At the end of a child’s birthday party it is customary to send the small guests off with a party bag containing a piece of cake and some little gifts or sweets. But are party bags really necessary, on top of all the expense and effort you’ve already put into throwing the birthday party?
The parenting community is decidedly mixed on the issue. Most view party bags as just a bit of fun. Some people love creating extravagant party bags and spend lots of time filling them with beautiful and thoughtful gifts; to others party bags are just an annoying chore and a waste of money. Some people do party bags because they feel they have to, others take a stand and refuse to comply, and the rest of us just forget.
Unless you want to spend a fortune, party bags are usually filled with knick-knacks that will go in the bin, or a load of sweets that kids who are already high on sugar and excitement don’t really need in the car on the way home.
So here are a few ideas for party bag alternatives that won’t cost a fortune and might raise a surprised smile from your small guests, as they delve into their party bags on the way home:
Ditch the bright flimsy bag
Instead, give away a cheap mug from the pound shop filled with a bag of fudge. Or do a party box or a party pencil case. You could stick a photo of the birthday boy or girl to a clear ziplock plastic bag from the supermarket and fill that with little goodies.
Personalised iced gingerbread men
Get the kids to decorate their own at the start of the party. When the icing is dry, wrap them up and put them in named bags.
Helium balloon cake carrier
Helium balloons are always a crowd-pleaser. Tie a bag with a piece of cake inside to the end of the string.
Packets of Seeds
A packet of seeds in a party bag always goes down well. Alternatively, give away a small flowerpot (they’re very cheap) with a ribbon tied around it and a packet of seeds inside.