If your child has a birthday this winter, you’ll need some treats and activities for the party. A Pinterest search on this subject is overwhelming, but don’t fear. I have some easy, inexpensive and fun ideas for you! First, the traditional party favor: Something you wrap up and hand to kids on their way out the door.
If you are looking for an alternative to candy, here are a few treats with a winter theme:
Snowman kit. A box containing a carrot, some buttons and a strip of material (an old tie or some felt) for a scarf. Everything the kids need to build a snowman when they get home.
Crazy Carpets. Even kids who own sleds enjoy some variety! Roll it up, tie a ribbon around it and call it a day.
Books. Books are discounted at grocery and discount stores, and everyone loves them. At this time of year, finding winter-themed books should be easy. My favorites for young children are That’s Not My Penguin and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
Coloring sheets. Google ‘free winter printables’. There are tons of excellent coloring sheets that are freely available online. Print and add a small pack of crayons or markers.
Mugs and hot chocolate. Older kids will love getting a cute mug filled with packets of hot chocolate. You could even have a hot chocolate bar at your party where the kids add colorful marshmallows, chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
If you want to kill two birds with one stone, party activities can also be used to create favors. Kids make something, then bring it home as their treat!
Try some of the following winter activities:
Snow paint. Fill a spray bottle with water and food coloring; kids can use it to paint the snow in your yard. Refill the bottles at the end of the party, and your guests can bring some snow paint home.
Caramel apples. Kids can decorate caramel apples at the party with candy. Then the apples get packed up with any extra candy and sent home as loot bags. Alternatively, you could create a caramel apple kit for them to use at home (apple, caramel, candy toppings).
Cookie decorating. It’s a scientific fact that kids like to play with icing. They can decorate cookies at the party, then you wrap them in cellophane for the trip home. If you are not a baker, it is completely acceptable to purchase the cookies. The kids will not judge you, as long as there is icing and candy to decorate the cookies with.
Snowy treasure hunt. Do you want to tire kids out before sending them home? Arm them with plastic shovels, then send them into the yard to dig up the treats you’ve buried in the snow. If you don’t want some surprises during the Spring thaw, you may want to mark the treasures with flags or food coloring.
Decorate winter gear. Fleece mittens, hats and scarves can all be decorated with fabric paint, glitter, felt, buttons and beads. Kids can even make their mitts into puppets! Bonus: Guests leave your party with a very practical favor.
At parties where crafting is involved, smocks or aprons will protect clothing, and can also be taken home as favors. Remember: It’s easy to get overwhelmed by Pinterest, but kids will love almost anything that involves candy, gluing or games. Your loot bags and activities don’t have to be fancy – just fun.
Katie is a mother, blogger, librarian and researcher. For more ideas about birthday parties in Calgary, visit her at www.bestbirthdays.ca.
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2019 Calgary’s Child