I had so much fun planning and hosting my five-year-old son’s Western-Cowboy Theme birthday party held at a quaint duckpin bowling alley. For the party table decorations, I kept it simple and used colorful paper cowboy plates. I also used alternating red and blue straw cowboy / cowgirl hats and matching cloth bandanas for the napkins as added flair that were priced just right from the Oriental Trading Company.
The children immediately gravitated to these festive cowboy hats and bandanas when they arrived. Our adorable little guests had such fun using their imaginations by putting them on and acting just like cowboys and cowgirls at the birthday party. Some of the parents even got into the western-cowboy theme as well and put hats on themselves!
I think the best party favors for children are simple to make, or inexpensive to buy, and serve many purposes during and after the party. The table decorations can become the pretend play outfit or craft activity at the party. Then, they become the party favors that children take home and use. A bonus: These favors are unlikely to end up in a recycling bin or landfill anytime soon, and parents and children truly appreciate them.
More Party Favor Ideas for some Popular Birthday Themes…
Construction / Builder Theme:
Decorate the table with construction hats. Set up a craft table with alphabet and construction stickers from the $1 store for kids to choose from to embellish the hats. Use children’s building materials like wood blocks all around the party table as an extra touch. Have a building contest with them, too, and let the children decorate the wood blocks to take home as party favors with the hats.
Another arts-and-crafts station / party favor idea can be as simple as providing a wood craft kit for each child. Michael’s has a large assortment for only a $1 each, and I especially love their wood airplane kits. Harbor Freight has the coolest dinosaur wood cut-out kits, too, for just a few dollars each.
Prince and Princess Theme:
Buy or DIY shimmery paper crowns. These make for great table decorations. Then, sprinkle large craft jewels all over the table and use a shiny metallic scepter with each place setting. The children can pretend play throughout the party with the crowns and scepters, and these become the take-home party favors.
During or at the end of the party, provide unfinished wood picture frames from a craft store, and let the children glue on the jewels from the table. As an extra touch, take pictures at the party for the frames and include them with the thank you notes.
Use colorful satin-cloth capes for back-of-the-chair decorations, and colorful DIY cardboard or felt masks as the table decorations. Let the children decorate their own masks at the party. Not enough time at the party or too messy? Then, give away mask arts-and-crafts kits in reusable paper craft bags or canvas bags to go along with the cape party favors. Fill them with superhero stickers, small glitter glue tubes, etc.
When the children were leaving my son’s western-cowboy themed party, they were absolutely thrilled to bring home only the hats and bandanas as their party favors. I don’t think the typical plastic goodie bags filled with candy and tiny plastic toys that break easily were ever on their minds or even missed. The cowboy hats and bandanas are just perfect for playing dress-up many times over. They can also be simple Halloween costumes, too.