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Organize a Kids' Clothing Swap Party

A Quick, Easy and Inexpensive Party Idea


Any parent will vouch for the old saying that "kids grow like weeds", and so does the required clothing budget for them. It seems that no sooner do you stock up on their current size, and they're ready for the next one. That's why many parents will either shop at yard sales, or trade with friends. Make an event of the swap with your friends, and you can have fun making new memories while sharing (sometimes sentimental) stories about the clothes you trade.

Preparing for Your Clothing Swap

Invite a group of friends with children of varying ages so that there will be a good mix of sizes and styles. Instruct them that only clothing in good condition should be brought.

Decide whether children are to be included at this party or left at home. Let your guests know on your invitation whether children are welcome. Choose the time for your party with the age of the children in mind:

  • A daytime, morning event (before naptime) is best for stay-at-home moms with little kids.
  • A party directly after work, before heading home, could be a fun cocktail event.
  • After dinner, and after the kids have been tucked in would be a perfect time to host a dessert party.

Choose a room for the exchange. It should have plenty of space, including tables and chairs to display everyone's clothing.

Purchase a roll of raffle type tickets at your party store. Give each guest a ticket for each item of clothing they bring to the party. These tickets will then be used to claim an equal number of swapped items.

Play fun, upbeat music to make your party feel like an event.


Keep your refreshments light and simple, since the main focus of this party will be the clothing swap. For even greater economy, turn this into a potluck party where you ask each guest to bring a dish. You provide the refreshments, the plates, glasses, coffee, and one or two things to eat. Here are menu suggestions for different times of the day.

For a morning party:

  • bagels and cream cheese
  • quick breads
  • fruit

An after-work cocktail party:

  • cheese and crackers
  • olives
  • nuts

A later night dessert party:

  • cookies
  • brownies
  • cheesecake (sometimes a mom has to live it up)

Party Favors and Leftovers

Each mom should be able to go home with an armful of clothing, a perfect party favor. Any leftover clothing that hasn't been selected can be bagged up and donated to a local charity or thrift shop.

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