What to put in party bags for kids

We all know it: the best part of going to a party as a kid wasn’t the slightly lame party games, or even the rampage of a massive sugar high after eating a slice of cake the size of your face. No, the best part of a party is the kid’s party bags – little plastic sacks of pure joy, containing tiny treasures that you would triumphantly display in the playground the next day before promptly losing. A good party bag at your birthday party could make or break your popularity levels at school the next day, no question about it.

So when it comes to your own little ones, make sure they have a leg up on the competition with our list of kids party bag ideas. We’re here to help you create party bags that are the talk of the playground, with everything from eco-friendly party bag ideas to kid’s party bag fillers, with plenty of little bits and pieces that they’ll be excited to scatter across your house.

Need extra help for a special birthday? We’re assuming you’ve got a kid’s birthday card for your son or daughter already sorted, but we can help with some great kid’s party planning tips. Check out our guide to the 10 best party games for kids, some great ideas for kid’s birthday cakes, and our tips for throwing the perfect children’s pirate party.

Kid’s party bag ideas

Wondering what to put in party bags? Here are a few of our favourite suggestions that are bound to please even the pickiest party-goers.

A cone full of sweet treats

Keep costs down and customise the treats that go in your kid’s party bags with a cone of sweets – you can buy penny sweets or pick ‘n’ mix sweets in bulk rather than spending lots on pre-made treat bags!

You can buy pre-made cellophane cones, which are great if you want to stick to a colour theme since you can see the sweets through the cone – pick blue sweets for an underwater theme party, or pinks and purples for a princess birthday.

Alternatively, you can make your own snack cones out of paper for a more eco-friendly alternative – choose an appropriate paper for the party theme, or write the recipient’s name on it in your best handwriting. (Not got the fanciest handwriting? Check out our guide on how to learn calligraphy for some top tips!)

How to make an easy cone out of paper

  1. Cut out a wide triangle with one long side and two short sides of equal length
  2. Roll the corners of the paper into the middle, so that one edge is touching the middle of the triangle.
  3. Roll the other corner across the top so it wraps around to make a cone shape.
  4. Fold the loose edges down into the opening of the cone
  5. Secure with tape on the inside and outside of the cone.

A personalised journal and a set of coloured pencils

This is a super wholesome gift that’s perfect for slightly older kids. Give them each a personalised journal and a set of pencils that they can use to record their thoughts and feelings. Even young kids have been swept up in the bullet journaling trend, so include some pretty stickers or stencils so they can use to make the pages look even prettier.

Polaroid photo from the party

Go a bit retro and snap a classic Polaroid photo of the party as a gift for the kids party bags! Parents and kids will love this party favour idea, and it’s a lovely keepsake memento that they can keep. Snap candid photos throughout the party, and get one of each child – make sure you write the occasion and date on the bottom. Then slip it into their party bag to admire on the way home, along with a cute novelty fridge magnet so it can be displayed in pride of place on the fridge at home!

Party bag filler ideas

Just need some party bag filler ideas, quickly? We know parents are busy planning five million things, and your kid’s birthday party is a whole list on its own. You’ve got to plan the kid’s party games, buy the food, decorate the house, buy the presents, hang the bunting / balloons / streamers… look, we get it. You’ve got a lot going on.

So let us help with the party bag fillers – if you don’t have time to put together thoughtful single gifts, then here’s a big ol’ list of ideas that you can easily pick up and put in your goodie bags to keep all of the kids happy.

  • Kid’s sunglasses
  • Bouncy balls
  • Sticker sheet
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Paper hats
  • Glittery pencil
  • Cute shaped rubbers
  • Mini notebook
  • Pen toppers
  • Glitter gel pen
  • Chalk
  • Mini jigsaw
  • Bubbles
  • Hair bobbles
  • Hair clips
  • Chalk
  • Individually wrapped sweets like Love Hearts, Parma Violets, Dip Dabs, Freddos
  • Candy necklaces and watches
  • Chocolate coins
  • Mini packs of Haribo
  • Cupcakes
  • Cookies

Top tips for kids party bag ideas:

Here are a few essential tips to remember when it’s time to fill up your party bags.

You don’t have to over-fill the party bags

Rather than putting a dozen small cheap plastic party bag fillers in each bag, pick a few nicer items or home-made pieces. It’s better to have two or three nice items rather than a whole handful of pieces of plastic that won’t even get played with!

Choose safe toys

Obviously, avoid small items that a smaller child might chew or swallow that could pose a choking risk, and make sure you know about any allergies before you put any food items in the party bags!

Avoid anything noisy

If you value your peace and quiet, don’t include anything in a party bag that can make a load of noise. It might be all well and good giving them kazoos or party horns as they’re leaving your house.

Think twice about toy weapons

Whether it’s toy guns, swords, or any kind of projectile designed to be thrown, you run the risk of someone getting hurt – not to mention, some families don’t like toy weapons. If you do want to give things like water pistols, then make sure everyone knows the safe way to play and set boundaries while they’re still at the party.

Eco friendly party bag ideas

It’s also worth mentioning that kids party bags are infamous for being full of disposable pieces of single-use plastic, which get played with once and then discarded. If you’d like your party bags to be a bit more eco-friendly, then here are some eco-friendly party bag ideas that kids will still love.

Grow your own plant kits

Grow your own plant kits are great ideas for kids party bags. Your only issue is that they’re a bit more about delayed gratification, which is famously not something that kids are great with. But with some thoughtful planning, you can make this into a challenge that keeps on giving. For example, if you’re celebrating a summer birthday, give all the kids sunflower seeds and a measuring tape, and challenge them to see who can grow the tallest sunflower over the summer!

Bake personalised gingerbread people

Make this part of the party activities – bake a batch of gingerbread people before the party, and have plenty of different coloured tubes of icing. Then let the kids ice their own to look like themselves! Leave the icing to set while they play party games, then pop them into party bags at the end of the day.


There you have it – everything you need to make some perfect kids party bags that will be the stuff of playground legend. For more great tips, check out our How To section, or head to the thortful blog for more great ideas.