PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR TODDLERS

22 UNIQUE PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR TODDLERS (2 AND 3-YEAR-OLDS): THE BEST FILLERS, FAVOURS AND ALTERNATIVES

Birthday parties for two and three-year-olds are the first time that toddlers begin to understand the delight of being given a party bag. But what to put in them? If you’re stuck for ideas, here’s a roundup of party bag ideas for toddlers, including fillers, favours and cost-effective small gifts that make fun alternatives. 

I’ve hosted my fair share of toddler and kids’ parties over the years. So, I’ve put together ideas to suit all budgets; the defining thread that connects them all is that they are junk-free. Whilst it’s lovely to see the look of delight on a child’s face when they are given a party bag, it’s good to have a guilt-free conscious that you haven’t just handed them a bag of brightly coloured landfill or junk that will get instantly discarded.  

22 BEST PARTY BAG IDEAS FOR TODDLERS:

1. PARTY BAG FILLERS

Here’s a list of brilliant things to fill toddler party bags with, including small toys, bathtime fun stuff, musical instruments, craft supplies and sweet little treats. Things that two and three-year-olds will actually use and love. 

  1. Wooden Egg Shaped Maracas
    $11.99 $9.99

    These delightfully painted wooden egg maracas are a brilliant sensory toy to pop into party bags for two and three-year-olds. There are six maracas per set.

    Buy from Amazon
    02/28/2024 01:10 am GMT
  2. Baker Ross Dinosaur Rubber Duck

    Bath toys make useful party bag fillers. Rubber ducks come in all shapes these days. I love these dinosaur ducks by Baker Ross, they also have some brilliant Super Hero ducks. There are eight ducks per set.

    Buy from Amazon Buy from Baker Ross
  3. CRAYOLA MyFirst Crayons
    $40.12

    How about buying a school supply-size box of crayons and then dividing them up into little batches? There are 144 crayons in 24 colours in this Crayola set.

    Buy from Amazon Buy from GLS
    02/28/2024 12:36 pm GMT
  4. Twist and Lock Blocks

    Wooden twist and lock blocks are great little fidget toys for toddlers. There are two per set.

    Buy from Amazon
  5. Kaleidoscopes

    These cute and colourful kaleidoscopes are 15cm long and are made of craft paper. There are six per set.

    Buy from Amazon
  6. JELLY DINOS – Biona
    £2.49 (at time of publication)

    I know that mini packets of Haribo are a party bag filler perennial, but if you want to buck the trend and go for something a little healthier, Biona jelly sweets are brilliant. There are dinos, bears sour snakes, lollipops and more to choose from.

    Buy from Biona Buy from Ocado
  7. Slime Play Blue from Zimpli Kids

    Zimpli Play Slime magically turns water into gooey, colourful slime. It's a great sensory party bag filler or you could use it as a party favour instead of a party bag.

    Buy from Amazon
  8. Neon Play-Doh (Set of 8)
    $14.44

    Go next level with NEON Play-Doh. Divide a set of 8 pots up between goodie bags.

    Buy from Amazon
    02/28/2024 10:06 pm GMT
  9. Magic Water Colouring Books

    This set of four magic water colouring books can be divided up into party bags. Parents will love that it's a relatively mess-free craft activity!

    Buy from Amazon
  10. Zimpli Kids Bath Bombs
    $11.99

    This set of 16 individually packaged bath bombs is perfect for dividing up as party bag fillers. The bath bombs have fruity scents, are vegan and don't leave stains in the bathtub.

    Buy from Amazon Buy from Zimpli Kids
    02/29/2024 01:36 am GMT
  11. Zimpli Kids SnoBall Play
    $19.41

    SnoPlay magically turns water into snow! There are 12 foil sachets, perfect for party bag fillers for winter parties. It's biodegradable, so wonderfully eco-friendly fun.

    Buy from Amazon
    02/29/2024 02:06 am GMT
  12. Cone Shaped Sidewalk Chalk
    £11.99 (£6.00 / count)

    I love this sidewalk chalk because the chalk is pencil-shaped, which makes it super easy for toddler hands to use. There are 48 pieces in this set, so how about dividing it up, popping some fancy ribbon or string around a few sticks and popping them into party bags?

    Buy from Amazon
    02/29/2024 04:41 pm GMT

2. PARTY FAVOURS AND ALTERNATIVES TO PARTY BAGS

Want to ditch the party bags and give out a single party favour instead? Here is a list of great alternatives that work well for toddlers.

  1. Organic Blow Bubbles
    £3.04 (at time of publication)

    Mini bottles of bubbles are a perennial party bag filler. But if you are really eco-conscious, how about giving a larger-sized eco-friendly bottle of bubbles as a party favour instead?

    Buy from Big Green Smile
  2. HydroKids Water Bottle
    $18.99 $10.06

    Water bottles always come in useful, and a brightly coloured bottle is bound to be a hit with toddlers. The HydroKids water bottle has a straw, it is 400ml and BPA free. I love this superhero design. There are several other designs, including rockets, fruit, teddy bears and cute Kwai characters.

    Buy from Amazon
    02/28/2024 02:41 pm GMT
  3. Bluey and Friends Sticker Activity Book
    £4.99 £3.99

    Activity books make great party favours to give out instead of party bags for toddlers, and older toddlers will love an activity book with stickers. Bluey is HUGE with kids of all ages, so what better than a Bluey activity sticker book?!

    Buy from Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    02/28/2024 07:46 pm GMT
  4. Glowstars Glow Stars and Planets
    $7.99

    There is something so magical about having your bedroom ceiling look like the night sky (kind of whatever age you are!!). So the original Glow Stars & Planets would make lovely party favours to give as an alternative to party bags.

    Buy from Amazon Buy from Science Museum
    02/28/2024 10:11 pm GMT
  5. Jaques of London Kids Gardening Kit
    10,99 €

    This kids' gardening set (3+) makes a brilliant alternative to party bags. What I love about Jacques of London stuff is that it comes in beautiful packaging, so there is no need to wrap it.

    Buy from Amazon Buy from Jacques of London
    02/29/2024 12:36 am GMT
  6. Little Miss: My Complete Collection Box Set

    Perfect kids' book box set to divide up for kids' party favours or kids' party bag fillers. There are 36 books in the set.

    Buy from Amazon
  7. Mr. Men Complete Collection Box Set (48 books)
    £239.52 £31.95

    There are 48 books in the set, which makes it great value for money.

    Amazon Buy from Argos
    02/26/2024 12:47 pm GMT
  8. My First Colouring Book
    $4.99

    There are lots of colouring books for toddlers. What I love about this one is that each page has a single character to colour-in, which makes it perfect for younger toddlers.

    Buy from Amazon
    02/29/2024 12:51 am GMT
  9. Wooden Alphabet Puzzle
    $14.25 ($4.04 / Ounce)

    Simple wooden puzzles make great party favours, this alphabet puzzle will help toddlers to learn the alphabet as well as have fun flexing their fine motor skills.

    Buy from Amazon
    02/29/2024 01:26 am GMT
  10. Buddy & Barney Bath Time Stickers
    $23.13

    These bath stickers are brilliant! They stick to the side of the bath when wet, float and can be used time and again. There are various kits to choose from, but the farm animals set is my favourite.

    Buy from Amazon
    02/29/2024 07:00 pm GMT

A QUICK GUIDE TO PARTY BAGS!

Party bags are like Marmite for parents, you either love them or you hate them. And that doesn’t necessarily have a bearing on whether you have them at your child’s birthday party. 

If you are tearing your hair out working out what to put in party bags or wondering if you’d be better off skipping them, here’s a quick guide to everything you need to know about party bags for toddlers and kids. 

1. DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE PARTY BAGS?

No, you absolutely don’t have to hand out party bags at a child’s birthday party. There are other options:

  1. Don’t give anything; just say thank you to each guest for coming along.
  2. Give a slice of cake and a balloon instead – this is properly old school, and of course, the cake must be wrapped in a party napkin!
  3. Buy pre-filled party bags. Use my guide to the best party bags.
  4. Give party favours instead of party bags. Party favours are essentially small gifts that say thank you for coming. 
  5. Give out a personalised party favour that doubles as a thank you card. This is a great way to save time and money. My favourite ‘thank you’ party favours are biscuit mixes in cute boxes. 

HOW MANY THINGS SHOULD YOU PUT IN A PARTY BAG?

I always suggest putting three to five things in a party bag. Either go with one main party bag filler and then some smaller items or choose three to five items of a similar size and cost. 

IS IT POSSIBLE TO AVOID JUST FILLING PARTY BAGS WITH JUNK?

Whilst it might be tempting to bulk buy small bits of brightly coloured plastic to keep costs down and get the job done quickly, there are better ways to fill party bags. I always put the focus on filling party bags with things that are eco-friendly, usable and stuff kids will actually want to keep. Use my many kids’ party bag guides to find the best ideas.

IS IT OK TO PUT SWEETS/CANDY IN PARTY BAGS? 

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I think it is perfectly fine to put a couple of small sweet treats in a party bag. If you are worried about what other parents will think, you can always go for healthier sweet treat options, like Biona organic sweets, mini chocolate bars, like a Fredo, or even bake a batch of cookies if you have time. 

WHAT ARE THE BEST KINDS OF THINGS TO PUT IN KIDS’ PARTY BAGS?

I suggest going for fun-looking but practical and useful things. Things that will definitely get used. So, think along the lines of colouring books, stuff to draw and get creative with, things to read or edible treats. 

WHAT SHOULD YOU AVOID PUTTING IN TODDLER PARTY BAGS?

When filling party bags for two and three-year-old toddlers, it is important to avoid things that might be dangerous for them. So avoid things that can be easily swallowed (with the exception of sweet treats!), things with lots of little parts, and things that can get broken quickly.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GIVE OUT PARTY BAGS?

Ideally, you should wait until your guests are literally about to walk out of the door. This way, you don’t end. up with excited kids diving straight into the party bags and causing a bottleneck at the door when you really are ready for everyone to leave. 

This is also a good tactic if there are slightly different things in each party bag. If the party guests can’t see what everyone else has, there is no room for them to get upset. 

WHAT IS THE QUICKEST WAY TO PUT TOGETHER PARTY BAGS?

There are two really quick ways to put together party bags:

  1. Bulk all the items in bulk.
  2. Buy pre-filled party bags

WHERE DO YOU FIND REALLY LOVELY PAPER PARTY BAGS? 

I’ve rounded up a selection of the best paper party bags. There are also sorts of lovely colours, patterns, shapes and sizes. 

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