10 Non-Toy Birthday Presents for Kids

We know how it is: Every holiday introduces a new wave of toys to your house. If your kiddo has enough toys to stock the store’s toy aisle, it might be time to think outside the box and get creative when it comes to your child’s next birthday.

10 Non-Toy Birthday Presents

Today we’re going to share 10 creative, non-toy birthday present ideas for the kid who has it all:

  1. Magazine Subscription– This is the gift that keeps on giving all year long. A magazine that is fun and entertaining will not only spark a love for reading, but it will also be something that the birthday boy or girl looks forward to each month.
  2. Classes – Whether it’s piano, horseback riding, or art lessons, classes open up new worlds to children. Who knows, you might create a lifelong passion — or career — for the child!
  3. Hobby Supplies – Give the birthday kid the tools they need to explore a new hobby, such as knitting needles and yarn; watercolor paint, brushes, and paper; fishing tackle; or a model airplane kit.
  4. Memberships – It could be a membership to the zoo, aquarium, or museum. This is a gift that the whole family will enjoy!
  5. Tickets – Tickets to the movie theater, a concert, or sports event will create memories that will last a lifetime.
  6. Books – It’s important for the adults in a child’s life to encourage reading. Gift the birthday kid your favorite childhood book!
  7. A Day Out – Whether it’s a day at the batting cage, the amusement park, or the miniature golf course, your favorite kiddo will appreciate fun time spent with you more than any toy.
  8. Stationery – Get the birthday boy or girl a fun set of stationery and encourage writing to distant friends, family, or even a pen pal!
  9. Camera – It doesn’t have to be anything fancy! Kids love taking photos and will enjoy having a camera of their own. You could even consider giving the birthday boy or girl a disposable camera as a bit of a throwback to film days. They’ll get a kick out of it!
  10. Sponsor a Child in Their Name – Not only will you be helping a child in need, but you’ll be teaching the birthday boy or girl about the importance of charitable giving. Find a charity, like World Vision, that pairs you up with a child to sponsor. The birthday boy or girl will be able to communicate with the child they are sponsoring via letters, emails, and packages. It will open up the birthday boy or girl’s eyes to other parts of the world and cultures.

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Party Etiquette Tips for Hosts

Last week, we shared our favorite party etiquette tips for guests. Today we’re back with etiquette tips for hosts! These points of party etiquette will create the most enjoyable experience for your guests and make you the hostess with the mostess! Everyone will hope for an invitation to your party when you follow these party etiquette tips:

Party Etiquette for Hosts

  1. Be clear on invitations: Make sure your guests can glean all the details they need about the party from the invitation. Include a map and directions, if needed, and any special details that make it easier to find the party location. Make sure the formality of the party is obvious, and include attire information if appropriate. Also, make it clear who is invited. If children are invited, address the invitation to the whole family.
  2. Tidy up & declutter – It goes without saying that you should clean your house before entertaining, but it might also be smart to declutter the party space a bit. Make room on surfaces for setting plates and cups (put coasters down on surfaces where you want them used). Take things off the fridge; put away mail, paperwork, and bills; put the calender away, and remove any distracting art, photographs, or decor from the space.
  3. Make guests comfortable — Warmly greet each guest as he or she arrives and thank them for coming. Keep everyone’s glasses full, the food table stocked, and offer to take finished plates and cups. If you see someone standing alone, introduce him or her to other guests.
  4. Keep calm and carry on — Try to not get frazzled, because your guests will be able to sense your stress and may feel like they are imposing. Don’t sweat the small stuff or get stressed out over trivial details.
  5. Make seating arrangements – For a dinner party with a large table or multiple tables, make seating arrangements. Be thoughtful when placing guests; for example, it’s best to keep big talkers in the middle of the table, on opposite sides, and the conversation will flow down the table.
  6. Have visible trash receptacles – Make it  obvious where guests should throw away trash. If serving olives or shrimp, have pit and tail bowls nearby.
  7. Keep the bathroom guest-ready – Make sure the restroom is well-stocked with toilet paper, tissues, and soap. Keep a scented candle and matches in the restroom as well.

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St. Patrick’s Day Party Ideas

Top o’ the morning to ya! Today we’re excited to share our new St. Patrick’s Day party supplies with you, as well as fun St. Pat’s party ideas.

PartyPail.com St. Patrick's Day Party Supplies

Our NEW line of St. Patrick’s Day party supplies features leprechaun hats, shamrocks, and lots of green. We have custom St. Patty’s Party Supplies that you can personalize with your party’s details, as well as St. Patrick’s Day solid color tableware in various shades of green and gold to pull the whole look together. Be sure to stock up on our playful St. Pat’s items, such as beverage napkins that say, “Everyone’s Irish Today!”;  buttons that say, “Speak Fluent Blarney,”; and hats that say, “On St. Patrick’s Day I’m Irish…”

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Party Etiquette Tips for Guests

Here at PartyPail, we  have all the party supplies and advice you need to be an excellent hostess. But what if you’re the guest? Out of respect for your hostess and fellow party-goers, there are several etiquette points to keep in mind, because you certainly don’t want to come off as uncouth or ungrateful!

PartyPail Party Etiquette Tips for Guests

Here are our top tips for being a graceful and gracious guest who gets invited back:

  1. RSVP — Nothing drives a hostess crazy more than guests who don’t RSVP. Let the hostess know whether or not you’ll be coming by the date requested. Many of the hostesses’preparations, such as buying party supplies and food, rely  on knowing how many guests will be attending the party. If your plans change last-minute, let your hostess know. It’s always better to over-communicate!
  2. Know who’s invited – If the invitation is for you and your significant other, or you and a guest, then you can assume that other guests and children are not invited. If the invitation is made out to the whole family, then chances are you’re welcome to bring the kids. When in doubt, ask the hostess who is invited and get a babysitter if needed. And whatever you do, do not bring your dog unless you are absolutely positive it’s welcome!
  3. Show up on time — It’s important to arrive on-time, within 15 minutes of the time stated on the invitation. And for heaven’s sake, don’t arrive early! The minutes leading up to a party are often spent cleaning up, putting final touches on food, and taking the dog out — all with curlers still in the hair!
  4. Be Helpful — Ask the hostess what you can do to help. If you see something specific that needs to be done, say “Can I help you fill the ice bucket/fill the veggie tray/fill in the blank.” However, don’t overstep when offering help.
  5. Be a willing participant — So you’re not a fan of ice breakers,  but the hostess wants everyone to play. In this situation, it’s best to put on a smile and participate. When it’s time to eat, head to the table. When the hostess needs to get everyone’s attention, help her get everyone quieted down. Your hostess put a lot of thought into the occasion, so participate with a willing spirit!
  6. Remember what your momma taught you — When it comes to food and drink etiquette, just remember what your momma taught you! Don’t overindulge. Don’t double-dip. Keep your elbows off the table. Use coasters. Don’t leave empty cups and plates laying around. Be mindful of pit bowls and shell/tail bowls.
  7. Put your phone away — It’s fine to keep your phone in  your pocket in case the babysitter calls, but don’t spend the evening texting and checking emails and social media. Turn the sound off, or put your phone on vibrate. If you do need to take a call, politely excuse yourself and find somewhere private to talk. Also, check with your hostess before sharing photos on social media. She may not want photos inside her home online.
  8. Show your thanks — Thank the hostess for having you as you arrive and leave. It’s also polite to bring a hostess gift under most circumstances. This could be flowers in a vase, a bottle of wine, or a basket of fruit. For more gift ideas, be sure to check out our blog post, 10 Hostess Gifts that Get you Invited Back!

With these party etiquette tips you’re well on your way to being they type of guest everyone wants to have at their parties! What are your favorite party etiquette tips?

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10 Mardi Gras Party Ideas

The other week we shared Mardi Gras party ideas to complement our Mardi Gras party supplies, and today we’re back with MORE Mardi Gras inspiration! This time, we’re sharing 10 of our favorite party ideas from our Mardi Gras Party Ideas Pinterest board. From food to decorations to activities, your guests will be transported to the Big Easy in no time with these 10 ideas:

1. Jambalaya

 Mardi Gras Party Ideas: Jambalaya Recipe

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Add a  little New Orleans cuisine to your party menu with this jambalaya recipe! Your guests will drool over the flavorful sausage, shrimp, and rice concoction.

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Galentine’s Day Ideas

This guest post is brought to you by Jess of From Rain to Shine! She’s here today to share her favorite Gal Pal Valentine’s Day Ideas!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is most certainly in the air. While some of us may be celebrating with a significant other, it’s also a wonderful time to celebrate friendship. Why not host a gathering of your best gal pals to laugh, smile, and spend time being with one another. Check out how we styled a Valentine’s Day brunch that is tasty and oh-so-cute!

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Supporting Military Moms Through Operation Shower!

Operation ShowerImage Credit: Operation Shower

PartyPail.com is thrilled to have worked with the organization Operation Shower the past couple years. We’re proud to have been part of celebrating military families and take pride in having helped to offer these special moms-to-be a baby shower. Operation Shower began in 2007 with a simple request to send cards to women who were expecting babies while their spouses were deployed. LeAnn Morrissey felt the need to do more and decided to ask friends and family to help her send out a “shower in a box” to four women. Due to overwhelming support of the project, LeAnn was hooked! Soon, she was offering unit wide events — and Operation Shower was born.

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Valentine’s Day Candy Buffet

Whether you’re planning a school classroom Valentine’s Day party, a Galentine’s Day party for your girlfriends, or a gathering for your couple friends, you can sweeten the celebration with a Valentine’s Day candy buffet! A candy buffet makes a perfect party activity and favor as your guests can help themselves to the candies they want and take them home. A Valentine’s Day candy buffet is also a fabulous focal point in the room adding to your party decorations. Want to create your own Valentine’s Day candy buffet? Read on for our candy bar essentials!

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10 Plastic Cutlery Crafts

Here at PartyPail, we’re always looking for creative ways to use party supplies in unconventional ways. Below we have gathered a list of 10 fun craft tutorials that can be done by using any of our colored plastic cutlery. These crafts range from kids’ activities to home decor — who knew you could use utensils like this!

1. Plastic Spoon Wreath

10 Plastic Cutlery Crafts: Plastic Spoon Wreath

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Create this beautiful wall hanging to decorate any entry or hallway in your home. Guests will never believe how inexpensive it is or that it is made from plastic spoons! Change it up by choosing one of our 30+ solid color plastic spoons!

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10 Paper Straw Crafts

Paper straws are one party trend that’s not going anywhere. They add whimsical color and pattern to party drinks and tablescapes, and guests love them!

But did you know there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to paper straws? Besides being used for sipping party punch, crafty folks are coming up with clever ways to use paper straws for DIY projects and crafts.

We rounded up 10 of our favorite paper straw crafts that you can easily create using our paper straws. We have rainbow of striped paper drinking straws available, so the opportunities are endless!

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