Gift bags. Party bags. Party favors. It’s all the same if you ask me. Crap. Extra crap for your kids. But with my ideas, it doesn’t have to be!
What comes to mind when you think of gift bags for kids? I usually associate the idea with junk because that’s usually what it is. Even when I was a kid, it was always crap. Junky plastic crap or nasty candy. Don’t get me wrong, I love free stuff, but I despise junk.
With my youngest child and her most recent 1st birthday party, it was the first time I needed to make gift bags for kids because the parties I had thrown in earlier years mostly had babies and babies don’t require those. So I did what any respecting mother would do and went to good ole Target. I even went to Wal-Mart and the dollar store and honestly I was disappointed with what I came across in the “party favor” section. What was it? A bunch of plastic crap.
So it got me thinking, what items could I put in a gift bag that would be parent and kid-approved?
This particular party had toddlers and a few babies and because I didn’t want anyone to be left out, I made bags for both and it was simple and inexpensive. Just the way I like it!
So here’s what I recommend:
- First, purchase just regular brown paper bags with a handle. Nothing fancy or with characters. Simple is better and you can spice it up with ribbon and name tags.
- Second, know your audience. You don’t want to give candy to babies- obviously. But you also don’t want to give toddlers little toys that they can put in their mouths. Don’t buy things they can’t use or a concern for parents.
- Third, use small snack packs to beef up the the bags. Whether you go to Trader Joes and buy the organic lollipops or little boxes of goldfish, kids love that crap.
- baby food pouches
- puffs or yogurt bites
- teething wafers (individually packed)
- bouncy balls (but the soft kind)
- crayons or markers with coloring books
- small bags of goldfish or crackers
- glow sticks
- stick-on tattoos
- Play-doh, bubbles, and bouncy balls usually come in party favor bags.
- Target has amazing stuff in their dollar section. I bought the bath paint for $1 in the Target dollar bins.
- Always check your local grocery store’s weekly ad to see if any of those baby items (baby food pouches, puffs, etc.) are on sale.
- I’ve seen people give SkipHop backpacks ($20) to kids and though it’s adorable, it’s expensive. A good alternative would be the SkipHop water bottles ($8). And if you still like that idea but want to spend a little less, you can always find cheaper water bottles that are still BPA-free.
- Dollar store is great for getting crayons and coloring books that only cost a dollar. Duhhh.
Remember, gift bags are the last thing parents and kids take with them as they leave your party.
You can be as creative as you want or not at all. But if you take away one thing away from this, don’t buy junk. Don’t buy stuff that parents are going to throw out the moment they get home. Make it count. If you’re spending the money, a little creativity never hurt anyone!