Alternative party bag ideas FOR KIDS

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I’ve put together a list of alternative party bag ideas for kids’ party favours. Unique gifts that are an alternative to 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. 

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ALTERNATIVE PARTY BAG AND FAVOUR IDEAS FOR KIDS

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!

Here’s my list of ideas to help you plan how to fill party bags or party favour. I’ve also put together separate lists by age-group.

GO STRAIGHT TO THE BIG LIST OF ALTERNATIVE PARTY BAG FILLERS AND FAVOURS

OTHER PARTY BAG FILLERS & FAVOURS IDEAS:

ALTERNATIVE KIDS PARTY BAG IDEAS

The list 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. GROW YOUR OWN GARDEN KITS

1. GROW YOUR OWN DINOSAUR GARDEN

Grow your own gifts

2. GROW YOUR OWN MINI MAGICAL GARDEN

Grow your own gifts

3. PERSONALISED MAKE YOUR OWN MAGICAL UNICORN GARDEN

2. PERSONALISED KEEPSAKE TINS

Kids love a bit of personalisation. You can either order the tins on their own from Notonthighstreet.com, each one personalised with a child’s name, or you can order them filled with chocolate. 

3. PAPER BALLOON ANIMALS

These gorgeous paper balloon animals come in sets of either four or sets of 10 from Notonthehighstreet.com

Every balloon is individually packaged so they make PERFECT ready-made party favours and really budget-friendly ones!!!

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

4. MAKE YOUR OWN KITS

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)

1. MAKE YOUR OWN UNICORN WAND KIT

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

2. MAKE YOUR OWN MODEL AIRPLANE KIT

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

5.  A JOURNAL TO WRITE IN

Journaling is a BIG thing at the moment. 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. 

All About Me journal - better than average party bag favours

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

6. 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. 

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

7. 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?!!

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

2. PERSONALISED TREAT POTS

8. 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!!

Write Your Own Story book - amazing alternative party bag favour

9. 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.

1. PERSONALISED UNICORN AND RAINBOW BRACELET MAKING KIT

2. PERSONALISED RAINBOW BRACELET MAKING KIT

10. STORY BOOKS

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.

1. 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

2. DIARY OF A WIMPY KID – 12 BOOKS

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.

11. 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

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

2. DOBBLE

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

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. 

1. MARVEL PLAYING CARDS

KIDS PARTY BAG ALTERNATIVE, IDEAS FOR PARTY FAVOURS

13. 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!!) 

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

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.

PARTY BAG FILLERS AND ALTERNATIVE PARTY FAVOUR IDEAS BY AGE-GROUP FROM 2 YEARS OLD TO TEN YEARS OLD

CLICK AGE TO SEE PARTY BAG AND FAVOUR IDEAS

PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR TWO-YEAR-OLDS

PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR THREE-YEAR-OLDS

PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR FOUR-YEAR-OLDS

PAPER ANIMAL BALLOONS

Japanese Paper Balloons gift wrapped

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

PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR SIX-YEAR-OLDS

WOODEN ANIMAL YOYOS

PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR SEVEN-YEAR-OLDS

PERSONALISED CHOCOLATE BAR

PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR EIGHT-YEAR-OLDS

CUTE ANIMAL TOPPED PENCILS

PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR NINE-YEAR-OLDS

PRE-FILLED PARTY CONES PIÑATA STYLE

PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR TEN-YEAR-OLDS

NATURAL SCENTED KIDS LIP BALM

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.

TAKE A LOOK AT SEVEN BRILLIANT PRE-FILLED PARTY BAGS

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.

TAKE A LOOK AT EIGHT GORGEOUS KIDS PARTY CRAFT KITS

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
  • Lollipops
  • Candy necklace or bracelet
  • Chocolate coins
  • Packet of popcorn
  • Homemade cupcake or treats

2. BOOKS AND STATIONERY FAVOURS

  • Pencil case
  • Book
  • Colouring book
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Notebook
  • Pen toppers
  • Personalised pencil
  • Erasers
  • Mini box of crayons
  • Chalk
  • Stickers

3. HAIR AND BODY ACCESSORIES

  • Fun toothbrush
  • Hair bobbles
  • Hair clips
  • Play tattoos
  • Bracelets
  • Water-based nail polish
  • Lip balm 

4. FUN AND GAMES

  • Finger puppet
  • Mini rubber ducks
  • Skipping rope
  • Yoyo
  • Bubbles
  • Mini soft toy
  • Magnet
  • 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:

READ NEXT:

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

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Alternative party bag ideas for kids birthday parties

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