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Ideas for birthday loot bags

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to share what I've done for DS's 6th birthday party tomorrow. I was getting fed up with the usual Dollar Store plastic junk that gets thrown away.

I will confess that I am not crafty, nor am I able to manage my time properly to get DS to sit down and make things with me to give out to his friends. I made a serious effort to buy useful things like markers, stickers, magnetic portable games, rubber balls etc. My piece de resistance was the inclusion of a children's science magazine for each of our 5 invitees.

And of course, with DS's birthday being Earth Day, I could not, in good conscience, use a itty bitty plastic bag to store this. So I bought nylon netting beach bags as the actual "loot bag".

I think from now on, it will just be either the kid's science magazine or Kid's National Geographic as the "loot bag" until they outgrown it.

There, just wanted to share!
post #2 of 35
Great ideas!
post #3 of 35
Awesome ideas!

One friend gave out a packet of flower seeds at a party we went to. I have always thought it would be nice to do something like that, and give little containers that the seeds can be planted in. Maybe even plant the seeds as a party activity if we were doing the party at home.

I really like the magazine idea.

I hate the standard junk bag that we get at some parties. I don;t want to sound rude but I would rather DS not get a loot bag at all if it is just corn syrup and toys that are forgotten by the time we get home.
post #4 of 35
We usually do a craft. One year we did foam door hangers. Peel and stick, super easy! A friend of mine just told me today about her son's "kite party" last year. She bought all the kids a kite to fly at the party which was at a park and they then took them home.
Maybe hit up the craft stores or the hobby stores?
post #5 of 35
These are really cute ideas. The only idea I've been able to come up with is temporary tattoos and maybe one of those teeny tiny magna doodles.
post #6 of 35
One of my friends had kids paint plant pots, and then sent home dirt/seeds so the kids could grow their own plants.

One of ds' friends always does school supplies (his birthday is in early Sept).

This year ds is having a pool party and I'm going to give 2-3 little pool toys.
post #7 of 35
Great Ideas!! s
post #8 of 35
All the other kids at my son's 1st b'day party were "big" kids - ranging in age from 2.5 to 9. I made little silk draw-string bags from the sleeves of repurposed shirts from the thrift store and filled each with paint sample cards (cut up so that there was only one color per piece). We used them on a nature walk: each kid chose a card and looked for something that color. The smaller kids could look for something green or pink or gray, while the older ones could try to match the colors more closely. It was a fun, non-competitive game that they could make up variations to and re-use. And it cost almost nothing!
post #9 of 35
This year we're doing a rock climbing party - rock candy (the real stuff!)a mini carabiner, bookmarks with space rock scenes, and magnets that say I Climb! on them - all told about $6 ea. The goodie bags themselves will be paper mache rocks.
post #10 of 35
I stole an idea from a friend: Dollar Store board books. It was a "goodie book" instead of goodie bag.
post #11 of 35
Great ideas!

I am not a fan of the goddie bag either. I am a party favor girl.

This year ds's guests will each receive a Mr. Birthday book in a cloth pouch.

Last year it was a sand bucket and car set.

A few years ago my dd had a tea party and each guest received a tea cup that I found on Freecycle or at the Salvation Army for cheap. Most were antiques.

post #12 of 35
We did a tea party a couple years ago. It was actually a ballerina tea party, lol. I got netting and ribbon and made tutus for the girls and got 2 vests at goodwill for the boys. Then I got all different cups and saucers and fancy spoons at goodwill. After they ate, I put out a dishpan of soapy water and they washed their dishes. The kids got to take home their cups/saucers and costumes. They loved it.

We had a playground party and they got bubbles and sidewalk chalk.

Last year was a camping party. We had camp activities making a rock necklace, popsickle stick crafts, make your own ice cream and smores stations. The goody bags had smore mix (mini marshmellows, teddy grahams and choco chips), a smores ornament (I got them super cheap after Christmas a couple years ago and had some left over), and some camping theme coloring pages I printed off and made copies of.

Dd hasn't decided on her theme for this year yet (we have till August). I don't know exactly what we'll do for ds' birthday this year either. Last year he was 1 and we had a family party so no goody bags, but this year he has lots of little friends. Maybe a ball or bubbles, don't know yet.
post #13 of 35
My son's birthday is Aug 30th, so I premade applesauce, and let the kids mix it with blueberries, blackberries, and or cinnamin. Then they took that home.
I have to think about this year's idea still. I like a craft idea, because I don't want any competitive games.
Also, since it was the end of August, I had some huge zuchinnis. So I had knives out for practice cutting, and golf tees for hammering into them. The kids had a lot of fun.
I'll bet silk parachutes would work really well. Especially if I repurpose I silk shirt. Then it would be really cheap! I like to put my budget all into the food, spending very little on decorations or junk.
post #14 of 35
I'm loving all the great ideas! Last year DS was 4 and we had a pirate party. Got wooden treasure boxes from the craft store ($1 each) - painted them black and wrote each childs name in Gold on top. Inside we put 2 Dark Chocolate Coins and several pirate related stickers (like ships, parrots, anchors...no guns or swords...even tho that is the nature of pirates )

When DS turned 3 we had a fire truck party - complete with a real fire truck/firefighter visit! We had a basket of fire truck cars for kids to pick one and take home (along with a helium filled balloon).

When little DS turned 1 we just had a family party...and got twirly flags that they could run with outside and they spin...with streamers at the end...not sure how to explain this! But...that was last May and they were at the Dollar Store...and my boys are playing with them this year too! Especially DS2.

Not sure what we are doing this year...have thought about a monster truck party...then each child would get a monster truck...(have seen large packs of them...so it would be about $1 ea).
post #15 of 35
My daughter is having a party next weekend. I was short on time so I bought canvas bags 4/ $3.00 and put a bottle of bubbles, box of crayons, a little kit to plant your own Christmas tree, 2 organic suckers, and an organic fruit roll up. I thought it was cool. The entire thing cost about $4.00 per kid.
post #16 of 35
Whenever DD or DS get a loot bag, it goes straight to the trash. Cheap plastic toys and candy - no thanks.

We, like others on here, do themed favors. To name a few, we've done pool toys and goggles for DD's pool party; sticky/gooey 'eyeballs' for DS's ogre party; silk purses and painted chopsticks for DD's Chinese-themed b-day; magic tricks/puzzles for DS's magic party; buckets/shovels for a DS party, etc.

We did loot bags when they were smaller and it's funny how much more you spend on them, even though they are made up of things that are so cheap. It is much less expensive to buy fewer, but better, favors.
post #17 of 35
Thanks for the great ideas! DS's first birthday party had a sock monkey theme and each kid got a sock monkey that I had made.
post #18 of 35
these are great. Dd is having a Cars themed party (don't get me started on her obsession with this Disney theme)...but we are planning on doing either a) bag of cookie dough mix and cookie cutter or b) the flower pot with seeds idea. Dw who is crafty will sew up a bunch of bags. I should mention we are also having a pinata which will contain some sugary treats and some little bubble sets...
post #19 of 35
Originally Posted by proudmamanow View Post
these are great. Dd is having a Cars themed party (don't get me started on her obsession with this Disney theme)...but we are planning on doing either a) bag of cookie dough mix and cookie cutter or b) the flower pot with seeds idea. Dw who is crafty will sew up a bunch of bags. I should mention we are also having a pinata which will contain some sugary treats and some little bubble sets...
Why not stay theme-related and paint small wooden cars to take home? Or those small license plates that go on bikes, personalized with their names (you could even get the sticker kind and let them do their own)?
post #20 of 35
My personal favorite party favor that we've ever had was the capes that I made for DS's fourth birthday party with a superhero theme. We try to have small parties (just 3-4 kids), so making the party favor isn't too big of a deal, but that wouldn't be practical with a big party.

My friend made (or her mom made) great loot bags for her DD's birthday last year. Just fleece drawstring bags. So easy. Just take a long rectangle of fleece. Fold it, sew up the sides. Fold over the top to make a pocket, and then thread the drawstring through. She used some cording from Jo-Anns that you would use to make the cording in pillows or upholstery. She used light purple fleece, but now that I think about it, her mom made pirate ones for her DS too, using pirate printed fleece. My boys still use their bags from this party for treasure hunting adventures at home.

Last year for DS's party, I found small baskets in the dollar spot at Target, and I used those as the "loot bag". It was a "letter" party and I bought some initial post-it notes and some other stuff that I'm blanking on right now.

Younger DS's fourth birthday is in June and he says he wants a "Number" party. I still haven't figured out what we are going to do about that! I'll need to start brainstorming about that one. Treasure hunts tend to be popular though. Maybe I'll have to do some variation on that theme. For DS's letter party, I cut out each letter of the alphabet out of craft felt and hid them around the yard. The kids had to go searching for all of them. It was a fun activity.
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