Robin Hood Hat - Goods Place
- Pixie Dust - Baby Loves Pink
- Star Wand - Sew and the City
- Lace Crown – Joy Folie
- Wooden Wand - 3 Princesses Engraving
- Light Sabers - a rainy day play
- Superhero Cuffs - Lola Nova
Slumber Party Gifts
If you’re hosting a slumber party, a night time-theme party favor is the perfect complement. Need more slumber party favor ideas? How about slippers, personalized pillowcases, bubble bath, flashlights, book lights, book of ghost stories, or individual popcorn bowls?
- Paris Sachet - Belle Coccinelle
- Ice Cream Bar Soap - Sweetbody Soaps
- Robot Soap - water closet soap
- Owl Sleep Mask - Kristy Neale
- Car Suckers - Simple Tastes
- Beach Sugar Cookies - peapods cookies
- Rainbow M&Ms - Beth Proudfoot
- Shark Cookies - Sugar Lane BakeS hop
- Rice Krispie Paint Brushes - Hostess with the Mostess
- Dinosaur Cookie Jar - Hot Polka Dot
- Superhero Dolls - Creative Kismet
- Mermaid Dolls - Bit of Whimsy
- Matchbox Monsters - Mollie Moo
- Secret Identity Doll - Dolls and Daydreams
- Mice in a Tin - mmm crafts
- Robot Pillows - Little Korboose
Toys & Puzzles
Last, but not least, simple toys and puzzles make classic birthday party favors. Other favorites include wooden trains, Matchbox cars, marbles, jacks, dice games, action figures, modeling dough, Slinky and yo yos.
- Whale Puzzle - Art Gift Store
- Dinosaur Eggs - Summer Camp Program Director
- Shark Snow Globes – Chickabug
- Wooden Plane - Imagination kids
- DIY Bubbles - Hostess with the Mostess
- Ball & Cup Game - Indie Bambinos
- Swimming Goggles - Royal Things
- Fishing Rod - Luregasmic
And so, that’s it! We hope these ideas provide a little inspiration for your little one’s next birthday party.
Want even more ideas? Then head on over to our Pinterest board.