Bean Bag Favors

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A and I were discussing birthday parties that we went to as kids; for him a party favor was maybe one little toy or gift handed out on the way out.  For me, it was always the same; a party bag.  A little plastic bag with your name written on it with a few little toys, maybe a bouncy ball, a couple of novelty erasers, a pencil, a mini-pinball game and a few penny sweets and a piece of birthday cake wrapped in a napkin.  You see, we never ate the cake at the party.  There was always jelly and ice cream and fairy cakes and crisps and sausage rolls and sandwiches to fill up on, so the cake always went home in the bag.  Usually my mum ate it, I think, because I never used to like birthday cake.

Anyway, the point of this reminiscing is that I have now come around to being the mum who provides the party bags.  Except, I am not sure what is expected here in the US.  I have only been to a few parties with B so far and the favors have been mixed, if any at all.  The shops are full of the usual tat that could fulfill any party bag aspiration, so I think pretty much anything goes.  A thinks party bags are definitely not required at a 2 year-old’s birthday party and the rational, logical silver of my brain left agrees with him.  Yet, despite being hugely pregnant and exhausted all the time, I still feel compelled to make some kind of favors for BB’s second birthday.  We’re going to have a little party for her with a few friends and I really want to have something handmade for her to give to them when they leave.

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Bean bags seem like a good way to go.  Easy to make, tactile, cheap, accessible for all ages, although most of the kids are under four, and fun!  Who doesn’t like chucking a few bean bags around.  Maybe they can even learn to juggle…

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I found these cute little pails at Target and bought some organic “fruit snacks,” (just sweets with a fancy name) and then couldn’t stop myself from adding a chunky pencil, a sand mold and a curly straw too.  Then, after some deliberation, I decided it was also a good idea to cut out felt name badges and stick magnets on the back to complete the look.  It was time-consuming, but the kind of time-consuming that feels good because you are making something really cute and exciting for your little one.  Know what I mean?  B was really excited to look at them lined up on the piano each day as her birthday party drew closer.

Hat for Baby Sister

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A little hat for the baby, I don’t want one of those striped hospital hats on her (fingers crossed that won’t even be a possibility) and even the commercially bought ones we have are OK, but I wanted something unique and made with love on her head for the first time.  I’ve been looking at a lot of newborn baby photos lately, and the ones wearing handknits definitely seem to be the most peaceful to me!  The yarn is Knit One, Crochet Two Nautika.  It is acrylic, which I am not in love with, but very soft.  I may yet make another one out of cotton for her first wear.  Being born in August means she likely won’t wear it much and any kind of wool is definitely a no-no.

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The pattern is Kate Gilbert’s Shining Star hat.  I love the idea of a little star on the top of her head.

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Fingers crossed it fits!