Sep 29, 2011

Invention kit party bags

Well, I left this until the very last moment! I'm not sure if this is the norm all across America or if it's done anywhere else in the world either, but here locally in the elementary schools, kids bring in treat bags for their friends when it's their own birthday. Carys is about to turn seven and she wanted to make each of her classmates an "invention kit". She's really into making things, totally random things, mind bogglingly weird things with all the bits and pieces of craft supplies and recycling that we have in our home, so it seemed like a natural sort of gift to come from her.

My first thought was "How do I make this not look like a bag of bits and bobs of random rubbish?" I personally loved the idea of an invention kit vs the usual plastic party bag misc, but I didn't want her friends to think "Why are you giving me paperclips and string you weirdo?", so I figured a bit of creative marketing might do the trick.

The other reason I liked the idea was that we could put it together quite cheaply for a class of 24 kids. I had quite a lot of stuff around already that we could use in the kits, so it only took $4 spent in Daiso for the bags and candy, plus another $10 in the Dollar Tree for extra bits.

In the bags are:

  • Paper (origami sheets and strips)
  • Craft foam
  • card (coloured index card)
  • Goggly eyes
  • Rubber bands
  • A balloon
  • Metalic tie tags
  • Paper clips
  • Straws
  • Glitter glue
  • A Magnet
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Crayons
  • Double sided sticky foam pads
  • Pom poms
  • Adhesive Jewels
  • String
  • A mini flourescent cable tie
  • Foam stickers
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Modeling clay
  • 2 different candies

Quite a lot fits in the little bag! I won't lie, it took a while to divide up all the bits into the 24 bags and make the paper topper for the kit, but it was done in a couple of hours, so not all that bad really.

I put together the label for the top of the bag to personalise the gift and to make it look a bit like a proper craft kit so the kids are more enthused with the notion of an open ended, inventing project. They are just printed on regular printer paper, two to a sheet, folded over and then stapled onto the top of the bag. This is the back of the label that lists the contents.

I actually had enough supplies to make 30 bags, which is great because we have some freinds coming over for Pizza and a movie on her actual birthday, which is Saturday, so they can have a kit each too.

We've been planning and making her birthday present again this year. You might remember the Falcon dollhouse and Star Wars peg dolls from last year, well this year we've attempted something a bit bigger and significantly more ambitious, so with a three month old also in the picture, it'll be interesting to see if we can get it finished in time. By the way, the aforementioned three month old just keeps getting more and more delicious every day and looks so much like her biggest sister, the birthday girl did at that age!

The photo on the left was taken almost seven years ago! Seven! Brain cannot compute!


Sarakenobi said...

whoa! you better label and timestamp all your photos :)

Fiona said...

A fabulous idea (as always) and so much nicer than a bag of plastic junk.
Not to mention that those baby pics are just adorable...

Lola said...

What a wonderful idea, I love it! I'm sure all the kids had a great time inventing with them! Lovely little baby!

WeAreWildThings said...

I think these are a great idea. :)

bethany actually said...

Wow, that resemblance is remarkable. And this idea for invention kits is brilliant! Thank you for sharing it!

I Love Crafts said...

Great idea! Its the same here in the Philippines where you have to hand out goody bags to all kids who come to a birthday party. I deal with it by having craft parties where the kids have to make their own giveaways!

bethany actually said...

(And yes, I think it's pretty common all over the states for kids to bring something in for their classmates on their birthdays. When I was a kid, it was common to bring in cupcakes or cookies.)

Jen said...

Oh my goodness, I just want to squeeze those little baby cheeks! Sooo sweet. Great idea with the inventing bagr-clever!

Stacy said...

Great Idea to get those little minds working. I would love to see what they each came up. I bet they are all so different.

Creatively Content said...

Have to say the baby pics are the clincher in this post. Pure sweetness. congrats

Get Your Mess On! said...

Brilliant! Brilliant! And so heart-melting, those babes :)

nunu said...

you are a genius and your daughter is too! i love this idea - never had a creative first grader like that in one of my classes. amazing. thanks for always sharing your awesome creations. i do hope you get a book deal out of all this one day. you guys make cute babies too btw. : )

KathrynLang said...

WONDERFUL idea with the gift bags - now to figure out how to twist this to my son's "mad scientist" party :)

Carrie said...

my oldest turns 6 on Monday and we're planning on doing smoothies in his class as a birthday treat. I told him to think of something fun and healthy we could do with the class and that's what came up.

Lindsey said...

Ah Carrie, love the smoothie idea! We did rainbow fruit and yoghurt pretzel rainbows in class when she was six, but this year in second grade it just has to be something to hand out before the kids go home. Sadly the school has an only store bought rule with food too, si it's not like I can make cupcakes or anything either.

Creatively Content, I could probably just start posting any old rubbish as long as I followed it up with a cute baby photo huh? ;)

Stacy, I would love to see what different things get made too!

Lindsey said...

Oh dear, I meant yoghurt pretzel *clouds*. I need more sleep! Alas the middle daughter was stricken with a fever of 102 last night, Just hope the wee bambino doesn't get whatever caused it!

Liz said...

Very cool. I've never sent in goody bags, but what a great ideas. I love your packaging!

Debbie G said...

Love the idea, something different in party bags is great, I'd much rather give something to do that the normal tat....I once sent the kids home with a really simple shaped mask and some colouring pencils. I was amazed how many showed up next day with their creations for 'show and tell'. I bet the parents were pleased too!
Fab baby (as if you need telling!) x

Teresa said...

I love this idea! I am going to use it for my daughter's 6th birthday party! I love your ideas!

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic idea! I love it!

Sylvan said...

Wow! How cool.

What program did you use to make the labels? They look really good! :)

bioluminescence said...

Love your idea! Horrified by the idea of a bag coming home from every kid in the class though. Seriously? I worked in public and private schools in the east bay from maybe 13-7 years ago and that was unheard of. We did make pleas for healthy snacks sometimes. Goodness gracious. I am so against that. Not good for $ OR clutter stressed parents. And then if the kid has a party outside of school they do it all again?

Lindsey said...

Sylvan, There are open source design and photo manipulation programs available such as Inkscape and Gimp that will allow you to make something similar. Depends how custom you want to make something, because just drawing something out and hand writing it then scanning and printing duplicates or photocopying them would give nice results too.

Bioluminescence, I don't know where this custom has come from. I never experienced it back in the UK growing up. The request from the school is that it be something the children can take home, rather than food to be consumed in the classroom. We had a very small party at home, but my guess would be that people who have a big birthday party would make party favours all over again for that too, which does seem like a lot of work and expense, especially if it's for the same kids as already got something in class.

M for Short said...

Again, if any of your little munchikins should EVER dare say "My mom's is not cool," you can counter with, "Allow me to present Exhibit A..." Love it.

Marie {Make and Takes} said...

Stop it with those baby photos!! Even the little mouths are the same. So fun!

Melissa Taylor said...

how fun is this - I wish my kids were in her class. Clever girl. :)

xo, Joan said...

I so look forward to your posts and this one was a delight! Love the bits and pieces idea and the baby photos absolutely delightful as well! Darling babies you have there! And so precocious in their posing, up so strongly with their heads and shoulders! Looks like ready to crawl right off! Hope rest of partying was as fun as the prep for the first one!

Heather said...

Oh my gosh...what little cuties! I love the faces...and those are one clever lady. That sure does beat all the random cr*p that comes in goody bags that just ends up in the garbage after a few days. Great work!

pam said...

You never cease to be brilliant!

If I had little ones left at home, I would be so following your lead and making these!

However, I have been thinking that a "craft kit" of sorts would make very good birthday gifts for my two "borrowed children". You have given me encouragement in that direction! thank you!

You definitely have potential as a marketer!