Cheap and Easy Goody Bag Ideas

Updated on February 23, 2011
R.S. asks from Ventura, CA
29 answers

Hi Moms,
My son's 1st birthday party is in 2 weeks and I am looking for ideas for cheap and easy goody bag ideas. We will have about 15 kids ranging in age from 1 to 15.

Thanks!!!

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R.F.

answers from San Diego on

All of my children are born in September. Since we only have to think about birthdays once a year we go all out for one day and I allow the kids to invite anyone they want. When my kids became school age I stopped preparing the party bags and began shopping at the 99 cent store. We pick out dozens of toys and lay them out on a table for the guests. The kids love that they get to go home with a real gift. The best part is that I only spend $1.00 on each child!

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H.G.

answers from Sacramento on

You should try "oriental trading .com" they have a million and one toy's that are child appropraite and small (+candy to) and you can order in large quantities.

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J.W.

answers from Yuba City on

The dollar store in Yuba City or Marysville is great. They have board books for a buck! You could give out a board book and some other small thing or just the book.

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M.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

1 year we gave out buckets of sidewalk chalk from the $.99 store. Good Luck!

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L.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I just went to a two year old party and received the cutest..easist gift bag. She used plain lunch bags and filled them with the following goodies:

tiny playdough
two sticker stripes
little notepad
four crayons

She hole punched the top of the bag and used mulicolored ribbon to tie it closed. REally cute, really easy...very inexpensive!!

Good Luck

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J.N.

answers from Los Angeles on

R.:

for our daughter's first birthday party, I went to the local Smart & Final and got large chinese take-out boxes. I filled these with bubbles, small squirter toys, and depending on the age of the receipient, either a little rattle/jingle toy or small favor-sized tubs of Play-doh. I also tucked in little tubes of lip gloss or sticky lizards, depending on the gender. I managed to get all of these for cheap (average $1 or less) by checking out the local Target store's $1 bin area, the $0.99 store and the local drug store. Good luck!

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D.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

you can use lunch bags, a pack of brown paper lunch bags are very inexpensive. Whatever the theme is, you can go on-line a print out the character or theme and glue/paste it on each bag. Also if you have left over halloween candy, you can put that inside or buy inexpensive favors that they can use. For example, pencils, erasers, stickers (materials for learning)

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S.J.

answers from Sacramento on

There are these pans you can buy that you can bake cookies with a stick in them, so they look like suckers. You can wrap some plastic wrap over them, and tie it with a bow and a little note card...who doesn't love cookies? Thats a nice gift for all your guests...young and old.

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C.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

For my son's first birthday, I got a couple small toys that were safe for kids that age and then filled the rest of the bag with granola bars and Gerber fruit snacks.

Hope that helps!

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D.J.

answers from Sacramento on

Hello There,

For my son's first birthday I did a bubble theme. I had bubbles out in different areas and I set up a bubble machine that automatically puts out bubbles- the kids loved this. For the goody bags I gave a bottle of bubbles, light blue big bouncy balls, and a little tube of bubble bath. This was so easy and my son had a blast.

Hope this helps!
D.

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Try Oriental Trading Company. I learned about them from the Martha Stewart Show. The website is: www.orientaltrading.com
They have tons of great and reasonable goodies for kids or anything else. I've bought things from here many times.
Good luck,
~Susan
www.cafepress.com/littlegoogoo

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L.A.

answers from San Francisco on

I wouldn't bother with goodie bags for kids over 12 -- mine are 13 and 14 and we stopped having goodie bags a couple years ago. I also wouldn't do them for kids under 2 -- they won't know the difference.
Avoid the junk that seems to be de rigueur in party bags. You could put in homemade goodies like chocolate chip cookies, and rainbow chunky crayons. For the latter, take broken crayons in pretty colors and melt them in lined cupcake pans (remove the crayon papers first!) in a 200° oven. When melted, turn off the oven and let them harden on the rack. You can also get party packs of wiki sticks (wax impregnated string you can bend into different shapes) at toy stores. Just make sure you don't have anything that's a choking hazard, since you'll have pretty young children there.

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J.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Good Morning R.,
My twins will be two next month but, Last year for their first birthday I bought colorful decorated party cups and filled them with toys,candy,writting assesories,stickers, and anything in bulk that I could seperate for the different age groups. Your local dollar store is a great place to find this stuff and disney themed stationary is also available. The goal is to enthuse all kids with healthy snacks and educational toys. Putting names on the cups also helps the children to feel included.
Hope these ideas open a door of fun for your sons party.
Enjoy
J.

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C.C.

answers from San Diego on

Hi R.,

I usually get my goody bag gifts from the 99 Cents Only store, or the $1 section from Target. The Oceanside 99 cents store has a really great selection.

For Halloween, I gave my daycare kids a Spongebob Halloween book, a stuffed toy from the $1 section @ Target, fruit snacks, granola bars, a glow stick, and a juicy juice box that were all packed inside a cute Halloween gift bag. Per child, this only cost me about $3 or $4.

Hope these ideas help.

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P.L.

answers from San Francisco on

We're having my daughter's first birthday party next week, and I'm not giving out goody bags per se, but we're giving bubbles as party favors. Babies like bubbles, right? I bought green bottles of bubbles then I am gluing foam flowers on top--our theme is somewhat of a flowers & ladybugs theme- "Doodlebug (nickname) is turning 1".

We did go to a party this weekend though and the favor bags were different for different aged kids. For example, the one for my daughter had a small stuffed animal, but the ones for the older kids had mini jars of play-doh or a slinky for example.

Good luck!

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M.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi R.,

Well my daughters 1st b-day came and went. we had kids all ages as well. what we did was go to Michaels craft store and got some of those chinese take-out boxes that were decorated and then filled them with some party favors and bubbles, and for the older kids we either got some pixie sticks, a fizzy bath ball for the girls and some stickers for the older kids. for the older boys we had gotten some candy and the "friends that were family" we had gotten a gift card for one of their favorite places. not alot like 10 or so. but at least they walked away with something good. I think for 9 kids we only spent about 50 bucks. It's not hard just very time consuming. and we had all the boxes labeled for thr kids as well made them all feel special. Well hope I could have been of some help. Good luck and have fun!

~M..

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J.E.

answers from Yuba City on

For our sons first...

2 years ago, was looking for ideas and on the internet somewhere a fellow mom had this great idea...

We filled chocolate kisses in empty baby jars and on the top of lids..we made circles and laminated the words. 'I'm no longer a little baby, now that I'm one, Glad you came to my party, hope you had fun. I'll be waving bye bye now it is through, and giving out kisses from me to you.

Have a fun 1st birthday party. It is such a milestone.

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S.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Instead of a goodie bag, you might just want to make it easy on yourself and go to the 99cent store and pick up a slinky for everyone there. Slinkys are great fun for all ages and then all you have to do is put one on each plate and you are done. Just make sure you have a sharpie to write their names on them after they are opened.

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S.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

HI R.,

On my daughter's 4th birthday I found one of the best and cheapest websites ever. They ship your order very quickly too. OrientalTrading.com. Way inexpensive and alot of cute stuff. Have a fun birthday party! S.

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E.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

R.,

For my children's younger birthdays I would fill a basket with an assortment of inexpensive coloring books, toys, stickers...
Then I would have each child pick out what they wanted. I usually would have a couple items put aside so that the last children aren't stuck with the dredges. I would usually be left with a few items. I would save them for toppers to other birthdays or donate them. When I had a larger party I purchased my items from Oriental Express.

Hope this helps,

Evelyn

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L.W.

answers from San Francisco on

There is a website orientaltrading.com (don't let the name fool you - its not Asian themed at all)that has really cheap goodybag craft kits (they come about 12 per kit and usually cost less than 10 dollars). Especially with the holidays coming they have cool little foam/felt craft kits for making ornaments, picture frames for refrigerators with magnets, etc especially if you want to avoid overloading them with sugar post Halloween. In a last minute pinch, and you do pay a little more, you can go to Party City (there's one in Serramonte off 280) -at my daughter's party in the summer they had foam sun visors that the kids decorated with their own names. As you might guess I like the combo of a craft AND a goody all in one. Good luck!

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T.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Definitly target $1 spot and the 99 cents store - there are some fantastic savings there!

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S.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

For a 1 year old, I'm assuming his guests are young too. If so, why not get sippy cups and fill them with something age appropriate. That way, they can actually use the cup over and over and you won't feel like you wasted your money on a cheap toy that will probably break in a day.

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I.C.

answers from Salinas on

When my second son was 4 years old, he arrived home from a birthday party carrying a single beanie baby -- no bag full of candy or cheap toys. Since then, I've been hooked on the same concept and present our guests with a single, large gift costing about $5 each.

When the kids were younger, these gifts included beanie babies, magic markers and coloring books (all right, so that's two!) and stacking cups. As they have aged, the gifts have become Pokemon cards, movie rental cards and bowling passes.

I still wrap the gifts or put them in gift bags, depending on the items and the children's ages.

As a hostess mom, I appreciate having to get only ONE gift per child. As a guest mom, I love seeing my son carry home only one thing that will be used and not trashed.

The children are always excited to get a real gift. Not one has evey complained about getting only one thing.

As an aside, our family has the tradtion of birthday books. On your birthday, you get presents of course. On your siblings' or parents' birthdays, you get a book. It's wrapped simply and ready for you to open when the birthday child opens his gifts -- parents included. Over the years, the presence of this birthday book has helped to lesson the jealousy of the kids over their birthday brother's bounty. My boys all love telling their friends about this tradition and proudly show-off their birthday books for years to come. I like the tradition because it helps us all the celebrate the person's birth day -- and it sends the message that reading is important and valuable.

I.

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D.P.

answers from Sacramento on

For the kids 3 + I like to get coloring books and crayons (you can get crayons 4 pakcs for $1 at dollar store)then something more appropriate for the babies, they alwaya have inexpensive little toys at the Dollar Store, $.99 store or the Dollar bins at Target! Good luck!

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R.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have had several birthday parties for my 10 year old. Even though it's far it's worth it! I have purchased many of the items that go into her guests goody bags at the alley in Los Angeles. The toy district is the best as you can get stuffed animals sometimes 12 for 10 bucks, jewelry and other great stuff. There is also a magazine which is oriental trading and the 99 cent store! The Dollar Tree, Best Dollar and the Target 1 buck bin is pretty sweet as well. The best though....Have a blast with your kid!

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K.V.

answers from San Francisco on

You have quite a range of ages to make goodie bags for. More & more, I'm trying to get away from goodie bags for out boys' parties. Most of the time, the stuff at the party stores is just junk & breaks so quickly. I love the one mom's idea of chocolate kisses in a jar. That was great! When my girlfriend threw me a shower for our 2nd son, she got M&M favors w/our soon-to-son's name on it. Go to their web site & see what you can find. There's also other candy web sites where you can get a candy bar & have the label personlized in some way. The $1 bins at Target are great, too. They usually have a wide range of cheap but somewhat sturdy toys, markers, coloring books, etc. Hope this helps & good luck! Happy 1st b-day to your little guy!

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M.E.

answers from San Francisco on

It is silly to do that...It is all about your 1 year old.. right. Although it is nice for the kids to have a something to take home..the little kids would love to have a fun balloon thta you used to decorate..The older kids could not be bothered with little stuff from O.T...if you feel you need to give them something..how 'bout a Baskin Robbins free scoop!or a cool decorated cookie that goes with your theme.

There is so much pressure for parents to give something...as some other mom said stuff htat gets losts between the seats in the car before they get home. Do not worry about it. It is a weird American thing. If you find one thing that fits..it is a nice gesture...surely not expected.

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H.H.

answers from Myrtle Beach on

Silly straws, little stamps or glitter pens, and a snack bag of teddy grahams are always included in ours.

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