To Party Bag or Not to Party Bag?

Article by Nicky Carroll

party bag for girls


The answer is a resounding YES – not least because you’d probably have a mutiny on your hands if you didn’t provide the children with one of these much loved bags. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of buying the bags and the bits and pieces to go in them don’t worry: it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. In truth, party bags are as much a part of the celebrations as the birthday cake, so it would be a disappointment to leave them out.

You can create party bags on a budget
This is one of the areas many parents are concerned about – the spiralling cost of a kids’ party. But in truth, if you know how to pack those party bags you won’t have to allocate lots of cash to make them worthwhile.

Indeed, money isn’t the prime motivator when it comes to choosing good fillers. Firm favourites such as stickers, mini notepads, pencils and balloons and other similar items will always go down well. Buying in bulk is another way to get what you need without spending lots of money on individual items. Remember presentation is everything; a few ribbons and stickers and a little imagination can turn a simple white paper bag into a small piece of art! And of course don’t forget a slice of birthday cake!

What are the consequences of not doing party bags?
Just in case you’re still considering doing away with the humble party bag, it might be worth thinking about the consequences if you do. Since many parents do provide the bags when they throw parties for their little ones, it is generally expected that all other parents will do the same.

But it goes further than this. Even young children will generally queue up to leave at the end of a party and wait to be given their party bag. If you don’t do them they won’t understand why. This holds true regardless of what type of party you’ve thrown and how much money you may have spent on it.

Indeed, if you are considering doing away with party bags, think about reducing the cost of the party itself so you can include them. Jot down the number of children who will be attending and how many items you’re going to put in each bag. If you tot up rough costs you might find the bags are going to be more affordable than you thought.

Party Bag Alternatives
If you really can’t quite bring yourself to giving a traditional party bag, how about thinking about an alternative:

  • Cup filled with treats and wrapped in cellophane
  • Grow your own beanstalk kit. A small pot, compost, ‘magic’ beans and instructions all in a plastic bag
  • A packet of seeds to grow at home
  • A book with a chocolate bar attached to the front
  • A picture frame with a photo of your child with their friends
  • Craft activity at the party that is the gift they take home
  • Selection box/easter egg (depending on the time of the year!)
  • Home made christmas cracker filled with goodies and your own jokes!
  • A Plant – get your children involved in planting from the start
  • A balloon with a cookie tied to the end
  • A bucket and spade
  • A kids music cd (ie nursery rhymes)
  • A t-shirt – get the kids involved in designing their own
  • Lego mini figures. Better still collect all the Lego given away with certain newspapers!
  • A little homemade cupcake in fancy wrapping (presentation is everything!)
  • A lucky dip at the door.
  • Make up your own cookie mixture (dry ingredients only). Divide the mixture into little boxes or jars with instructions for your guests to make up.

At the end of the day, what you are giving your guests is a token to say “Thanks for coming to my party or Thank you for my present!” and party bags (whatever form they take) are a tradition that many kids absolutely love.


Written by Nicky Carroll

Birthday Creations, run by Nicky Carroll, supply a fabulous range of stylish and traditional party bags and wooden party bag fillers to make your birthday special. We offer great value for money and ideas for unique party bags.

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Other article by Nicky Carroll:

Myth Busting Party Bags


Other articles about Children’s Parties


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  1. Party bags are a minor part of a children’s party ,make sure they are entertained to! :)