HELP! Goody Bag Suggestions for a 4 Year Old's Birthday!

Updated on February 06, 2011
A.S. asks from Bellingham, WA
22 answers

Hi All,

Help! My daughter turns 4 tomorrow and I need to pick up goody bag supplies in the morning (yes I know I've put it off just a little, and yes, procrastination was on the list of middle names for me..) and I need help! We're doing a Little Mermaid/Cupcake decorating party theme and have both boys and girls coming.

Any cool suggestions? Each kid is decorating their own cupcake to take home but I need a few other things.

Thanks in advance!

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone! I ended up buying little popcorn boxes and filling them with notebooks, stickers and crayons with a hershey's kiss on the bottom. We aren't big on candy in our house so I thought one little treat was good and thanks for the "no crap" rule - I agree!!! There are also so great ideas that I'll be pulling out for our other daughter's party at the end of the month.

Thanks again!

Featured Answers



answers from Missoula on

Honestly, I would skip the goody bags. They are just more trouble than they are worth, and most of the stuff inside ends up thrown out anyway, at least around here. The take-home cupcakes sound like plenty for guests to take away from the party.
Good luck tomorrow!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Alphabet stencil (it's plastic) and a pencil. My daughter just received this at a 4yo party and loves it (she's almost 4)! She sat at the kitchen table making letters for a long time.

I hate candy, because then she bugs me continually to let her eat some. One or two pieces isn't an issue but more than that is awful.

Temporary tattoos are another great idea. They are small, entertaining, get used up quickly, and don't rot the teeth.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Eugene on

Most goody bags are just more plastic junk--from the stuff inside them to the bags themselves--and I have never liked the concept at all.

They come from the older tradition of party favors, though, and there are all kinds of ways to make a party favor both fit the theme of a party AND be meaningful to the recipients.
An example? Last year, my daughter, who was born in springtime, decided she wanted a "goddess" party--all the girls dressed up as their favorite goddess and we did a lot of activities related to that. Including...I got some little plastic pots that looked vaguely Grecian, some potting soil, and a bunch of seeds for flowers I KNEW would grow easily, as well as some little glass baubles, birds, and other decorative items, and the girls all planted a "goddess garden" to take home.
A couple of years ago, after a trip to Southern CA with grandparents, she decided to have a Hollywood themed party. We had them all dress up as movie stars, they came down a red carpet upon arrival, did all kinds of movie themed activities, including having a "Grumman's Chinese Theater" hand print in some little stepping S. kits. That was their party favor.
MANY years ago, when my now-17 year old was turning 7, she wanted a hula hoop party. It's EASY and CHEAP to make a great hula hoop. I spent about $2 per kid to buy supplies at the Home Depot, including bright electrical tape to decorate them. The kids made their own hula hoops, spent about two hours playing with them, and then took them home!

So...what I'm getting at is follow your theme and make it something they might actually want!
Decorating cupcakes? I would get some little cupcake pans, or some other baking oriented item, add a bottle of sprinkle sugars, something like that. Maybe add some cupcake stickers. Put it all in a cake decorating piping bag. If you can find them cheap, of course...;)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Personally I hate goody bags because they are always candy and toys that get thrown away. At my daughters 4 year party, I did watercolor sets. I got them at the $$store and they were perfect. I have been to other parties that do a set of markers or crayons - perfect. :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

llittle sea creatures . . . mermaids, octopi, sea horses
washable crayons

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Go to Target and check out their $1 store area in front. Tons of stuff on sale. Much of it only a quarter a pice. (stuff like Hello Kitty and Cars)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Go to your local dollar store - they have great goody bag items!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I think that I might be too late...but aprons to decorate, a water bottle (a nicer one - could be the only give away), markers, stickers, yoyo...hope you had a good party!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pocatello on

my daughter just turned 4 too and I had both boys and girls so I kinda did different things in the boys vs girls bags. For girls they had play rings, wands, candy, those little elastic bands (princess ones) that are so in right now haha. For the boys they had candy, bouncy balls, glow sticks and the elastic bands in Toy Story 3 shapes.


answers from Salt Lake City on

Simple is better-especially for this age group. Some of the Pettridge farm fish crackers would be good. The sample bags or you can ziploc them yourself. You could throw in some bubbles, some type of whistle or something musical (because she sings and there is a lot of music in that movie). Rings are fun too-either really colorful or something to do w/the sea. If they are taking home their cupcake, I think these few extra items will be plenty! Have fun...



answers from Kansas City on

I for one do love a good goody bag, but I agree you have to choose wisely. I actually suggested this the other day for someone who was doing cookies as a favor and I think it applies here too. Since you're sending home the cupcake I would get little clamshells for those (available probably at your local grocery store for cheap if you ask nicely!) and then put it in a bag, (maybe even a lunch sack that they decorated??) with a fun napkin and box or bottle of milk. You could do juice too, but I think milk is kind of novel. If you still want to add something else you could do some stickers or maybe some balloons. I find that balloons are usually pretty well recieved especially if you just do one or two...or you could do those punch balloons, also pretty fun.



answers from Dallas on

Fortunately, I think the trend is headed towards no goody bags. If you want to do a goody bag I would do one larger item vs. the bags of odds and ends that usually get tossed. I don't know if you have one near you, but my MIL got these really cool magnetic dress up dolls at Cracker Barrel. She said they were only a few dollars and at first they looked like little coloring books, but when you opened then it was a mermaid for the girls to dress and my son got a pirate.



answers from Portland on

I just had my sons 3rd bday party and I had goodie bags. The kids loved them. I went to the dollar store and actually found some fun things...there was a lot of junk there but a few gems too. I spent less than 2 dollars per kiddo.
Good luck


answers from Portland on

Fruit snacks or rollups, pudding cups, stickers, beef jerky sticks, goldfish crackers.


answers from Houston on

I think the general consensus on this when the last question similar to this was asked was no goodie bags, especially if there is a take home cupcake :)

But if you really want too, I saw this mermaid party and it has some super cute ideas.

A simple mermaid/fish sticker sheet rolled up and tied with a ribbon would be cute.



answers from San Francisco on

This morning my Target's dollar bins had some cute Crayola calendars that have a different picture to color for each month - and they're 75% off so it comes out to 25 cents each :-)



answers from Minneapolis on

Stickers, tattoos, little things of play-doh, little packages of goldfish, etc. Have been popular at 4-year-old birthday parties my son has attended (bucket and shovel, sunglasses, beach ball, squirty toys etc. for summer ones, but they might apply to the theme if you can find them). Hope the party goes well!



answers from Tampa on

Juice box, goldfish, gummies. Play-Doh, those parachute men and bouncy balls. You could buy a larger bouncy ball and put their name on it with marker. We went to a party before and they gave those out. It was fun and different.



answers from Boston on

Skip the goody bags the parents will love you! I wish that more people skipped them.



answers from Odessa on

I agree with other comments, the cheap fillers are a waste of money and are thrown away as soon as my kids go down for nap. I have four kids and have given many parties. I enjoy giving goody bags and I include a pre-printed sticker on the bag that says thank you for coming to (kids name)'s party (you can do these on your computer). For my twins carnival theme, the goody bag was a small popcorn box filled with kettle corn that I purchased at Sam's Wholesale Club. I purchased $2 gift cards from Baskin Robbins and together with the pocorn box I put them in a small cello bag and tied off the top with red, yellow, and white curling ribbon. I also purchased cotton candy (packaged in small individual plastic containers) at Sam's. Each child got popcorn, a gift card, and cotton candy. The $2 giftcard is nice because after they leave the party, they'll be "thanked" again when they go for their treat. The moms always love it. I suspect some have used the card to barter with later on. Lol. I love the clear cello bags. They're in the baking section at hobby and craft stores, they come in a variety of sizes and they're about $3 for 50-100 bags. Curling ribbon is inexpensive, and the two together really make a fancy looking goody bag. No matter what the theme, it's always an easy, inexpensive way to give a nice thank you.



answers from Philadelphia on

What about a cute mug with hot chocolate packet in it? There is always cute useful ideas :)



answers from Seattle on

I know this is late, but at a b-day party I notice a different party group at Chuck E Cheese, the lady passing out the goodie bag in a zip lock bag. I loved the idea and have been using that ever since. It keeps everything in place and it is cheaper than the bag you buy. Maybe to think about for next year.

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