Why I’m In The “No Party Favors” Club


At the risk of offending many, including some family and friends, I have a confession to make:  I loathe kids party favors.


I do not give out favors at my kids’ parties, and I cannot stand when they receive them. There. I said it.  

girl sitting at birthday party Providence Moms Blog

Before you get upset, please hear me out. I get that you assembled your cute favor bags out of the goodness of your heart. I completely understand. Also, perhaps you are going along with etiquette guidelines. That’s okay. I get it and don’t fault you for it!  

But, you see, as my older son began attending more birthday parties, I realized that a bag of trinket little thingamabobs gave me a tinge of anxiety. He’d play with them for about a day. Then they’d end up in between my couch cushions, or strewn all over the kitchen table or somehow lost behind a heavy piece of furniture. Then his brother came along. His little brother put nearly everything in his mouth as a baby. Suddenly, party favor knickknacks were now a choking hazard.  

While that stage for my second son is in the past, I still can’t shake the feeling of all.the.clutter. My house is cluttered enough. I don’t need a bag of random baubles to add to that. So when a favor bag comes home, I pick out the pencils and anything else I think is practical. The remainder promptly meets our trash can.

Please don’t be upset if you know you’ve handed us a favor and now know that we’ve barely looked at it. I know you probably sat down in the wee hours the morning before the party assembling those bags last minute. You likely painstakingly chose each item in it so that it matched the party theme. I appreciate the thought. Trust me. I just cannot deal with more stuff, or candy, or tiny pencil erasers. We have so much stuff in our small house already. It’s not you. It’s me (and that bag).  

Because of this, when I do give something out at one of my children’s parties, I aim for something they can (hopefully) play with for more than 3 seconds. For example, my youngest had a cowboy themed party and the kids all received cowboy hats and bandannas to play with at the party that they could take home. Another party was construction themed, so each kid got a hat, play safety goggles and a little tool belt to keep. My oldest son had a crafting party this year so each kid took home something that they made. I’ve also thrown parties where I’ve given out no such favors. My gut feeling is that they weren’t missed, but perhaps that’s wishful thinking on my part!

By no means I am not trying to claim my way is the best way.  If you like making up favor bags then you do you!  And I’ll do me.

But if you are hoping to spare yourself the cost, time, and aggravation of assembling those little suckers, it won’t bother me, and it probably won’t bother a lot of other parents either.

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Robin is a working mother of two very precious, but very precocious sons ages 10 and 6. A lifelong Rhode Islander, she lives in the Providence area with her husband of 14+ years and boys. She is a Bryant University graduate (back in the day when it used to be called Bryant College) where she also received an MBA. In between refereeing her boys' impromptu wrestling matches, carting them between school and practice and handling occasional work issues outside business hours, Robin enjoys cooking/baking (but not the mess they create), 80s music, checking out family friendly events/destinations (pre-COVID that is), visiting new breweries and wineries with her hubby, buying new makeup and taking WAY too many photos (YOLO). She also considers herself an aficionado of naps. Robin believes that it is possible to find both motherhood and a career simultaneously rewarding, with the right support system....and an Amazon Prime account.