5 ideas for party bags please!

How about a lucky feather as your party bag gift? Yes? No?

This blog post is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. This post is asking for party bag tips. For more info about gifts – giving and receiving – see my book Homemade Kids, with lots of ideas about parenting, click here.

Looking at yesterday’s Evening Standard I noticed a photo of Gwyneth Paltrow walking out of an event with a goody bag. It made me think again about the sketchy plans for Nell’s big 11 birthday.

I’ve got a good track record of making interesting and good value party bags. But this weekend’s birthday is making me nervous: the other children will by now have expectations of originality or largesse. Actually, they probably won’t but that’s how the birthday child’s mum often feels. And then ends up swooping around the aisles spending more than they’d ever planned.



So here are five ideas that may be put to the test on Sunday:

  1. It’s a trampoline party – organised to ensure the kids all get a go at doing something fun, that’s sporty and is almost a skill – so surely leaving with memories, and maybe a photo of them in action. Plus a gummy snake or two (on special at a supermarket, but chosen because they will remind Nell of her 2011 antipodean travels).
  2. I’ve got enough paper bags stored up that can be emblazoned with the guest children’s name and then filled with spring bulbs. Lovely, but pricey.
  3. Organise a huge bunch of sweet-smelling narcissi and then divide between the guests. Brilliant if I’m still not sure who is coming. The only hitch is that I like to buy British grown flowers and I’ve left it a bit late this year.
  4. Go to a second hand book shop, or charity shop, and scoop up all the books I recognise that Nell has read and enjoyed – and then give each guest a goodbye gift of a recommended read. I love this idea, but fear that in my bit of London the books will be around £1 each. You could say it is going for a good cause, but with 16 children that’s out of my party bag budget.
  5. Thinking it through like this is working well! I’m going to put their name on a paper bag (easy to do for latecomers at the party) and then divide out the gummy snakes and add a fairy cake to enjoy on the way home. Sorted. Now, where’s the Domestic Goddess recipe book?

Over to you
Any ideas for simple, quick, fun party bags that everyone will enjoy? Remember to spell out what age you think it works for.

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4 Comments on “5 ideas for party bags please!”

  1. hedgehoghugh Says:

    every year my wife collects books at car boot sales – favourite books of ours at the time – and then uses those for the party bags … usually more like 10-50p per book. Though recently we have made the party-goers work for the books by having them as prizes for the treasure hunt … which this year had clues in code (and that was only doable after they had remade the cut up xmas card on which the numbers were written) … next year might have to be more cryptic still!

    • homemadekids Says:

      Hi hedghehog Hugh, this sounds like a lot of fun for your household and party guests! Won’t be long before the children are doing the same to you – except probably even more cryptic! Nicola

  2. Grace Says:

    The tips are very useful.if the party theme is a particular movie, give copies of the movie soundtrack to guests. Other non-conventional goody bags include the actual Party Bag container as a part of the treat. Give teacups full of candy to girls at a tea party. Give straw cowboy hats or bandanas full of plastic cowboy figurines to boys at a western party.

    • homemadekids Says:

      Hi Grace, yes there are many ways to make party bags. In the end my 11 year old said I didn’t need to give them out to her friends, going on a trampoline was fun enough, which I thought was very mature of her (and saved me a lot of work!). I suspect that if she’d seen the suggestions on your site she’d have found it hard to say this. Nicola

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