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Are you looking for cool and unusual kids party bag ideas? I’ve put together a list of over 20 great alternative party bag ideas for kids parties.
Many of the ideas on my list are truly unique and will have you looking like you’ve put a huge amount of thought into giving something really special as party favours.
20+ ALTERNATIVE PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR KIDS: UNUSUAL AND COOL PARTY FAVOUR IDEAS FOR KIDS PARTY BAGS
There is so much pressure on parents to provide cool party bags for their kids parties, but what if you don’t want to spend a fortune or just fill a bag with cheap plastic tat?
With a huge focus on how we can all reduce the amount of stuff we waste, particularly single-use plastic, I think it really is time to say goodbye to stuffing kids’ party bags with junk, and instead, putting a few well-chosen items into a party bag or giving out a single party favour instead.
I’ve noticed a growing trend for giving a single party favour as an alternative to filled party bags.
The kids I know, including my daughter, absolutely love it when they receive a really thoughtful party gift. Craft activities also make great party favours!
Take a look at my list of party bag ideas to help you plan how to fill party bags or give great party favours.
I’ve also created a list of alternatives to party bag filler ideas by age, starting from party favours for two year olds, through three year olds, four year olds, five year olds, six year olds, seven year olds, eight year olds, nine year olds and ending with ten year olds.
Oh and you can now download my free kids party checklist, where you can make sure to tick off party bag favours!
A lot of these ideas could also work for prizes for kids party games.
ALTERNATIVE KIDS PARTY BAG IDEAS
The list of party bag ideas I’ve put together 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.
1. PAPER BALLOON ANIMALS
These paper balloon animals make for a truly unique party bag alternative that will have little kids’ faces lighting up with joy.
Each balloon is individually packaged so they make PERFECT ready-made party favours and really budget-friendly ones!!!
2. PERSONALISED KEEPSAKE TINS
Now these personalised keepsake tins make really cool party bag alternatives.
Kids love a bit of personalisation. You can buy the tins empty or order them filled with chocolate from Not On The Highstreet.
3. MAKE YOUR OWN KITS
GROW YOUR OWN GARDEN KITS
1. Grow Your Own Dinosaur Garden
This Grow Your Own Dinosaur Garden is a gorgeous pop-up woodland kit with real cress seeds for kids to enjoy planting and watch grow.
2. Grow Your Own Magical Garden
If dinosaurs aren’t your kids’ thing, then this Grow Your Own Magical Garden set is equally fun, it comes complete with pop up unicorns, what’s not to love?!
3. Personalised Make Your Own Magical Unicorn Garden
If unicorns are a favourite, then this Personalised Make Your Own Unicorn Garden is a gorgeous gift, it all comes neatly in a lovely tin
These Make Your Own kits on NotOnTheHighStreet.com 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)
MAKE YOUR OWN TOY KITS
4. STORY BOOK BOX SETS
Looking for a really cheap party bag idea? One really budget-friendly and cost-effective way alternative party bag idea is to buy a book set and then divide the books up as individual party favours. It’s been a real thing at some of the parties my daughter has been to in the last few months.
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid is super popular with 8 years olds upwards. Break up the 12 books and give one each as a party favour.
5. A JOURNAL TO WRITE IN
Journaling is a BIG thing at the moment. Which makes these journals a super cool party bag idea for kids. My ten-year-old daughter has received a journal 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.
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!!
6. WRITE YOUR OWN STORYBOOK
These Write Your Own Storybooks 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!!
7. PERSONALISED JEWELLERY MAKING KITS
These personalised jewellery making kits are perfect as a birthday party activity that is also the party favour. They are great when kids aren’t so into party games and want to hang out doing something fun instead.
8. PRE-FILLED TREATS PARTY FAVOURS
1. PRE-FILLED PARTY CONES
I love this idea, because it’s got such a European flavour to it. The treat filled cones can be personalised, just not that there is a minimum order of 15 cones.
You have the option to add a thank you note to the cones, so they can double-up as party favour and thank you all in one, very budget friendly and time-saving!! What’s not to love?!!
2. PERSONALISED TREAT POTS
These Personalised Treat Pots have enough space on the lid for a name and a few more party details, perfect for complete customisation.
9. MAKE YOUR OWN BIRDCAGE
This Make Your Own Paper Birdcage Kit is just magical. I also love that it is made from recycled card.
The birdcage is SO EASY to make, there’s no need for glue or scissors, so it makes a great party bag idea for kids aged 7 years old and upwards to make on their own or for younger kids to make with help.
10. FUN LITTLE GAMES PARTY FAVOURS
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.
1. PASS THE PIGS
Pass The Pigs is such a simple game, but it’s so much fun. Great for whipping out at restaurants whilst hungry kids wait for their food. 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.
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.
11. 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.
12. 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
These animal balloons come in packs of three. They are perfect if you’re having an animal themed party (er, obvs!!)
13. 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.
Grow Your Own Giant Sunflower Kit
This Grow Your Own Giant Sunflower kit is hard to beat when it comes to putting a smile on little kids’ faces. The kit is eco-friendly with a bamboo seed tray and peat-free compost, so there’s lots of lovely talking points for parents and kids. You can get the Giant Sunflower Kit over on Amazon.
Make your own seed kits
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.
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.
PARTY BAG FILLERS AND ALTERNATIVE PARTY FAVOUR IDEAS BY AGE-GROUP FROM 2 YEARS OLD TO TEN YEARS OLD
PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR TWO-YEAR-OLDS
- Baby Einstein board book (buy in set of 12)
- Finger paints
- Wooden spinning top (18 pieces in one pack)
- Bio Bubbles – eco-friendly organic bubbles
- Superhero rubber ducks
PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR THREE-YEAR-OLDS
- Chunky train wooden jigsaw
- Play-doh party pot (buy in party bag of 15 pots, super budget-friendly)
- Animal finger puppets
- Make your own unicorn wand OR Make your own superhero mask
- Wooden rocket stand up kit
PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR FOUR-YEAR-OLDS
- Air-dry colourful modelling clay (buy in bulk for budget-friendliness)
- Make your own garden kit
- Colourful wooden animal bookmark
- Wooden birdhouse making kit (two per set for great value)
- Robot jelly bean party favour boxes
PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR FIVE-YEAR-OLDS
Wondering what to put in a party bag for a five year old? Here’s my top suggestions for alternative goodie bag fillers or party favours that you can give instead of party bags, that five year old girls and boys will love.
Five year olds are still at an age where they love lots of loot in their party bag, the thrill of being given a party bag kind of outweighs what is actually in it. But that doesn’t mean you should just fill it with junk!
Here’s a list of junk-free party bag fillers that five year old kids will think is lovely loot that they will actually use.
PARTY FAVOUR IDEAS FOR 5-YEAR-OLDS
- Coloured pencils set
- Make your own rocket egg kit
- Wooden dexterity games
- Wooden wand making kit B07CRX597M
PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR SIX-YEAR-OLDS
- Wooden animal yoyo
- Wooden animal handle skipping rope
- Wooden bracelet by Little Otter
- Nut Bugs
- Wooden articulated dinosaurs
- Cute tattoos, Animal tattoos
PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR SEVEN-YEAR-OLDS
- Write Your Own Story book
- Tiger in the Garden Seedbom
- Pirates Treasure – Fools Gold
- Clown topped colourful pencil
- Bug pencil sharpeners
- Animal eraser and sharpener set
- Dinosaur themed sweetie party pots
- Personalised party chocolate bar
- Personalised baking kit
PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR EIGHT-YEAR-OLDS
- Make your own biscuit kit
- Kidz Labs Lemon Clock
- Wooden transformer robot
- Personalised keepsake tin
- Wooden animal keyrings
- Wooden dinosaur stamps
- Wooden unicorn stamps
- Cute animal topped pencils
- Animal shaped notepads
PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR NINE-YEAR-OLDS
- Three minute gratitude journal for kids
- Biodegradable vegan skin glitter
- Edible paper money
- Heart sticker rolls
- Mini doodles notebook
- Animal memo holders
PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR TEN-YEAR-OLDS
- Natural lip gloss by Little Lulubel
- Water based nail polish
- Coated Oreo party favour in box or Unicorn coated Oreo party favour in box
- Playtime coated Oreo party favours
- Giant swirly lollipop
- Lick A Bubble edible bubbles (buy in pack of four)
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT KIDS PARTY BAGS AND THEIR ALTERNATIVES
DO YOU HAVE TO GIVE PARTY BAGS AT A KIDS PARTY?
Over the last couple of decades, party bags have become a big part of kids birthday parties. Back in the day, we all used to get a slice of cake and a balloon if we were lucky! But do you have to give out party bags?
The simple answer is NO! You absolutely don’t have to and luckily there are plenty of alternative ways to tackle the issue of what to give kids as a parting favour if you give them anything at all.
The whole reason party bags became something of a prerequisite was because they are meant to be a little thank you to each guest for coming to the party, they are also meant to serve as a little something to take home as a memento of the party.
The emphasis here is on the word LITTLE!! A little something. Unfortunately, thanks to competitive parent syndrome, social media and the rise of influencers, party bags and party favours have become something of a minefield for the average parent who just wants to host a nice party for their child!!
Kids party bags can add a lot of money to your party budget and it can take a lot of time to plan, shop for them and fill them.
The good news is, you don’t have to give party bags out. You can give a single gift or party favour instead of a bag. Most parents will thank you for it!
WHAT CAN I GIVE INSTEAD OF A PARTY BAG?
Budget can play a huge role in helping you decide what to give out. Try not to bow to peer pressure or keeping up with your local area’s answer to a Kardashian party host.
Take some time to put together a party plan and then work with the budget you have. I’ve got a post with a big list of party planning tips you will find useful.
Here are some good party favour ideas that you can give instead of party bags include:
- Create a selfie photo-area at the party and give every child a polaroid selfie
- Have a craft activity that once complete becomes the party gift
- Personalised keepsake tins make great party favours
- Make your own kit
- A personalised keepsake tin. Kids love a bit of personalisation
- A journal to write in
- Write your own storybook
- Pre-filled craft party bags
- A piece of birthday cake and a balloon
- A book (break up a box set of kids books for a super budget-friendly gift)
- Edible treats (do something homemade if you have time and put it in a little gift bag or box)
BUT WHAT IF YOU DO WANT TO CREATE PARTY BAGS? WHAT CAN YOU PUT IN THEM?
If you want to go ahead with making party bags to give out, there are ways to create budget friendly party bags that are also eco-friendly.
PRE-FILLED KIDS PARTY BAGS
If you are short on time or just want to avoid the stress and effort of piecing together party bags, you can buy pre-filled party bags.
The trick is finding the pre-filled bags that aren’t just full of cheap plastic junk and rubbish sweets.
To help save you time and effort, I’ve got a list of seven absolutely brilliant pre-filled kids party bags, a couple of them just have a single item inside, but each bag contains something that kids will love and actually use.
CRAFT KITS THAT MAKE BRILLIANT PARTY FAVOURS
Craft parties are super popular with parents for lots of reasons, including the fact that you can use the craft activity as a party favour! I’ve put together a list of really gorgeous craft kits for kids parties that double as party favours.
ECO-FRIENDLY PARTY BAG FILLER IDEAS
We all need to be as environmentally conscious and conscientious as possible. Choosing to skip plastic junk and going for eco-friendly party filler options instead is a great way to cut down on landfill and single-use plastic waste.
Looking for ideas to fill party favour bags with? Here’s a list of the types of things that are either eco-friendly or that you can buy eco-friendly versions of to put inside party bags:
1. EDIBLE FAVOURS
- Sweets and candy
- Chocolate buttons
- Sugar mice
- Candy necklace or bracelet
- Chocolate coins
- Packet of popcorn
- Homemade cupcake or treats
2. BOOKS AND STATIONERY FAVOURS
- Pencil case
- Colouring book
- Pencil sharpener
- Pen toppers
- Personalised pencil
- Mini box of crayons
3. HAIR AND BODY ACCESSORIES
- Fun toothbrush
- Hair bobbles
- Hair clips
- Play tattoos
- Water-based nail polish
- Lip balm
4. FUN AND GAMES
- Finger puppet
- Mini rubber ducks
- Skipping rope
- Mini soft toy
- Pot of play putty
- Bouncy balls
- Sidewalk chalk
RANDOM OTHER FAVOUR IDEAS
- Glow stars
- Pack of seeds to grow
- Colour stainless steel drinking straw
- Personalised or cute mug
- Polaroid photo from the party
LIST OF ECO-FRIENDLY PARTY FAVOUR / PARTY BAG SUPPLIERS
Here’s a list of sustainable, eco-friendly party favours and party bag filler brands and suppliers to look out for:
- Cotton Twist
- Little Otter Party Supplies
- The Paper Party Bag Shop
- Ethical Kidz
- Little Cherry
- Plastic Free Party Bags
- Eco Party Bags
- The Original Party Bag Company
- Favour Fairy
- Fair kind Child
I’ve got a growing list of kids’ party planning posts, take a look and which ones might be of use to you.
MORE KIDS PARTY POSTS
- KIDS PARTY PLANNING HOME
- 22 Best kids party games for indoors and outdoors
- Kids party planning tips
- 30 Best party games for kids
- Best party bag ideas
- Pre-filled party bag ideas
- Free pin the tail printables
- Kids’ party venue ideas
- Best craft kits for kids’ parties
- Ideas for a unicorn themed kids’ birthday party
- Super easy kids’ party snacks
- How to host a simple kids’ birthday party
- Kids’ party theme ideas
- How to get kids’ party food right
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