Best Beat

Setting the Rhythm for Your Music

Mix CD – A Unique Kids Birthday Party Favor

Mix CD – A Unique Kids Birthday Party Favor

A Mix CD is a simple, fun, and long lasting kid’s birthday party favor idea. A CD mix of your child’s favorite songs from the past 12 months easily trumps the dollar-store quality toys, balloons, stickers and regular party favor material which is forgotten about or broken shortly after it is received. A mix CD is long lasting, enjoyable, interactive, and a perfect document of your child’s previous year, through music. When compiled yearly it becomes a chronicle of your child’s interest in music (both the kid and adult variety) and as far as memories go a collection of mix CDs, one for each year of his or her life, will become as treasured as any crayola masterpiece or notches on a growth chart.

Mix CDs can be put together with relative ease assuming you have access to a PC w/ CD-RW drive, the internet/iTunes, and a printer.

Here is what you will need and how much it will cost (for a party of 25 kids):

1) Music, of course! See below for some suggestions. Assuming you do not own any of the music for this CD (which would be odd, since presumably your child has already been enjoying his or her favorite songs) expect to pay .99 cents each on iTunes (but you only have to buy each song once!)

2) CD-Rs.

3) Jewel Cases. We would recommend the slim cases for this project. You could be even more creative by making paper sleeves and stamp and/or stencil the album details on the cover.

4) Labels. Most packs include easy to use software for designing and printing your own labels for the CD, Jewel Case front, back, and spine.


1) The Music – 12 songs (a decent length for a mix CD): $12

2) CD-Rs: $15 (for a 50 pack – so you will have enough for next year’s party!)

3) Slim Jewel Cases: $18 (for a pack of 25)

4) Labels and Software: $15 (for 40 complete sets of CD labels)

Total: $60. Or a little more than $2 each for a party of 25 kids.

Here are some suggestions for “adult” music that can be downloaded from iTunes (or most other digital download services) and shared with your kids of any age, organized as “Louder” and “Softer” selections. Don’t worry, the loud is not ear shattering and the soft will not put you to sleep.

Louder: Bright Eyes “True Blue” from “Motion Sickness – Live Recordings” (a studio version of “True Blue” is available on their “Lua” EP. “Motion Sickness”, a more recent release, was only made available through independent record stores. Both versions are quite good, but our daughter prefers the more raucous live version)

Josh Ritter “Snow is Gone” from “Hello Starling” (a terrific song about the magical period between end of Winter and the dawn of Springtime)

Wilco/Billy Bragg ” Hoodoo Voodoo” from “Mermaid Avenue” (a Woody Guthrie song written for his kids. A ton of fun to listen to as Woody uses several hilarious made-up words and phrases in his lyrics. Wilco and Bragg’s performance is a blast)

Dr. Dog “The World May Never Know” from “Easy Beat” (our daughter’s favorite song at one point. it has a beat so infectious that it is almost impossible not to start dancing, or a the very least swaying back and forth, with the first note)

The Band “Ain’t Got No Home” from “Moondog Matinee” (The Band covered Clarence “Frogman” Henry’s classic 1956 song and made it their own. Your kids will love Levon Helm singing like a Frog on one of the early verses. Check out Clarence Henry’s original version as well)

The Beach Boys “Surfin’ USA” (a summertime classic. what kid or parent can resist singing along with this super-catchy tune. if your child is like mine he or she will soon be turning the knees-bent and arms-out surfing motion into their own new dance, creating an instant classic moment. have your video-camera charged and ready!)


M. Ward “Here Comes the Sun Again” from “Transistor Radio” (a lovely homage to that big ball of heat in the sky from this terrific “old-soul” singer/songwriter)

Red House Painters “Wop-A-Din-Din” from “Old Ramon” (a touching song about a cat. if you and your family have a cat in the house, this song will became a favorite and if you don’t you may want to rush out and get one!)

Archer Prewitt “I’ll Be Waiting” from “White Sky” (lyrically could easily be a love song from parent to child. Archer has one of the finest singing voices of the past decade)

The Gilroys “Martin Candy” from their self-titled CD (kid’s should love the instrumentation and parents with a love of older comedy films should get the funny movie reference in the refrain’s lyrics and song title. full disclosure: my old record label released this song. )

Nick Drake “Northern Sky” from “Bryter Layter” (simply one of the prettiest love songs ever written)

Be sure to include a nice blend of the “adult” songs that your child enjoys as well as their favorite kids tunes. This suggested playlist has been compiled as an iMix on iTunes, titled “OWTK Volume 1”, for quick and easy downloading.

Enjoy the music and your child’s birthday party!

Copyright 2006 www.outwiththekids.com