Children love the inexpensive party favors: yoyos, bubble makers, marbles, jacks, crayons, jump ropes, miniature cars-sold in variety stores and oriental import shops. But they’ll treasure even more handcrafted favors they make right at the party.
Cut out five cardboard circles, the smallest 4 inches in diameter, the others 5, 7, 8, and 10 inches. Cut a 7- by 2-inch rectangle with a slit down the center through which to read the words written on the disks. Write sentence elements on the perimeters of the disks working from largest to smallest: adjectives, nouns, helping verbs, verbs, prepositional phrases. Fasten disks and rectangle at center with a wing clasp. Twirl disks and read amusing stories.
Cut pictures out of nature magazines and glue them with rubber cement to heavy construction paper. Mark a grid on the back (the construction paper side) and let the children cut out puzzle pieces roughly following the rectangles as guidelines. The size and number of boxes depends on the age of the children (for older children you may even want to vary the shapes). Provide plastic bags to hold (and carry home) the puzzle pieces.
Give the guests small brown lunch bags, 1- by 12-inch strips of colored construction paper for handles, a stapler, and crayons or magic markers. They can then design their own bags for taking home all their party loot.