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How to make birthday party treat bags for $5

Mary Ann Romans is the author of numerous parenting, health and nutrition articles. She lives near Philadelphia with her husband and two children.

Birthday party treats for cheap

Planning a birthday party but don't want to spend a fortune on party favors? Here are several inexpensive ideas that won't cost more than about $5, yet will yield eight or more treat bags!

The question:

I am actually on the "ball" this year with planning my son's birthday party -- a bowling party! A local bowling lane provides shoe rental, two games of bowling, hot dog, chips and drink for each child we have as a guest for $6.50. I thought that was a great deal! No worries about cleaning the house before and after the party.

My question is: the usual thing to do at birthday parties now is to give each guest a gift bag of goodies to take home. Do you think this is still necessary in this instance? If so, all I can think of that wouldn't be too costly would be candy, and maybe a car toy or a decorated pencil or something. What do you think? Thanks for any help! - Sincerely, Diane

The Party Expert answers:

Hi Diane,

Make your own birthday party favorsHaving a bowling-themed birthday party for your son is a great way to reduce your stress, while giving your child -- and his friends -- a day to remember!

Favor or treat bags are very popular with today's partygoers, and they almost expect to receive them. Sometimes the outlay of these goodies creeps up without parents realizing it. To keep the price down, a little creativity will help. Fortunately, nine-year-old kids still appreciate receiving anything and that will help.

Here are several inexpensive ideas that won't cost more than $5, yet will yield eight or more treat bags:

1. Personalized glasses
Plastic drinking glasses come six to eight in package. You can find these in different sizes (I'd go for the smaller size) and colors in most dollar and discount outlets. Use a paint pen or permanent marker in a complimentary color to personalize one for each attendee. If you lack great printing skills, ask a friend for help. Fill then with inexpensive candy and toys, then wrap in tissue paper or whatever you have on hand.

2. Chocolate covered pretzels
Buy a pound of melting chocolate such as Merkins (around $2/pound) available at a candy supply or some grocery stores and a bag of pretzels (small rods will work too.) While melting the chocolate in a double broiler on low, put a cookie sheet in the freezer. Once the candy is liquefied, dip one end of the pretzel in it and place on the chilled sheet (the cold stops the chocolate from running.) Repeat until the tray is full and stick it in the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens.

After you've finished, drop the same amount of these delicious treats into a sandwich bag for each guest. Tie with a piece of colorful ribbon or yarn.

3. School supplies kit
Supplies cost very little at certain times of year. Start by buying one two-pocket folder for everyone. You can get these at a cost of about 8 folders for a dollar. Also purchase a pack of pencils, ruler and construction paper. If you have the time, you could create personalized stationery on your computer for the kids. (A bowling graphic would not only be clever, but it would enhance your birthday party theme, too.) Decorate and personalize the folders for the guests. Again, you could make something on the computer and glue this to folder's front. Tuck a pencil and some paper inside.

Enjoy!

Mary Jo
Every Day Should Be a Party Day!

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