My son is playing with a 2.5 inch long plastic buzz lightyear kaleidoscope. He’s momentarily diverted by looking at a prismatic version of the world. It would be cute if I didn’t know what will happen next. He’ll discard the toy and it will wind up on the floor. An adult with step on it while carrying a laundry basket or something and the cheap plastic will shatter. Best case, my son will miss the destruction and never realize the toy is gone. Worst case, he’ll witness it or find the remains in the trash and cry like he lost a beloved friend. He’ll beg for a replacement and I’ll have to tell him that I don’t know where to get a new one because he got it at a birthday party and damned if I’m going to hunt down the 8 pack of kaleidoscopes so he can be amused for another 45 seconds.
Thus is the life cycle of goodie bag toys.
When I first started doing the birthday party circuit I was all “No candy! Little toys! Yes!”. But my goodie bag views have evolved and I am now militantly anti-toy. Goodie bag toys, while cute and thematic to the party, are usually junk. Oh, admit it. Unless your a Pinterest mom who makes her own goodies bag gifts, you buy them at the dollar store and they’re the lowest quality possible. You know full well that they’ll break if the wind blows on them and you’re obly buying them because you feel like you have to. They’re diverting for about 5 minutes after the party but heaven forbid you try to discard them or else your child will declare that they’re her favorite toy ever because it came from her BFF’s Sparklepony party and she must keep it FOREVAH!
The toy-laden goodie bags result in a house full of crap and I’m over it. Twice a year I sneak around and purge all the goodie bag junk while my son is at school. I’ve also stopped sending party guests home with toys. Goodie bags at my house are usually just a small sack of candy collected from the piñata at the party. Sure, there may be a sugar rush or a monetary power struggle over how much candy guests can eat when but when the candy is gone? It’s gone. You won’t find it under the couch or crushed underfoot six months later.