30 answers

Birthday Goodie bags..ideas Anyone?

Planning a birthday party for my daughter who will be 7 in Dec. Not crazy about doing a goodie bag but feel obligated. We just moved to this area and have already been to a party where of course we brought home a goodie bag. Honestly those little plastic toys that come in these bags are entertaining for about an hour after the party. I am looking for some ideas to put in these bags if anyone has any and would like to pass it along, it would be appreciated. The only thing I have in mind right now is a book for each child with a book marker....

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I'd like to thank everyone for their honest input. Although I'm still thinking about not doing them but my one option is that I may order packs of books from Scholastics (my daughter's school gets credit for it), break up the packs and (more cost effective than plastic toys in a bag) give each child a book and marker and hope I helped them improve their reading with a cute book.

Featured Answers

I am not big on the whole goodie bag thing either but like you felt obligated. I usually try to have them do a craft and that is what they take home. I have also decorated with helium balloons and attached them to a pack of gum and then sent them home with the kids. This kind of thing always killed two birds with one stone. Either gave them something to do or decorated for the party and then sent it home with the kids at the end. The kids loved both of these and I never heard any of them ask for goodie bags. My daughter went to one party and it was a superhero party and they all made superhero capes and then that was what they came home with. It lasted way longer that those doller store toys and she loved it. I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

I've been ditching the goody bag idea and doing one large candy bar with a wrapper printed on the computer that says "Thanks fro coming..." You could also do a bag of microwave popcorn like that (Thanks for popping by..."?
If my son does get a goody bag--he likes pencils, markers.
Really, wouldn't the book and bookmark be enough? Tie them up with some cute raffia maybe?

1 mom found this helpful

A Lego pack for boys and a small craft for girls (a braclet or necklace craft). That and some candy and a Japanese eraser will do and will cost about $5 per bag.

1 mom found this helpful

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One year, instead of goodie bags, we made cd's of my daughter's favorite music and put a picture of her on the cd (at any of the Office Supply stores you can get CD labels that you can print a picture on by running it through a color printer). Parents and kids loved it and still listen to the music.

3 moms found this helpful

How about just snacks in there, instead of toys? Goldfish crackers, trail mix, etc...

2 moms found this helpful

I've been ditching the goody bag idea and doing one large candy bar with a wrapper printed on the computer that says "Thanks fro coming..." You could also do a bag of microwave popcorn like that (Thanks for popping by..."?
If my son does get a goody bag--he likes pencils, markers.
Really, wouldn't the book and bookmark be enough? Tie them up with some cute raffia maybe?

1 mom found this helpful

A Lego pack for boys and a small craft for girls (a braclet or necklace craft). That and some candy and a Japanese eraser will do and will cost about $5 per bag.

1 mom found this helpful

What is the party theme? My son turned 4 in August and I did personalized aprons b/c he had a cooking party. I personally hate party bags but love the idea of something the party goers can use. How about a gift certificate for a snow cone or ice cream shop in your area?

1 mom found this helpful

I am not big on the whole goodie bag thing either but like you felt obligated. I usually try to have them do a craft and that is what they take home. I have also decorated with helium balloons and attached them to a pack of gum and then sent them home with the kids. This kind of thing always killed two birds with one stone. Either gave them something to do or decorated for the party and then sent it home with the kids at the end. The kids loved both of these and I never heard any of them ask for goodie bags. My daughter went to one party and it was a superhero party and they all made superhero capes and then that was what they came home with. It lasted way longer that those doller store toys and she loved it. I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

I'd suggest checking your local Michaels or JoAnn craft store - they often have cute calendars in their dollar bins and some have different pictures to color each month. One year I bought a bunch of "kids art calendars" at Michaels for $1/each and packaged them with a small box of markers (50 cents each at a post-back-to-school clearance).

1 mom found this helpful

Didn't read the other responses, but we started giving $2 gift certificates to Baskin Robbins instead and those have gone over really, really well!

Hit the Target $1 area at the front of the store. They have a lot of books right now-not sure if they are age appropriate for a 7 year old though. Coloring books and crayons. Michael's has $1, $2, $3 items. I do not like random plastic junk. But as you said goodie bags are the thing. Playdough would be another good one.

I stocked up on items after Halloween when the items were 75% or 90% off. Playdough and Slinkies will be the main goodie bag items, but I did buy a few plastic items too-honestly because I knew my son would like them and for 50¢ for 8 they were a great price.

The book idea sounds great! Add some stickers and you are good to go....maybe pencils or some sort of stationary, coloring/activity pads with pencils/crayons are big at this age. I recently went to a birthday party and they had a lovely Toy Story/Princess drinking cup with its straw and they filled it with chocolate kisses. My son loves the cup! That was a really neat idea! Bubbles are fun and Michaels has little arts & crafts projects around $1-$2 range and they can make their own wooden project at home. That's fun too! I put healthier foods in it like raisins, animal cookies, fruit snacks instead of the usual candy overload.

I like the gift certificate for mcdonalds idea. I personally HATE goodie bags. THey are such a waste of money and then you have to keep all that little stuff!

We go to the dollar Tree and get 1 toy and 1 snack item (like cotton candy or gum) for each child and put it in a big bicket for them to pick out of. Its a lot more fun that way and it costs a lot less.

is there a theme to the party? for my daughters princess party I gave everyone a crown and plastic jewelry I bought at the dollar store. For my sons "cars" bday we put matchbox cars in the bag with candy.

I love the snack idea with a juice box, the book idea is good but it is hard at that age as they vary in reading ability. Also the gift certificate for ice cream, french fries at Mcdonalds or a package of gum or popcorn would also be used.

Just did this last weekend! Paper cup from the dollar store - black from the party section - with a sticker on it matching your theme. Punch a hole in the cup and attach a helium balloon. Put in a tad of tinsel type bag stuffer - also dollar store. Add 1 pen matching your theme, 1 tracing ruler, 1 bag of gummies matching your theme, 1 noise maker, 1 glitter paint pen. Kids and parents loved the treats! Most everything came from the dollar store in packs of 8. They were cute too!

The last few years, I have been trying to get one small theme related gift to give out rather than a goody bag. I think a book for each child is plenty!

The last couple of years we've done some sort of craft during the party and that craft was the "goody bag". My kids birthdays are one week before Halloween, one day before Halloween and 3 days after New Years, so that time of year is filled with candy and junk food and unhealthy treats. I absolutely REFUSE to give away goody bags filled with more junky food. And those plastic toys are stupid and I hate them in my house, I can't imagine another parent liking in them in theirs. My daughter had a sleepover party last weekend (yeah, it was a couple of weeks past her actual b'day, oh well...) and I got each girl a pair of fluffy, snuggly socks to wear at the party and take home with them. And my daughter gave each of her friends one special Japanese eraser actually BOUGHT in Japan from her "private collection". I think your idea for a book with a book marker is awesome - I'd go with that over a bag of junk!

You feel obligated. Is that a valid reason to do it? I personally do NOT believe in the goody bag. I invite people over to my home to enjoy a celebration...and I have to give THEM a gift? Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this? The fact that you feel obligated is every reason to NOT do it. The children are coming over to eat cake and ice cream. Why is that not enough????

I make more of a snack bag than goodie bag. Things like a juice box, any type of crackers, chips, fruit snack, granola bars,raisins, any small snacks. You can buy these things in bulk at Sam's or BJ's. Kids and adults as well will enjoy.

Silly bands! Or a little water bottle.

I haven't read anyone else's response but I will tell you that you don't have to do goodie bags!! I didn't at my son's 3rd B-day party and no one (not even the kids) even said a word, well, at least not to my face or that came back to me! lol To me, goodie bags are a waste of my time as a parent who's child gets them. The toys either break or get lost and I don't let my kids have but maybe one piece of candy and the rest just sits and rots so that parent just wasted their money. So why do I want to waste mine by passing out the same stuff!!

If you really want to do goodie bags, go to the dollar store and get little coloring books and some crayons. Even toss in those stencil rulers too. Keep it simple and cheap!

Good luck
Shaire

OrientalTrading.com - TONS of ideas.

Good luck

Hello, If you are not sure what to do, call Butterfly Dreams theme parties for kids, they come to you with everything including the goodie bags, they are great and the kids love them. They do all types of parties for girls & boys of all ages. Look at their website: www.ButterflyDreamsparty.com or call them at ###-###-#### for any questions and customer service is the best with them. Call ahead of time, they do get booked up and take last min. request.
You can relax and enjoy the party and let Butterfly dreams do it all!
good luck!

anything creative....funky piece of sidewalk chalk, colored pencil, little notebook, stamp, etc. Michaels crafts has awesome dollar sections too

Is it a themed party? You can always do some chapstick, kids bath stuff, and those silly band bracelets, they are the hottest thing for kids right now... and they can have fun trading with each other to get the ones they want...

If you don't like the idea of doing a goodie bag, then don't do it! My husband felt obligated from the time our son was I think 3 years old because everyone else was doing it. He said we were going to have to or be pariahs. I stood my ground and said "no." Guess what, we were not and are not pariahs. That was when we lived just north of San Francisco. We moved to the Seattle area a little over a year ago. So far, about half the parties we have been to here have done goodie bags and the other half have not. I find talking to the parents that most hate the idea, both from the standpoint of the one throwing the party (the gift to the guests is that your dear friend invited you to share their special day with them and you get to participate in all the fun activities and usually partake in some good food and cake/cookies too!) and the one having to take home and deal with all this JUNK! It seems like there might be a trend back to no goodie bags. I, for one, think that is a VERY GOOD thing! I finally have been able to get my kids to understand that the point of going to a party is to celebrate the guest of honor, NOT to get a goodie bag. I hated hearing as soon as most everyone was finished eating their cake the chorus of "where are the goodie bags?" Finally, I hardly hear it anymore and I hope it stays that way.

Good luck!

Not sure on how much you want to spend or if it is all girls or both boys an girls but here are some ideas...

Paper doll book
Nice play jewlery
Hot wheels cars
Magnifying glass
Colored pencils with small pad
Candy and a toothbrush :)
Go Fish or Snap card games or regular deck of cards

Hope this helps!

I hate the cheap plastic junk too. My daughter (and son, actually) have both always loved little pen/notebook sets. I find them at Michael's (craft store) in the $1 bins all the time. Some are kid looking, some are flowery more grown up stuff (like the Laura Ashley ones I got the last time). But my kids LOVE those things. My daughter uses them for mini-diaries, or joke books, or to write xmas lists, just whatever. WAY better than cheap plastic stuff if you ask me. Something like that, a couple pieces of individually wrapped Double Bubble gum (like the kind we used to get at the ball park for 2¢ a piece), and maybe a sticker or temporary tattoo or something and I'd call it "done". :)

Oh, and instead of doing a goody bag altogether, just give each child (or let each child pick one) a balloon from the party on the way out the door! What else are you gonna do with them? Kids LOVE balloons!
hth

Here are few of the things I put in the girls goody bags for their parties over the years:
1. Hair accessories
2. Books
3. Slippers
4. Color books
5. Crayons
6. Homemade treats
7. Coins
8. A Christmas ornament
9. Bracelet or necklace
10. Little craft kits
11. Fruit or Fruit Roll Ups
12. Special pencils

I hope this helps...I am sure if I thought about it long enough some of the other things I used would pop up. I know one year I crocheted slippers and a refrigerator magnet for each of them and then put in a piece of homemade fudge. The girls all loved it. I usually tried to make special things that their Mom's couldn't go out and buy in a store. It all depends on how many you invite, if it's all girls or both boys and girls, and how much money or time you have to spend. Relax, I didn't even make goody bags for all the parties. One year I got each of the kids a puzzle and wrapped it up in Birthday paper for them to open. Another year I got them all a Bedtime Bible Story book. Some of the parties I didn't give the guests anything. They had plenty of treats at the party. It's all up to you and if you are giving out of love or if you feel pressured into it. Good Luck and God Bless You in what ever you choose to do.

My sentiments exactly. If you don't want to do them, don't. I never do them.

You could always send a thank you (at the party pre-made) that says thanks for coming to my party. You could put a gift certificate to Wendy's for a Frosty or McD's happy meal if you wanted something different then cheap toys.

What about pencils, erasers, tablets, paints, etc. Stuff they can use for school?

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