I hate party bags!

I have a very strong aversion to kid’s party bags; I don’t know where the fear comes from or where the tradition originated. Can we blame the yanks again? I’m doing my best to keep my daughters birthdays under control, as an ex-teacher I know how it can all get carried away. I’ve heard stories of kids having to pay to attend parties.

My daughter’s birthday will be one of the first in her year, being mid September, and I’m determined to set the bar low, hoping that other parents will appreciate the gesture. I have friends with normally very well-behaved kids and they have thrown themselves on the floor in a strop when not given a party bag and they died of embarrassment.

However, today when buying party supplies I found myself wavering near the matching party bags and tempted to follow the status quo, but I put my foot down.

So, what’s the alternative? As usual I asked on twitter and got loads of amazing suggestions. Sorry if I haven’t credited everyone but copying and pasting them all was enough for me. I hope this helps you in some way!

  • Mosquito nets (charity)
  • Craft sets from Poundland
  • Biscuits with names on instructions
  • Helium balloon filled with sweets
  • Vouchers for Smiths or ELC
  • Measure out Flapjack mix with instructions
  • Lucky bags! Or a balloon with sweets in, they love popping them for the sweets!
  • Bucket and spade sets – £1 each online
  • ‘grow your own beanstalk’ kit. Small pot, compost, ‘magic’ beans and instructions all in a plastic bag.
  • A book and stuck a small bar of chocolate on to it. Try The Book People for cheap good books. You can separate the book sets and could stick to a theme if you have one.
  • Personalized gift wrapped cup cake that cost a quid!
  • Colouring book. Mini craft packs. Little pots and Seeds. Buns.
  • Well anything but bloody bubbles!
  • Children’s magazine or comic
  • Packet of seeds to grow
  • Card saying you donated to charity on their behalf…. Then go and get yourself a nice bottle of wine (this is my favourite!)
  • We had lots of gingerbread men & icing pens/decorations & kids got creative & took those home
  • We baked & decorated cupcakes for friends, handed out in boxes
  • We used to make a donation to a kids’ charity instead then thank kids and parents, rather spend money on that than more tat.
  • Sunflower seedlings
  • Usually do one Lego minifig or mini book instead (£1.50)
  • A little cup cake with child’s initial on it.
  • Helium balloons
  • We did a pool party and they each got a cheap rubber ring.

Do you have any other suggestions?

Author: mediocremum

A slightly older mum of one, who drinks far too much red wine and has an unhealthy obsession with her slow cooker. During the day she's an ICT Trainer, Social Media/Online Marketing consultant and does a bit of public speaking. Full Profile on Google+

15 thoughts on “I hate party bags!”

  1. Oh bollocks…ffs put together a cheap goodie bag as suggested earlier and how about ruining kids birthdays forever and ask for donations for charity instead of gifts.
    Keep the magic
    Most of these suggestions are what people think sounds good, not what they actually do
    Go with the flow of your environment and lifestyle not suggestions from people on other planets
    I love the poundland suggestion and the ginger bread men ideas though
    Like the poundland

    1. I do agree…loads of them sound good but can imagine the look of disappointment in some kids faces. This is why I think we should avoid them all together!

  2. Can’t imagine it’s that easy getting the sweets into the balloons?!
    I’m just embarking on my first party (the 1st!) and thinking about party bags already – I’d thought about giving them each a musical instrument – cheap shaker etc, and then doing some songs with them all as the entertainment at the party!

  3. Bit harsh, Chickenruby! I only came up with an alternative because that was what was asked. It seemed the idea was to get away from the party bags, not to make them cheaper. I don’t think that coming up with an alternative means I’m on another planet. Just trying to fulfil the brief!

    1. Well that’s ok then crabbyknickers, you made an alternative suggestion, not what you actually do.

  4. I always get too carried away. It’s all so much crap as well – what a waste! Love the sweets in balloons idea! It appeals to my desire to stay up all night making it perfect only to have no-one care as long as there are enough biscuits and hula hoops. GG had a ‘pink’ party last year (I even put red food colouring in the breadmaker). It looked great, but they were more interested in looking up Sleeping Beauty’s skirt.
    As they get older I have gone for wrapping a book instead of bags. You can get box sets really cheap from Redhouse Books.
    Love it, thanks!

  5. Funny, I always loved making party bags and have done them for the last 14 years – eldest is almost 17. I have sewn them myself, found little boxes & painted them or decorated brown paper bags. I filled them with all sorts of stuff. Most lately found things on eBay in Wholesale and Joblots eg hairclips, little soaps even socks (not all in one party bag) but there is usually a couple of little items, handful of sweets, balloon or blower and a piece of cake. One year I bought a lot of twirly straw cups which were marked down to 50p from Thorntons and filled them with sweets etc. I also always make loads more than the number of guests and give them to all the little sisters and brothers that come with Mum or Dad to collect. My 4 kids all help to put them together and absolutely love giving them out.

    Guess we are all different and that’s what makes us interesting!! Funny, huh?

  6. I did party bags without really thinking this year and I bet it all ended up in the bin. Great you are setting the bar low! Hope it will be the same in my daughter’s class – she’s a June birthday so we’ll have lots of parties to live up to unfortunately.

  7. We always do books from book people and people are amazed at our generosity! My sister bought paper bags online and part of the party was for the kids to actually decorate their own party bag with stickers, beads, feathers etc. They loved it. Then just pop in the cake and a balloon.

    Love the balloon sweety idea and the plants.

  8. I suggest you re read my comment, see above, I didnt say all the ideas were crap, I give up some people just read what they think people are saying and bollocks again

  9. The purpose of the party bag is to get rid of the crowd of over excited children as quickly and smoothly as possible – don’t underestimate its power! ;-)

    We have been opting for a book (bought in bulk lot from book people/ebay) +slice of birthday cake.

  10. Thank you for taking the time to write this, some ideas are a bit beyond what I was looking for but interesting to see what other options there are none-the-less.

    What is disappointing is when there are unappreciative comments regardless of your efforts to communicate something useful. Jeez chick cut the abusive language, she’s just trying to help!

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