Whoever invented party bags? So another birthday is on its way. By the time you have paid for the food and possibly some entertainment as well the cost of a children's birthday party can start to add up. Next the problem of party bags raises its head.
What Should You Put in a Party Bag?
The fact is that children love party bags and the majority of them expect to receive one at the end of each party they attend. Personally I think most children are happy as long as they get a bag with something in it. The content of the bag is of less importance. Therefore a bit of forward thinking can help with the two main questions party bags always seem to raise: what to put in it and how to keep the cost down.
Starting with the Basics
My first tip is to always include a decent sized piece of cake. To start with this helps to fill up the bag. Secondly a piece of birthday cake seems to be the most important item in the bag for many children. In fact I would even suggest that most children would still be happy to go home from a party with just a piece of cake in the bag, so long as the cake is of a good size and tastes good (most cake tastes good to children!).
Making the Most of Sweets
The next suggestion I have is taking a brightly decorated paper cup and add some sweets. Seal the sweets in with some cellophane wrap so they do not fall out. If you can find a way of putting a child's name on a cup, that will get you a small tick in the box as well. Once you have the cake and the cup of sweets your party bags are already on their way to being full.
The Party Bag All Time Favourite
Next I would look to add the all time favourite party bag item. This is a bottle of bubble blowing mixture. This simple bottle is a guaranteed winner, even when the child gets home and spills most of the mixture or finds it difficult to produce any bubbles at all. Half the fun appears to be in trying to blow bubbles. These bottles are also a good size and help to fill up the bag.
It's Cheaper to Buy in Bulk
After this I would look for some bulk buys that can be broken down into the individual party bags. An example of this would be a bag of brightly coloured pencils. If you can find a bag or box of rubbers these also make popular additions to a party bag.
Add Something Noisy!
I hate to say it, but something noisy also goes down well. Although I am never too delighted to see my children bring home a blower they do seem to have a lot of fun with them. If they ever get on your nerves too much you can always accidentally sit on them or find another perhaps more subtle method of sabotage.
Ideas for Girls and Boys
So far all the items I have mentioned are likely to be enjoyed as much by girls and boys alike. As children get slightly older boys and girls both like to see different items in their party bags. For example girls are delighted to see hair slides and clips, while boys would be decidedly unimpressed to find these in their party bags. Girls are also pleased to find little notepads. No matter what you are buying it always seems to be harder to buy for boys. They will be pleased to see toy soldiers, yo yos and bouncy balls.
Where to Buy Party Bag Fillers
Tracking down stuff to put in party bags can be a chore, especially if you are running around trying to organize other elements of the party as well. I would pay a visit to any local "pound" shop where you can buy just about anything for £1 or under.
Perhaps the easiest way is to visit one of the growing number of online stores specialising in party equipment. As well as offering a good selection of items for party bags these stores also sell other party necessities such as paper plates and cups. You will often find other items such as balloons and party banners in stock as well. With luck you may find these places a complete one stop shop to buy everything you need for a child's birthday party.
Parenting.co.uk are happy to recommend PartyBox.co.uk. Party Box always have a wide variety of different party bag fillers in stock and can offer a variety of items you may not have previously seen in a bag.