Planning your child’s birthday party can be a real challenge for any parent. There’s a lot to do and a lot to think about. Perhaps you’re hiring a venue and liaising with suppliers and entertainers? Perhaps you’re hosting the party in your own home and have to find suitable decorations and food to serve up to your young guests. Whatever you’re arranging for your child’s celebration, one element which often comes quite a long way down the list is the party bags.
When you’re drawing up your party shopping list, there are lots of items which you’ll need to put on it. However, while you’re writing that list, don’t forget about party favours! All children expect to receive a party bag at the end of the party, and nobody wants to disappoint their guests! Planning ahead is the key to getting it right on the party bag front. If you leave it to the last minute, you’re bound to end up running to the supermarket and just grabbing the first things you set eyes on. Nine times out of ten, that’ll be some cheap plastic rubbish which will just end up in the bin a couple of hours after the guests leave the party.
Both your guests and their parents are sure to appreciate it if you put a little more thought into your party bag fillers. With that in mind, we’ve brought you some of the best alternative party bag ideas so you can impress your child’s guests with something a little out of the ordinary.
Why Bother With Unique Party Bag Ideas?
You might be wondering whether it’s worth your while to bother thinking up alternative party bag ideas when you could simply throw a slice of birthday cake, some sweets and a couple of plastic trinkets into a bag to hand out after the party’s over. Well, think about your own child’s reaction when they receive a party bag. How many times have they simply looked inside the bag and then dropped it onto a counter where it was promptly forgotten about before it was eventually thrown in the bin? If you’re going to spend money on handing out party bags, you may as well spend that money on something that’s going to be appreciated.
The key to successful alternative party bag ideas is to choose something that kids are going to find fun but which is also useful, long-lasting or practical. Something which children can use again and again is always a good idea – and that’s never going to happen if you choose some cheap plastic odds and ends.
Are you looking for inspiration? Here are our best five unique party bag ideas that are sure to hit the spot.
1. Musical Instruments
Children of all ages love music, and while their parents may not be quite so keen on their children playing instruments around the house, handing out a child-sized instrument in each party bag could be the ideal unique party favour. Of course, we’re not talking violins and guitars, or even recorders here! Simple and affordable instruments like ocarinas, harmonicas, maracas and castanets are all good choices and will encourage children to try out their own music-making skills. You can find these simple instruments in discount stores and online, so you’re sure to find some at a price you can afford.
2. Craft And Activity Packs
Activity books are often handed out at birthday parties, and although they’re a popular choice, they’re not necessarily the best choice. While some kids love sticker and puzzle books, others just aren’t interested. However, if you’re looking for unusual party bag ideas that most kids will really enjoy, a craft kit could be absolutely perfect. Most children really enjoy arts and crafts activities that they can do at home, and you can often pick these up for bargain basement prices both online and instore. Make Your Own Suncatcher sets, for example, with paints included, can cost as little as £1 each. Pop one of these into paper party bags along with a slice of cake and a handful of cheap sweets and you’re good to go. If you’re looking for girls party bag ideas, a small Hama beads kit could be ideal or perhaps a small sewing or embroidery set. Boys might prefer something like a mug or keyring decorating kit.
3. Construction Kits
Whether you’re looking for boys or girls party bag ideas, construction kits can be a brilliant addition to your party favours. Sometimes, people think that construction toys are just for boys, however that’s definitely not the case. In fact, girls love to be creative with construction toys just as much as boys do.
Even if you’re looking for party bag ideas for toddlers, don’t be too hasty to dismiss the idea of construction toys. Evidence has shown that even pre-schoolers can get a lot of educational value from construction kits and, in fact, they can be imperative to their early development. They boost creativity and the ability to design and plan ahead, as well as increasing problem solving and thinking skills. As long as you choose something age appropriate, like Play Doh or Duplo, you can be sure that the recipients will love to receive such a fun gift at the end of the party. From a parent’s point of view, construction toys are a really great addition to any party bag since they allow kids to develop their creative skills. Small Lego or Duplo kits, plasticine or Play Doh sets or K’Nex packs are all great choices. You don’t even need to come up with much else to go with these toys – a slice of cake is quite sufficient1
4. Outdoor Toys
If your child has a birthday during the summer months, you’ve probably been coming up with summer party themes that make the most of the season. Garden parties are always popular at this time of year and have the added benefit of reducing the amount of mess that you have to deal with inside the house! If you’re hosting a garden party, why not extend the theme into your party bags? Some of the best alternative party bag ideas include outdoor toys. If you think about it, they’re fun, practical and they encourage children to get outside and play in the fresh air – which parent doesn’t want that? There are lots of great outdoor toy ideas for any children’s party, whether you’re hosting male or female guests or some of each.
Pocket kites, frisbees, balls, water bombs and water pistols are all fun party supplies to add to a party bag and they’re sure to get plenty of use in the future when your young guests play outdoors with their friends or their family.
If outdoor sporting toys don’t really hit the spot, what about other activities that your guests can do outdoors? Plant your own seed kits, for example, are a brilliant choice for a summer party favour and your young guests are sure to love to plant their own flower, fruit or vegetable seeds and watch them grow in their own garden. It’s a good way to encourage children to get outdoors in the sunshine and to spend time with their mum and dad doing something constructive!
Our fifth suggestion for alternative party bag ideas is one that is sure to prove a hit with parents. Books are a brilliant choice of party favour for kids of any age. Whether you’re looking for party favors for 2 year olds or for teens, there are sure to be books to suit your needs. Which toddler doesn’t love to look through a picture book with their mum and dad after the party? You could even buy a multipack of books and then divide them up with one for each child to make it even more affordable.
If you’re hosting a themed birthday party, you can give books that match the event’s theme. Books about pirates, monsters, fairies and princesses are easy to find and are the perfect gift to give the guests at the end of a themed fancy dress party.
Perhaps you don’t want to give reading books as a party favour. No problem – how about writing books instead? Teenagers often appreciate a writing journal or scrapbook that they can complete themselves. It’s a great way to foster their creativity and it’s certainly going to be more appreciated than some cheap plastic rubbish.
What Should I Remember When Buying Items For Party Bags?
If you’re looking for alternative party bag ideas the biggest problem that you’re going to face is finding sufficient items in stock for all your guests and also getting the right price. Just because you’re going for something non-standard doesn’t mean that you should be paying a fortune, so the key to success lies in shopping around and making sure that you do your research and planning well in advance so you can get the most affordable prices on the items that you want to buy. Remember, if you end up shopping for party necessities at the last moment you’ll end up panicking and paying a lot more than you need to.
Buying online is often the easiest way to buy multiple non-standard items to pop into party bags. Make sure to check available stock before you buy – you don’t want to find that there are only 2 of the item you need when you require 10. You should also compare prices with different suppliers online to see if you can find the lowest prices for you. Don’t forget to check on delivery times, however. You might be able to get a great deal from a Chinese supplier but if the items won’t arrive until two weeks after the party it’s just a waste of money.
Don’t forget that you’ll need to check for postage costs too. You might think that you’re getting a great deal when you first look at the prices, but if it turns out that you’re going to pay postage on every single item that you order your costs are going to mount up very quickly. Check whether you’ll get a reduced price if you’re buying multiple items – often suppliers offer combined postage costs which represent much better value for money. You may also be able to negotiate a discount if you’re going to be buying lots of the same item, whether you’re in-store or shopping online, so don’t be afraid to try to negotiate.
Don’t be afraid to opt for different items. If you can only find 5 of one item, look for something of a similar style and value elsewhere. Children won’t mind if they get something that’s different from their friends as long as it’s an equally fun gift. Or why not make your life even easier and choose some pre-filled party bags that already contain fun and exciting gifts so you don’t need to think about it?
Another thing to bear in mind is that you should always buy sufficient party bag fillers for everyone that you’ve invited. It can be tempting to only buy gifts for children that you think are going to turn up however just imagine how you would feel if an extra child arrived and you had no party bag for them. It doesn’t bear thinking about. Remember, if you spend a little extra now, you can recycle those items later on and give them as gifts for another occasion.
Alternative Party Bag Ideas – Making Your Party Special
Although it might be tempting to simply grab some cheap plastic rubbish from the supermarket shelf, if you put sufficient effort into choosing alternative party bag ideas, your child’s party is sure to stand out from the crowd. Children love a gift that they can really enjoy or use again and again, so when you choose something out of the ordinary, you can be sure that your child’s event will be a big hit!