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Kids' party bag ideas

You've planned the party, handed out the invitations and prepared all the food. Now there's just the kids' party bags left to do. These can be tricky, as they could make the difference between your child's party ending on a high note or in tears. Luckily, Mumsnetters have lots of recommendations for party bag fillers that won't break the bank, that the children will enjoy, and – thankfully – there's absolutely no plastic tat in sight.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Jun 3, 2021

Kids party bags

What Mumsnetters have to say

"For party bags I would go with a slice of cake and edibles. Maybe a book selection from a multipack so they can choose one. Have a craft activity so they can take their creations home."

"Don't think anyone does the bag of tat anymore really. Every party my children go to they get some sort of book or small toy and a piece of cake."

"Kids DO love crap, but useful crap, like fancy rubbers, pencils, notepads, natural sweets etc might not feel quite so bad."

Plastic-free party bag fillers

1. Julia Donaldson bookset, £18 for 10 books

Julia Donaldson books

Mumsnetters are big fans of popping books in party bags. This set of Julia Donaldson's 10 most-loved picture books is a great option for your little guests (and for your wallet).

And if you need something for younger children, there's the Songbirds Phonics Collection, which is also written by Julia Donaldson. These are lovely bite-sized tales for children learning to read and at this price, an absolute steal.

“The Book People do some great packs of books that work out about £1 a book. One of those with a slice of cake would be grand.”

“I have a friend who buys a pack of books from The Book People and just gives a book, cake and a mini pack of Haribo. The kids seem happy, the parents seem happy, and it works out quite cheaply. "

2. Bigjigs Woodland Magnets, £9.99 for 35 pieces

Bigjigs woodland magnets

Children love magnets, as well as having their art on display on the family fridge. So why not put a magnet or two in their party bag? This set of 35 wooden magnets includes different woodland animals, plants and trees, and is made from high quality, responsibly-sourced materials.

3. Box Buddies Finger Puppets, £3.99 for 48 individual puppets

Box Buddies finger puppets

Great for imaginative play, finger puppets are an easy win with kids. This monstrous party pack comes with 12 colourful cards, each with four different finger puppet designs. So, depending on the number of guests you have coming, you can divide up the 48 individual finger puppets accordingly.

As a bonus, no scissors or glue are needed to build them – children can simply pop the characters out of the card, fold, join the tab to the slot and place them on their fingers.

4. Scratch Art Rainbow Bookmarks, £5.99 for a pack of 24

Scratch Art Rainbow Bookmarks

These scratch art bookmarks are a fun and creative addition to any party bag. Each pack comes with 24 bookmarks, wooden stylus sticks and ribbons so your little guests have all they need to make their own.

The instructions are simple: using the wooden stylus stick provided, children can scratch their unique designs on the surface of the bookmark, revealing the rainbow background underneath. When done, they can tie one of the colourful ribbons to their bookmark as a finishing touch.

5. Mini Puzzle Activity Book and Colouring Pencils Set, £7.99 for a pack of 15

Mini puzzle activity book set

If you’re looking for an entertaining party favour that keeps the children busy, these mini activity books might be just the thing. Each book includes 16 pages of puzzles including word-searches, join-the-dots, spot-the-difference, word puzzles, mazes and colouring pictures.

Every activity book also comes with a pack of colouring pencils (or crayons, depending on availability) so your little party guests are all set to get cracking on the puzzles.

Another good-value option is this pack of 24 jungle-themed puzzle books for £4.84, combined with a mini colouring pencil set for each child, priced at £8.50 for 25 sets.

"Activity book plus chocolates (or a small pack of Haribos) is fine. It’s good to avoid plastic tat."

6. Design-Your-Own Hanging Photo Frames, £7.95 for 12

Design your own picture frames

If you'd like a fun craft activity to do at the party, you could include one of these design-your-own photo frames in the party bags. Great for a wide range of ages, simply provide some paints and let the children express their creativity.

Alternatively, if you'd like to avoid the mess, just pop the frames in the party bags to be given at the end.

"I just got paint-your-own photo frames for DD's party bags, along with some sweets and cake. Job done."

7. Mini plush Emoji Keychains, £8.99 for a pack of 20

Emoji keychains

These soft emoji keyrings are ideal for party bags as they are bound to generate a lot of excitement at pretty much any age (don't ask why, we have no idea). There are lots of different emojis to choose from in this pack of 20, and they are easy to hang on backpacks or pencil cases or whichever strange place the children fancy.

8. The Gruffalo Party Sticker Bundle, £3.99 for 18 sheets

Gruffalo stickers

Stickers are always a welcome addition to any party bag. This Gruffalo sticker bundle includes 18 colourful party-size sticker sheets, featuring all of children’s favourite characters from the books. At £3.99, it's an inexpensive choice for something that will bring a lot of joy for days after the event.

9. Superhero masks, £10.99 for a pack of 21

Superhero masks

Superhero masks always go down well at a children's party. This pack comes with 21 different superhero designs, from Batman to Wonder Woman to the Hulk, but there are also larger packs available if you have more guests coming. All the masks are made out of soft felt and have an adjustable elastic band.

10. Unlined Notebooks, £13.32 for a pack of 24

Pack of notebooks

If you'd like your party bags to include something fun but also practical, these colourful notebooks with unlined pages have plenty of room for children to write and fill them with their drawings. The plain covers can also be decorated any way they like.

To make this arty party favour complete you can add a set of these mini colouring pencils, which are currently a steal at £3.83 for 20 packs.

Gift bags

Colourful paper party bags with stickers, £5.99 for 24

Colourful paper party bags

If you're looking for simple party bags that you can seal, this set includes 24 paper gift bags along with 36 'thank you for coming to my party' stickers. Each bag measures 12cm × 6cm × 22cm and comes in nine different colours. Plus, as they're made from paper, they're much better for the environment than some of the other options out there.

Wavy paper gift bags with handles, £8.99 for 24

Wavy paper party bags

If you're in need of something a bit bigger, here's a set of 24 paper gift bags with handles. Each bag measures 16cm × 8cm × 22cm and comes in six different colours.

Cartoon drawstring bags, £12.99 for 10

Cartoon drawstring bags

If you'd like the bag to be part of the fun, you can't go wrong with these cute drawstring bags. They measure 25.5cm × 30.5cm and come in five different designs. Put a couple of party favours of your choice inside and your job's done.