I used to spend hours assembling goodie bags for all the guests who were scheduled to attend our big birthday bashes. The bags were always fun and age appropriate and in the end a child inevitably bring a sibling who wasn’t on my list and who would end up going home empty handed with tears in his eyes.
Then I tried forgoing the treat bag entirely, letting the kids just focus on the fun they were having and giving the parents a break from cheap plastic toys, but their confused looks when it was time to go home made me sad.
For the last two years I’ve hit on what appears to be the ideal solution — the scavenger hunt approach to goodie bags.
Instead of pre-filling the bags and running the risk of not having enough for everyone, I buy the treats and the bags, then I hide the toys all over the yard and let the kids scavenge. For 15 minutes the yard is filled with gleeful cries of “Oh! A ducky!” “Look! I found a bouncy ball!” and other squeals as the kids unearth delightful treasures. Amazingly enough there are never any skirmishes about anyone getting more treats than anyone else, and the kids extend the fun by trading treats and toys after the hunt is over.
How do you handle goodie bags?