Good and Bad Ideas for Birthday Party Giftbags

Updated on August 15, 2011
V.N. asks from Plainfield, IL
19 answers

What have your children received that you either loved or hated. Wide range of kids from infants to 14.


What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you everyone. I am going to go with the cookie and name idea.

Featured Answers



answers from Boston on

I hate goody bags!!!! I wish everyone would get off the goody bag wagon! Parents will love you if you skip them :)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I want to know who came up with this goody bag thing in the first place.

My kids recently went to a birthday party & they gave out a cookie with each individual childs name on it, it was a delicious cookie on top of super cute.

If you want the company name I can get it from my neighbor that had the party, I think the company might have been out of Plainfield.

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Jacksonville on

Loved: No goodie bag.
Hated: Goody bag- full of plastic and junk food

I have found that kids of ALL ages absolutely LOVE to take home party balloons filled with helium. So just have them pick a balloon on their way out... or two if you have that many of them...

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Loved - a $5.00 gift certificate to half priced books
Hate - plastic junk, Mcdonalds gift certificates, and tons of candy

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

candy is a BAD idea.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I have to agree with the moms who said no goody bag. If you feel the need to get something, how about bubbles. Kids of all ages love bubbles.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I'll say it a million times HATE HATE HATE goodie bags.

gumball machine type toys
snack food
tiny erasers
McDonald gift cert.

Ok items...
box of crayons (preferably crayola)
sidewalk chalk
school supplies - good sized fun erasers, pencil box, fun pens
older girls - bottle of nail polish and a nail file

Things we received that both I and my daughters liked
journal with cool pen
beach ball
pail and shovel

One year I gave out a small cosmetic bag (could double as a pencil pouch) with lip balm that the girls seemed to like.

I don't like wasting money, even if it's not mine. I like when the gift is part of the party. My daughter once decorated a bandana using fabric paint, that was 6 years ago and she still has the bandana. I aslo like the idea of using helium baloons for the party and each child takes one home. One year my daughter made a beach coverup at a party be decorating a men's sleeveless t-shirt, it was really cute and she used it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I hated goodie bags too, so I stopped giving them. I was always stressed out trying to put something cool into it. But one of my SIL always gives them, and she just loads them up with candy, and us parents LOVE that!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

For my daughter's 4th b-day we had a beach-themed party and we burned CDs of the music we played during the party and gave them as favors instead of a goody bag. Many people loved it, and some still listen to it almost 3 years later. You can even buy cd labels to customize the cds that you burn. It was pretty inexpensive too.

Besides that, I liked when my kids received a reusable water bottle as a favor (each had a balloon tied around it and they were placed around the table where the kids ate). It's a favor that we actually still use. Skip the plastic junk that parents throw away!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

No whistles! I accidentally passed out the goody bags early and that was all the kids played with!

No kazoos.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

Five dollar McDonald's gift cards. EVEN if they "hate" MCDonalds they sell water, juice and milk. Works out nice and you don't have to buy a lot of plastic junk.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I like to give a bigger item, if I can find one. My son just had a party in our backyard with a big kids pool and water slide. I gave each kid a foam water blaster (like a squirt gun) to play with at the party and take home. I also gave them one candy bar on the way out the door. I think the kids all like to get a little bit of candy.
Other "bigger" ideas: baseball caps, $5 to 31 flavors, mani/pedi set with polish file, toe separators, gloss, craft kits, etc., ...

Keep your eye out for things on sale that could work for as favors all throughout the year.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

I'm cool w/ candy-at least it goes away. And I have a sweet tooth. ;)
Little plastic junk that breaks in a few days-I hate that!
Bendy straws-I hate cleaning them.
Tattoos of Justin Beiber-no thanks. ;)

I gave out wax craft sticks at one party-those were a hit and DD is still playing w/ hers.
And little watering cans for the wee ones. Still playing w/ those too.

One party the kids made necklaces as the favor. That was fun!

Just stay away from plastic trash and I think you will be safe.
Target has a little area in the school supply area that has $3-ish craft ideas, my kid loves that stuff.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

i agree with those who said they hate the small plastic junk. what a waste. i would rather see a "favor" one thing that is good than a bunch of stuff that is junky. how about something that goes with the theme? or, something that is useful, crayons, a craft project, cereal bars or rice krispie treats instead of candy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

What I did for my sons last birthday party was get character cups and put coloring books, crayons, a pencil ect in it. We got the idea from a little girls party we went to

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

What ever it is, I have come to the conclusion it is better to spend (for example), $5 on ONE great item for the kids to take home, rather than 5-10 bits of rubbish. On saying that, we made a door knob marker/book mark with the kids names on it out of foam stickies, glo sticks my kids love, and a punch ball balloon pack/rocket balloons - they are my kids favourite things.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

We loved a party where the "take home" was the tableware they used at the party. Every place setting had a monkey plate and fun cup with a silly straw. I think they were from the dollar store or target. After the cake and drinks, we got to take them with us and my three-year-old still likes to use them.

At a pool party last week the host/birthday boy had a bag of pool toys for the kids to play with and at the end, we each got to take two things home from the bag. All from the dollar store.

A zoo party we attended gave everyone a small (not super tiny) stuffed polar bear. Very cute and the closest thing my son has to a lovey.

Oh and a prince/princess theme party we went to let the kids decorate swords and crowns and they got to take their projects home.

My key is to plan the goodie bag (if you give one; no one says you have to!) around the birthday child's age. Maybe switch out an item for older or younger kids, but after all, this is a party for 'X' and it should reflect that. Just b/c lots of ages are invited, it doesn't mean you have to cater to them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Medford on

My grand daughter went to a party the other day where they did a cute craft involving flip flops. They each got to take home their own pair. It was so neat, and she loves them! Also had pages they painted with coloring book pictures and brought home a few. She had a great time and loves that she has things to show from the party. No candy came home as far as I could see.
Now, tomorrow is her own party. She just turned 4 and shes so into dinosaurs we have done that for a theme.
My daughter is very crafty talented and made paper mache' dino eggs for each kid and filled them with toy dinosaurs, a pack of dinosaur fruit snacks, a pack of dinosaur egg oatmeal, dino wrist bands, and a couple candies. They look a bit like bowling ball size pinatas, but they wont be smacking them with sticks. They will each get a large (8 inch or so) dinosaur toy, and the egg to take home. Its sorta unique and a cute idea that fits the theme. More work than I would have done, but she had a blast making them and had her daughter help.
Worst goodie gift I ever saw was when each of the 6 guests were handed a 6 week old kitten as they left. Can you imagine what the parents thought?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I think the older kids will need something different than the little ones. $5 gift cards to an ice cream shop or something could be cool for the ones over 10

For little kids, good ideas - make a CD of your kid's favorite songs, playdoh + cookie cutters (bed bath and beyond sells 100 cookie cutters for $10), stickers, a book, crayons + coloring book

They can also make a craft as their take home item. We have decorated treasure chests, jewelry boxes, and small buckets at various birthday parties.

Bad ideas - bouncy balls, anything that makes noise (whistles, etc), any of the type of stuff that comes in the Oriental Trading Company assortment bags

Think of it this way - if you wouldn't want your child bringing it home, don't send it home with others. : )

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions