How To Cut The Plastic From Your Party Bags
In the old days they were called “going home presents” and usually comprised sweets and a balloon if you were lucky. Now there’s a whole industry around party bags and a lot of the fillers are, frankly, a bit rubbish. But how can you cut out the plastic? Here’s some of our party bag ideas.
Plastic Fantastic – not!
Party bags are a well-established part of any child’s birthday celebration. And, like it or not, there’s a certain expectation among young party-goers that they will leave with a bag of goodies in their hand. Worse still, parents can become quite competitive in an effort to out-do each other.
Unfortunately, the joy of the party bag often doesn’t last longer than the car ride home. Of course, the more parties your child attends, the more times you’ll see the same plastic emoji springs, stretchy rubber men and bouncy balls.
In a brave attempt to get away from these cheap plastic toys, some parents fill their party bags with much more expensive items. The idea being that the higher the value of the contents, the less likely they are to be discarded in five minutes flat.
However, after one such party a friend was surprised to see the toys in the party bag her daughter brought home matched almost exactly the present she’d taken to the party. “It seemed crazy that we’d got back what we’d given,” she said. “I can’t help feeling a small bag of sweets would have been more appropriate.”
Of course, doling out sweets to other people’s kids is another minefield but she’s got a point. So, are there any good alternatives to keep everyone – including the environment – happy?
Party Bag Ideas – A plant or seeds
You see this idea more and more at parties – and it always goes down well. Cultivate the plants yourself or buy seedlings to transfer to small terracotta pots. Decorate these with ribbons or stickers. Or buy seeds in bulk (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds and herbs are all good choices) and divide into coloured envelopes.
Party Bag Ideas – A book
Discount book sellers have assorted packs of children’s books very cheaply. Choose a favourite of the birthday child’s and personalise with a bookplate or bookmark. If they are old enough, they could write a personalised message.
Party Bag Ideas – A cookie cutter
Why not type out your favourite biscuit recipe and attach it with a ribbon to a cookie cutter? There are lots of shapes available and children of all ages love baking.
Party Bag Ideas – A balloon
Book an entertainer who makes balloon models and send one home with your guests. Or you could buy your own kit and make them yourself. Younger children love balloons so a helium-filled character balloon could well be more exciting for them than a traditional party bag.
Party Bag Ideas – Something the guests make or find
For a summer party, you could run a treasure hunt and get the children to fill their own party bags with the “treasure” they find. This is great for a pirate-themed party. Another idea is to have a craft party where guests take home what they make. Small items such as badges, necklaces or painted pottery are easiest. They could even decorate their own party bags.
Party Bag Ideas – A single ‘on-trend’ thing
Collectible toys are the big thing now. See our Latest Toy Crazes page for more details. Slimes, putties and, of course, squishies are also very popular. Giving one, higher-quality thing that reflects a current trend is a good idea.
Party Bag Ideas – Something that follows the theme
Search internet party shops for single presents that fit with your party theme: a wand for a fairy party, a football key ring for a football party, an eye patch or inflatable parrot for a pirate party, a tiara for a princess party and so on.
Party Bag Ideas – A Lucky dip
Kids love this one. As you say “Goodbye”, invite them to choose a wrapped lucky dip present from a box. Surprise unwrapping is huge among children these days via YouTube. They’ll enjoy the mystery of it all and it’s a fun end to the party. Blind bags are also available to buy but whatever you do, only give them out as they leave. Just as with presents, it’s best all round if they are opened after the party is over.
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