A new—and better—take on old traditions
Pointy Party Hat
The elastic pinches chins and necks, the pointy tops poke and they never stay on during the whole party anyway.
Inexpensive plastic headbands turned into antennae with the addition of pipe-cleaner stems and Styrofoam balls as adornments; make them ahead of time or let the kids paint or decorate the balls as a party activity. Or make paper bag hats, which can double as name tags: Just roll up the edges of white deli-size sacks into a brim and decorate ahead of time or at the party.
They get spit-soaked, and after being in circulation for a half hour or so, no one can identify his own (used) one.
Buy plastic kazoos (about $1 apiece at toy or music stores), write names on them or put on stickers to lessen germ-swapping and let everyone hum "Happy Birthday."
Who thought of blindfolding kids and giving them sticks to swing wildly about? And the candy grab afterward requires crowd control worthy of riot police.
Do-it-yourself treasure balls. Scrunch a small toy favor inside a wad of construction paper. Tape into a ball shape, then wrap with a long crepe paper strip, taping stickers, tattoos and small toys along its length. Secure the end of the roll with a sticker. Let kids toss, roll or unravel their treasure ball (make sure they're light and won't hurt partygoers).
Sugary Party Favors
They've had their cake; they don't need candy too.
Think nonedible, interactive and instant fun: Sidewalk chalk, stickers and a sticker book, a puzzle or a jar of bubbles are all fine, sugar-free alternatives.
Check out more birthday party ideas!