Who knew that the humble party bag could become a source of angst, underpinning diplomatic relations between family and friends?
But it can. Place too much in the party bag, and there can be an outright party bag war as the competition heats up. Or maybe you are frightened of not adding enough and looking too ‘economical’ with your party bag contents.
But, there are some fantastic ideas for creating fantastic party bags, with the angst!
There is NO Set Rule
There is no manual that relates specifically to party bags and what you should and shouldn’t include. On one hand, this is great news because it means you have carte blanche to do what you like but on the other, it can leave everything too wide open.
Trawling the web, parents have great ideas about party bags and alternatives:
#1 Budget Dependent
Most parents say that what goes into party bags depends on the overall spend on the party. For example, parties with larger guest lists usually means cheaper party bags but for parties with a few close friends, most parents said they spend a little more on the party bags.
The majority of parents agreed that any prizes for games and the like were considered part and parcel of party bags too.
If you need a general guide, most people seemed to agree that a small, inexpensive gift, a few sweets (not too many!) and a handsome slice of birthday cake did the trick.
#2 One Larger Gift
Many people also said that as the children grew older, they dispensed with a physical party bag and opted for an inexpensive, but slightly larger gifts.
The range was wide and usually matched with the theme of the party. We liked the following ideas;
- Giant bubble wands – bubbles are inexpensive and some of the products with a larger wand are a matter of a few pounds.
- Adopt a soft toy – we thought this was an extra-cute idea and great for younger kids. As they left, they choose a new soft toy from a box and promised to look after it!
- Hula hoops – some of the ‘old’ toys are the best and we loved the suggestion of a hula-hoop after a gymnastic themed party.
- Sweet cones – easy to make, simply purchase plastic cones and fill with sweets, tie with a pretty ribbon and hand out to guests as they leave.
- Art and crafts – another popular inclusion seemed to be arts and crafts materials. Again, relatively inexpensive it is a great way to encourage children to be creative.
- Grow Your Own – or how about encouraging green-fingers with grow your own plant from seed? There are all kinds of easy-to-grow plants for children that yield quick results. Or give them some vegetable seeds to encourage healthy eating.
#3 Certificate of Attendance!
We came across this idea and thought it had merit. As adults, it is us that tend to place the emphasis on party bags and its contents. In many ways, children, or so feedback tells us, don’t seem to be overly bothered by whether they have a party bag or not.
We enjoyed the idea of a survival themed party in which the guests along with the birthday boy, were taught essential survival skills. It included fun activities such as how to put a tent up, tying knots and so on.
The party guests were given a slice of birthday cake and a personalised certificate not only of their attendance, but testament to their new-found survival skills.
Books are great for children, as they can enter a world of make believe. We loved the idea of a book crate from which party guests chose a book as they left. An age-appropriate gift that suits boys and girls. Again, you can theme the books to your party too.
#5 Pre-Filled Party Bags
Or, you could take the complete stress out of finding party bag toys and gifts and choose from our growing range of pre-filled party bags.
We have all kinds of bags that fit with your part themed, from bags specifically for boys and girls as well as those that are specific to characters and themes. Take a look at our Disney range, as well as generic themes such as cars, farmyard animals and more.