Alternative party bag favour ideas for kids

alternative party bag ideas for kids

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Now I’ve got a few kids’ birthday parties under my belt I’ve put together some alternative party bag ideas for kids parties. Ideas you can use instead of filling kids’ party bags with cheap plastic and stuff that gets discarded within minutes. I’ve only included links to companies that I’ve actually bought from. 


Alternative party bag ideas for kids

When it comes to throwing a birthday party there is one BIG question that so many of us parents fret over:


Can you throw a kid’s birthday party without party bags?!


The way I see it, it depends on two things… 

  1. …how brave you are
  2. …how creative you are

I admit I am not hugely brave. 

But luckily I am quite creative, so I usually give an alternative to a party bag. 

It isn’t always any cheaper, but it does at least mean that I spend my money on something the kids might actually use and love. 

Plus sourcing one amazing thing is so much less work than having to find a bunch of stuff to stick into bags. 


What are the best alternatives to party bags?

The trick is to go for things that that kids will ooo and ahh over. 

If you are stuck for ideas for alternatives to the traditional kids’ party bags, look no further. 

I’ve put together a list of alternative party bag ideas for kids.

Things you can give kids instead of a party bag full of stuff that gets discarded within minutes. 

The list is based on things that we’ve successfully given as party favours instead of party bags and things that my daughter has received from parties. 


Alternative party bag ideas for kids

1. Grow your own garden sets

I absolutely adore the look of these grow your own garden sets by Clockwork Soldier over on 

Grow your own gifts

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Grow your own gifts

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2. Make your own kit

These Make Your Own kits on are brilliant.

They’re also great value for money – starting at £1.95 a pop (they do international delivery if you’re outside the UK)

They’ve got a bunch of different kits…


Make Your Own Unicorn Wand Kit

Bang on trend for the unicorn theme parties, I just love this Unicorn wand kit from

Alternative kids party favour bag idea, Make Your Own Unicorn Wand Kit

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Make Your Own Model Airplane Kit

Isn’t this just the bees knees? Who doesn’t love a Make Your Own Airplane kit?!

Alternative kids party favour bag idea, Make Your Own Airplane Kit

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3. Paper balloon animals

Keeping on the balloon theme, but giving it a little twist. 

I ADORE these Japanese paper balloon animals. 

They come in sets of either four or sets of 10. from

What is really brilliant is that every balloon is individually packaged, so it is a ready made party favour. 

A really economical one at that. 

Japanese Paper Balloons - kids love these instead of party favour bags


Japanese Paper Balloons gift wrapped - pretty and fun option in place of a party favour bag

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4. A personalised keepsake tin

Kids love a bit of personalisation.

You can either order the tins on their own from, each one personalised with a child’s name, or you can order them filled with chocolate. 

Alternative to kids party favour bag ideas - original personalised keepsake tin

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5.  A journal to write in 

Journaling is a BIG thing at the moment. 

My daughter has received a journal as a party favour a couple of times and she LOVES them. 

She also just received this gorgeous All About Me journal as a gift and started writing in it straight away. 


All About Me journal - better than average party bag favours

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This You Are Awesome journal is full of life hack, tasks and challenges to help each kid to be awesome. What’s not to LOVE!!

the You Are Awesome journal - more memorable than traditional party bag favours

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6. Make your own birdcage 

This birdcage is just magical. I also love that it is made from recycled card. There are three birds that come with the birdcage. 

It’s so easy to make, there’s no need for glue or scissors, so it’s great for kids aged 7+ to make on their own, or for younger kids to make with help. 

Kids alternative party favour bag ideas, kids party bag ideas, kids party favours

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7. Write your own story book

These Write Your Own Story books are just brilliant. 

They are full of hints, tips and tasks to help kids write super amazing stories. The first half of the book is tips based and the second is full of story themes. 

There’s lots of lined space for writing, plus there’s character, setting and additional idea suggestions to help kids create a truly amazing novel!!

Write Your Own Story book - amazing alternative party bag favour

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8. Pre-filled craft party bags

Now craft party bags are simply genius. 

You can either save them to the end of the party to give out as party favours.

Or you can give them to the kids during the party and they spend time at the party making their own party favour! Win win!!

Oglee Poglee do the most gorgeous craft party bags, here’s a selection of them. You can buy them either with or without the addition of a glue stick in each bag. 


Woodland creatures craft party bag

Woodland craft party bag, Oglee Poglee, pre-filled kids craft party bag, alternative party bag ideas, kids party favours

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Pirate adventure craft party bag

Oglee Poglee kids craft party bag, pre-filled craft party bag

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Superhero craft party bag

Kids party bag ideas, kids craft party bag, Oglee Poglee craft party bag

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9. Story books

Now this is one of my favourite ideas.

It’s been a real thing at some of the parties my daughter has been to in the last few months.

Firstly, it’s super worthy, so you win big brownie points from other parents 😉 

Secondly, you can bulk buy sets of books to split up as individual party favours. 

So you can SAVE MONEY!!! Woo hoo!!


Mr Men Box Set – 47 books 

A box set of The Mr Men is great value for younger kids, there’s 47 books in the set, which you can pick up for under £30. 

Mr Men Box Set - give each child a book instead of a party favour bag


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10. A piece of birthday cake and a balloon

Now this is super old school, but also a great way to double up on party decorations and party favours. 

Simply use the balloons to decorate the party space and then hand one out to each child with a slice of cake in a napkin as they leave the party. 

The key is to go for fancy balloons if you really want the wow factor. 

You will of course need helium to blow up the balloons. 

You can buy helium from Amazon 

I really love these confetti filled balloons from Party Pieces.

They come in packs of 5 balloons.

They’ve got a whole range of different confetti options and a whole wide range of really gorgeous balloons at really reasonable prices. 


These animal balloons come in packs of three. They are perfect if you’re having an animal themed party (er, obvs!!) 


Animal balloons - fun and memorable alternative to a party favour bag

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11. Fun little games 

I have a fondness for portable games that kids can take with them when travelling, or to play at the table when eating out. 

They also make great alternatives to party bags, especially when kids are 7+ and the number of party guests is hopefully shorter than in earlier years. 

Here are a couple of little games that work really well as party favours. 


Pass the Pigs 

This is so simple but so much fun. The aim is to be the first to 100 points by throwing the pigs and seeing how they land. All kids I know LOVE it. 

Pass the Pigs game - a party favour bag alternative the kids will keep and enjoy for a long time

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Dobble is a speedy observation game, where players have to race to match the identical symbol between cards.

It’s huge amounts of fun to play. 

Dobble - a party favour bag alternative that kids will value and keep their minds active and sharp


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12. A set of fancy playing cards

Playing cards are our family go-to for fun and games. We have a plain set, but there are loads of fancy sets out there for kids, which make perfect party favours. 

I love these unicorn playing cards from Paperchase. 

Paperchase Unicorn playing cards - adorable to give out as a party bag favour

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13. Pre-filled party cone

I love this idea, because it’s got such a European flavour to it.

So chic as well.

These pre-filled party cones can be personalised.

Just note there is a minimum order of 15 cones.

The bonus bit is that you can add a thank you message – so that’s party gift and thank you nailed in one hit!

What’s not to love?!!


Alternative kids party bag favour ideas, pre-filled party cones

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14. Grow your own gift 

Grow your own seeds gifts make a lovely alternative party favour for kids of all ages, plus they’re the gift that keeps on giving. 

Here’s what you’ll need to create a set of beautifully presented grow your own gifts:

  • Seeds – cress seeds are a great idea for little kids, because it’s super easy to grow cress AND it grows quickly.  Pansy seeds are a lovely idea for older kids, as are peppers
  • Terracotta pots – I love these from Hobbycraft, because they’re totally classic and also great value for money. 
  • Paper napkins – napkins are the perfect size to wrap seeds in, whether they’re in a packet or loose. 
  • Ribbon – I’ve got a thing for grosgrain ribbon for gifts, but there’s a massive selection for you to choose your own at Hobbycraft
  • Paper name tags –  I suggest using luggage tags, because they come with a tie and they’re the perfect size for writing kids’ names on.  I like the scalloped edge tags by Kraft from Hobbycraft, they’ look lovely and they’re super cost effective. 

Neat plant pot kids' party gift instead of a typical party favour bag

There’s a great tutorial over on Rock My Wedding, it’s for wedding favours, but it’s the same idea in principle.


So there you go, some alternative party bag ideas for kids that take away the headache of thinking up ideas for stuffing party bags with.


Want more kids party posts to help you plan your child’s next birthday party? 

Then look no further than the Kids Party section. 

There’s a post with over 50 ideas for away from home party venues and another with 99 party theme ideas

If you’re planning your child’s party at the moment, do check out our Party Games for Under 5s post.

We’ve also put together a post on kids party planning tips.

Plus posts on DIY piñata tutorials and pin the tail printables

I’ve also put together a post about the best toys for babies, it makes a great gift list. 


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Alternative party bag ideas for kids birthday parties

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Hello, I'm Luci, Editor of Mums Make Lists. MML is full of creative tips I’ve put together to bring calm and balance to the lives of busy mums and their families.

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