6 awesome loot bag alternatives for your child’s birthday party

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Kids love loot bags, you know, those little bags filled with toys and treats that they receive at the end of the party. Only trouble is, many of the keepsakes are dollar store items that just end up in the garbage.  Loot bags can also be expensive and stressful for Mom’s and Dad’s when planning a birthday celebration.

Here are some loot bag free party suggestions that will keep costs down but still create a memorable experience for the kids.

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  1. Hire an entertainer like a balloonist, face painter or nail artist. This form of entertainment is fun or kids of all ages. Not only will your guests experience a one-of-a-kind experience, they’ll have a short-term souvenir from the party which can be captured long term in pictures.
  2. Offer a T-shirt around a theme or colour printed with the birthday child’s name. Not only can they wear the item at the party, but they’ll be able to wear it again and again. Check out these customised T-shirtDSCN3693an options here.
  3. Make a keepsake craft. There are hundreds of affordable ideas Monsters5available, you just have to use your imagination. Work your craft around a theme, like these adorable popsicle stick Minion or monster crafts, superhero popsicle heroes or these paper bag monsters puppets. In a fun craft for preschoolers, use fruit loop cereal to craft a necklace or rainbow, or create a great eco-craft like these two versions of bird seed ornaments using cookie cutters or oranges. Or get messy with one of these paintable options: woodland birdhouse craft or monogram letter art.
  4. Rent something cool from a party rental supplier, like a bouncy castle for younger kids, an arcade game or pinball machine or photo booth for older kids, or a popcorn machine or cotton candy maker for an outdoor event or carnival themed party. Local companies offer delivery and set up too!bounce-house
  5. Host a treasure or scavenger hunt with an ultimate prize. Not only is searching for the treasure through a series of clues a fun-filled activity, but the prize can include edible items like wrapped candies, chocolate coins (doubloons!) and small packages of chips or cookies. Depending on the age you can also offer keepsake items like colouring books and crayons, Plimg-article-8-scavenger-hunt-ideas-for-kidsay-doh (for the younger set), baseball, Star Wars or Pokeman cards, dollar store gift certificates, and drugstore products like lip gloss and nail polish (for tweens and teens).
  6. Donate to a charity at the request of the birthday child and give each guest a thank you note telling them a little about the charity and what difference their donation made. Check this site out for free party invitations and ideas.
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Top Ten Face Painting Ideas

Face painting ideasChildren inspire our designs and come with face painting suggestions that are both creative and bold. But without fail, we have our tried and true favourites that always are a big hit with the kids. With vibrant colours and bold designs, these 10 favourite face painting ideas have withstood the test of time.

  1. Face painting ideasPrincess Crown – Fairy tail princesses are always a popular favourite with our little clients. Add some glitter and a bit of bling to create the perfect finishing touch.
  2. Face Painting IdeasButterfly – These beautiful insects look great in all colours of the rainbow. Full face, half face or cheek art, it a favourite with kids of all ages.
  3. Face Painting ideasTiger – The tiger is by far our most popular animal face. Perfect for both boys and girls, from toddler to teen, tigers come in all colours but by far the most popular traditional orange with black stripes.
  4. Face painting ideasCat – Simple as a kitty nose and whiskers to a full face design, the cat is an adorable feline favourite and one of our most requested faces.
  5. Dog – They come in many breeds and colours, our puppy dog faces are a great introduction to the face painting novice and popular with toddlers.
  6. Face painting ideasSpider-Man – My spidey senses tell me that Spiderman is one awesome super hero with a huge fan following. With its bold red, white and black design, it’s always a party pleaser with the lil’ tykes.
  7. Face painting ideasBatman – Next to Spiderman, Batman is easily our next most popular superhero. The dark night bat mask is perfect as a half face, cheek art or just as a simple hand design for newbies.
  8. Face painting ideasRainbow – Always a popular request, we add some unique touches to create a memorable look. You might just find a pot of gold.
  9. Face paintig ideasShark – Kids love fish of all kinds, but the shark is an ocean favourite. Only as scary as your imagination, this face is a popular request from boys and girls.
  10. Face painting ideasFlower Crown – It may not be the sixties, but our hippy flower crown is far out. Add some sparkle for that added groovy look.
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Top 20 kids’ birthday party themes

Face Painting Toronto

Need some help coming up with ideas for your child’s next birthday party?  Happy Faces Party has curated our top 20 kids’ birthday party themes to get you started. You don’t have to break the budget; you’ll find many do-it-yourself theme ideas on Pinterest for décor, food, party games and more or check out the party section of your local $ store. Here are some helpful suggestions:

  1. Disney Princesses – Have all of your guests dress as their favourite Disney princess. Offer up tiaras to your little guests (or make it a craft!), play their favourite Disney theme songs (like Frozen or Beauty and the Beast) and have a face painting station complete with glitter and gems or Sparkle tattoos.
  2. Pirate / Jake the Pirate – Include a treasure hunt into your theme party using a pirate map that includes a “buried” treasure. Keep the them going with loot bags filled with pirate patches and telescope and have a balloon twister on hand to make swords.
  3. Super Heroes – With Marvel being more popular than ever, Batman, Superman, Spiderman and Captain America are always a hit with the kids. Face painting works in great with this theme.
  4. Star Wars / space – there’s no shortage of Star Wars party theme ideas. Complement your party with light saber balloons.
  5. Ninjas / Mutant Ninja Turtles – Decorate with the room with colourful patio lanterns and balloons (or use a red/black Ninja color theme), serve snacks like candy “Sushi” and fortune cookies in Chinese take-out containers with chop-sticks, and offer Ninja bandanas, toy nunchucks and ninja daggers in their loot bags.
  6. Summer Fun – Why not turn your backyard into an ultimate fun zone. Include an inflatable like a bouncy castle and a water feature like an outdoor sprinkler or slip and slide. Pack loot bags with sidewalk chalk, skipping rope and bubbles for the ultimate in outdoor fun.
  7. Dora/Diego – As your guests arrive, offer each a backpack full of useful items and a map of a planned adventure. Complete the theme with a volcano birthday cake.
  8. Disney’s Airplane / Cars – Complete theme with easy to find décor items and loot bags.
  9. Thomas the Tank Engine / Trains – Calling all engineers. Decorate your little one’s party with easy to find décor: plates and cups, banners and balloons. Offer each child an engineer hat, red bandana and train whistle and have an adult dress up like Mr. Conductor. All aboard!
  10. Dinosaur / Jurassic Park – Using a sand table (or sandbox if outdoors), have a dinosaur dig with plastic shovels and tools, coloured play sand and assorted plastic dinosaurs and bones.
  11. Yo Gabba Gabba – Have the kids dress as their favourite character. In the theme, have a dance party with a DJ, play statues and offer up prizes.
  12. Spongebob Squarepants – Decorate the party like Bikini Bottom with a Tiki theme decor. Serve crabby patties and drinks in plastic coconut glasses with paper umbrellas along wit Patrick and Spongebob cupcakes.
  13. Video game theme (Super Mario Bros/Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong) – Rent and arcade game or host your party at a kid friendly arcade. Create food and décor around the theme: Pac Man Birthday cake, game console ice cream sandwiches or cookies and Creeper fruit punch.
  14. Scavenger Hunt / Easter egg hunt – All kids love a hunt inside or out! Make clues to keep the game challenging and offer up an ultimate “prize” that everyone can share.
  15. Jungle/Zoo/Madagascar – There are so many options for décor including party hats, banners, plates and cups and table cloths (or create your own!). Offer a balloon twister to create fun, keepsake animals or hire a professional face painter to paint lively monkeys, tigers or giraffes.
  16. Spa/glam – Offer your junior guests a spa feel by including sparkle tattoos and a “mani/pedi” nail painting station.
  17. Hockey/sports – there are tonnes of NHL ideas (or other sport leagues for that matter) that can inspire your theme party: from hockey pennants and Stanley Cup centre-piece decor, to hockey puck cup cakes or hockey jersey cookies or an ice rink theme cake, you’re sure to create a memorable party for your little league player.
  18. Carnival/Circus – For the biggest impact and for a memorable party for kids and adults alike, set up a “big top” tent, rent a real popcorn or cotton candy machine, and serve hotdog or corn dogs and corn on the cob. Have a balloon twister on hand for added entertainment.
  19. Spy/Detective – Create a detective mystery and have all of the kids involved in solving the clues. Offer the kids walkie-talkies and other toy spy gadgets.
  20. Fairy – Have your little guests come dressed as fairies or have on hand fairy wings, tutus and sparkly wands for quick dress-up. Set a delightful table for a fairy tea party with little sandwiches, cupcakes and pink punch. Decorate the table with flowers, butterflies and fairy dust.

 

 

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Tips for a great theme party

Face Painting TorontoBy Heidi Loney

Having a party? Why not make it into an event by creating a theme party. It’s great for all ages and it will be a change from the norm. These tips will help you get started:

  1. Decide on a theme. Ideas can come from brainstorming with friends and family, the internet, books and magazines or pop culture such as movies and television. Be as creative as you like.
  2. Decide on a date for your themed event. Make sure that it doesn’t conflict with any important family or work event or holiday (unless the theme is tied to the Holiday)
  3. Create invitations that are tied into your theme. Mail or hand deliver the invites – it creates more excitement than a phone call or email. Allow at least two weeks before the party for mailing and ask that everyone RSVP so you know they received the invitation. Sometimes they get lost in the mail.
  4. Make a list of all of the things that need to be accomplished before the party date. This might include food and drinks that you want to serve as well as music, decorations, party games and entertainment (like a face painter!), prizes, etc. You will feel less overwhelmed if you have written everything down.
  5. The party doesn’t have to cost you a bundle. Ask guests to bring one item that you select for them that ties into the theme. This could be a food dish or a beverage. Include this in their invitation.
  6. To encourage guests to dress in costumes, offer incentives such as door prizes (that can be purchased at the dollar store) or lottery tickets.
  7. Ask friends ahead of time to help with music and equipment or helping serve food and drinks. This will make you job as the host/hostess less stressful and you will be able to mingle with guests.
  8. Have plenty of bottled water and non-alcoholic beverages available for guests.
  9. Set an end time if you don’t want guests to overstay their welcome. You don’t want them to have too much fun! Don’t forget to have some cash on hand for taxis.

Some popular theme party ideas are:

  • Great Gatsby / Prohibition – Roaring 20’s
  • Colour theme: pink, blue, etc.
  • Titanic Era
  • Tiki / Hawaiian
  • Disco – 1970’s
  • Mods and Rockers
  • Mexican Fiesta
  • Vicars and Vixens
  • Superheroes and heroines
  • Screen Heroes and Heroines
  • Legends
  • Medieval Knights / Lord of the Rings
  • Agatha Christie / Murder Mystery
  • Pirates
  • Wizards / Harry Potter
  • Fantasy / Sci-fi
  • Carnival / Circus

Major events that make great themes:

  • Holidays
  • Weddings
  • Anniversaries
  • Showers (Bridal and Baby)
  • Stag and Does
  • Birthdays
  • Graduations
  • Proms
  • Fundraisers (church and school)
  • Engagement
  • Oktoberfest
  • Patrick’s Day
  • Halloween
  • Mardi Gras

 

 

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Happy Faces Party is In Banff for Bodyssey & Beyond 2016!

Bodyssey & Beyond

A view of downtown Banff, AB.

The team from Happy Faces Party arrived in Banff, Alberta yesterday for the Bodyssey & Beyond 2016 face and body painting conference at the gorgeous Banff Centre for the Arts nestled between the mountains in Banff Alberta. The conference is hosted by CAFABA – Canadian Association of Face and Body Artists. Our face painting artists and balloonists will be attending workshops all week fine tuning our skills!

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