Birthday Parties: The Loot Bag Re-Invented (Ideas Other Than Lollies for Take Homes)

Confession time. (AGAIN!)

I like sugar. That being said, I truly meant to buy the “I Quit Sugar” book and I did contemplate going sugar-free but….I can’t. I love lollies and white, refined, ‘this really isn’t that good for you’ sugar. So what’s a mum to do when it comes to a children’s party and loot bags…? 

After their little nerves are raw from all the fun and they’ve really indulged in party food including cake (who wouldn’t?!) the generous party host usually hands my little people a loot bag filled with… more sugar! This is when I have to use communication skills that would leave a police hostage negotiator languishing in my dust. Have you ever tried to talk a little person into handing over the post-party lolly bag? It’s what us Mums do every single time in an attempt to avoid another 5 kilos of sugar being consumed by sticky fingers in the car on the way home.

So. Here’s the solution! Being a gift giving person at heart….I love my kids friends leaving our parties feeling like they have been given something special so here are a few budget-friendly solutions that have really been a hit round our place…

1.DIY Hand kites

Easily made and super fun, grab yourself a few polished wooden rings, lots of bright ribbon, 6 to 8-metre length pieces of ribbon to the ring and presto! These make an amazing gift for either boys or girls. You can easily make them match the theme of your child’s party or personalise them by making the initial of the party guest on their kite. Image & DIY instructions via The Petit Cadeau.
Rainbow kites DIY

2. Colouring in packs

If you’re creative, photocopy a few themed pictures and pop these in a loot bag for the kids, but if you’re like me, and are after the wow factor, Big W often has $1 or $2 colouring in books, so for one of my daughters birthdays, for each child I put a colouring book, a lollipop and 4 colouring pencils with a bow around them in a carry bag with the child’s name on it as their loot bag. They loved it. Our friends at Crayola have stacks of great free colouring to choose from.
party bags

3. Scented glitter play dough.

For a super fun and impressive looking treat, try making some glitter playdough. Make your playdough as usual and add in a few drops of essential oils (lavender or peppermint work well) and a good dose of glitter. Pop it in a ziplock bag to keep it fresh and drop one of these into each party bag. It’s bound to be a hit! Recipe and image via Strawberry Swing.

4. Stationery

Who honestly doesn’t love new stationery? Kmart does some unreal little packs including multiples of notebooks, pens, pencils and erasers. Enough said. It’s a winner.

5. A few great dress-up accessories

Little girls will always love another fairy wand, a tiara or some light fabric cut into big rectangles to drape around themselves to become anyone they want to be. Likewise, my son just loves, pirate eye patches, plastic glasses or a simple cape. Let your imagination run wild. Image and DIY instructions: View From The Fridge.

6. Blind bags or themed accessories

A few weeks before my son’s birthday this year, Matchbox mystery packs came on special. Bingo. I snapped up several and his party bags contained one of these (which all the boys LOVED) a notepad and pencil and a small sugary treat. You can easily go with a theme on this one, Shopkins, Star Wars, Paw Patrol and many others all have little bags of goodness ready for you to pop into those loot bags! Car favour party bags from Handmade by Jill.

Anyway, I’ve found (to my husband’s dismay is that the key to a funky party bag is to nab these things or take note of great ideas when you see them throughout the year and have a little spot (mine’s in the linen cupboard) where you put all the goodies throughout the year.

Then, when birthday party time rolls around, I just buy the bags, make the awesome craft and gleefully construct bags full of treasures for my children’s friends. Happy loot bag creating!

Avatar of Liz Giovas

Part time teacher, part time counsellor, full time mum, wife and socialiser, Liz Giovas enjoys squeezing every bit of fun out of life. Writing about and speaking on many topics including parenting, relationships and family life, she regularly has a funny tale to tell or a challenge to propose. In her spare time when she's not reading, or hanging out with her family, Liz enjoys dragging good friends along in the search for the perfect cup of coffee.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar of Lyn Cohn

    Please please please stop saying things like ‘little girls can never have enough tiaras’ and ‘boys will love a pirate eye patch’. If my daughter gets one more fairy wand I think we’ll both puke. As to pirate stuff, well, we had to make and buy our own.

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