14 Things Parents Should NEVER Put in a Goody Bag

No matter how tempting it is, just don’t

You’ve picked out the perfect theme and ordered an elaborate cake. Now it’s time to dig into the ever-important details of your kid’s birthday party. Everything needs to be just-right, from the balloon arch highlighting the photo wall down to the party games and perfect favors. But that last one can be a bit tricky. After all, what toys and trinkets won’t cause problems or wind up in the trash a few hours after getting home? To avoid a serious party foul keep these absolutely terrible things from finding their way into the goody bags. Trust us, your guests will thank you.

1. Plastic trinkets
We’ve all been there: searching for small and inexpensive items to fill goody bags with when…lo and behold! What do you spy in the party aisle so obviously grouped together and in such enticing colors? All kinds of plastic cra—stuff. Mazes, tops, mini frisbees, kaleidoscopes, shaped slinkies, hand clappers, finger eyeballs. The list is endless. But it’s time to stop the madness, parents. Let’s all agree to leave these items on the shelf.

2. Kazoos
Unless your little one’s party is at a local parade, a kazoo should never (ever) find its way into a kid’s goody bag. We know kids love them. We know they can encourage creativity and in some cases even help with language development. But we’re still giving a hard pass to this headache-inducing favor.

3. Small bubbles
We get it. Bubbles are a reliable add to any party bag, especially in summer. Kids love them at every age, and they hit that price point that makes them irresistibly appealing. But before you grab a box of mini bubble bottles or wands, think again. Little hands have a tough time getting the bubble stick out, and there’s just enough solution to make a mess if it spills (which it inevitably does). Trust us, stick with the larger wands if your kid wants bubbles in the bags.

Related: 22 Fantastic Party Favors Kids Will Actually Use

4. Train whistles
What’s not to love about a train-themed party? One where the kids get to wear those adorable train conductor hats and tie on a cute red kerchief like an old-timey conductor. But you know what parents don’t love? When you put one of those toy train whistles in with the loot (yes, even the wooden ones). Once they’re home, they’re just another noise maker we have to try and tune out while making dinner.

5. Slime
We know kids love slime. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t too. But resist the urge to drop a small container of slime, or putty, or literally any other sensory substance into your goody bags. Why? Because it always ends up somewhere it shouldn’t be—and it’s impossible to get out. On the upside—Play Doh gets on a pass on this restriction.

6. Mini squishy toys
We’re not sure what this popular item’s official name is, but if you’ve ever gotten one, you know exactly what we’re talking about. Their cuteness is only outmatched by their squishiness. And if you don’t want to squeeze these adorable little buggers like they’re the sweetest baby cheeks around, you might need help. But give it half a day and you’ll see why this one is on our list. They pick up dirt like nobody’s business and turn into totally gross (albeit cute) little masses quickly. And because we know you’re wondering, yes, those sticky hands fall into this category too.

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