Sustainable Party Bag Ideas For Children’s Birthday Parties
Tearing your hair out trying to plan a children’s birthday party? Are you also trying to make it planet-friendly but are stumped at what to do about party bags? If you’re looking for sustainable party bag ideas for children's birthday parties then we have a few thoughts and some recommendations for you!
It’s no mystery why so many of us who are eco-conscious are also parents. The future of the planet becomes far more emotive when it is intrinsically linked to those you love most. And yet, it is often children’s products that are the most problematic - from nappies to plastic toys, from the clothes they grow out of so quickly to the wrapped snacks in their lunchboxes, the most convenient option is commonly the most wasteful. It’s not as if there isn’t already enough pressure and time restraints on parents, we’re also busy finding alternatives to the short-term use, synthetic, mass-produced array of children’s items we are requested to purchase every day. So, for any of you taking time to find alternatives, even for just a few things, well done - you are doing great!
We’d love to be able to help you by sharing some of our ideas and some of the planet-friendly children’s items we and our fellow sustainable makers might be able to offer. So, don’t forget to follow us for all our top eco-friendly living tips.
In this article, we’ll be sharing all our sustainable party bag ideas for children’s birthday parties. One of the biggest challenges with sustainable living comes with children’s parties. There is considerable pressure on parents to throw their kids a party they can be proud of. Mumsnet and similar sites are full of questions regarding the politics of kids’ birthday parties - Must you invite the entire class? Is it necessary to feed them at the party, and if so, what? Should siblings be invited? Do you need entertainment? It’s a minefield and it’s never cheap. For some time though, party bags have been an expectation at children’s birthday parties. This is a bag of goodies that each child leaves with, often containing birthday cake but also sweets and small favours. Unfortunately, the cost of each item in the party bag is kept low, because wow - how they add up. As a result, the gifts are often plastic, for short-term use and are non-recyclable.
Searching for sustainable items for party bags and alternatives to kids’ party bags can also be a nightmare since, despite typing ‘sustainable’ and ‘eco-friendly’ into the search engines, there are still so many kinder-egg prize-like ‘bargains’ in the result pages.
Another difficulty that’s important to acknowledge is that sustainable gifts are often more expensive. This is usually for one or more of the following reasons:
- They are not mass-produced, which is good for the planet but doesn't make them as cheap as their non-sustainable rivals
- Sustainable gifts often come from small businesses, such as ours, that are independent
- Eco-friendly makers often operate in a more ethical way than larger brands, meaning sourcing materials ethically, supporting fair trade and paying fair wages
- Many of these products last longer so although the price is higher that value is far more substantial
It’s also important to consider the other reasons it would be wise to avoid non-eco-friendly party favours. Aside from the likeliness that they are not decomposable, recycled or recyclable, they may also contain toxic chemicals and many present choking hazards.
Of course, many eco-friendly gift items are not on the big party supplies websites and are a little more elusive online. So, we’ve done the searching for you and are here to offer up some amazing sustainable party bag ideas that kids will still be ecstatic to receive.
Eco-Friendly Alternatives To Kids' Party Bags
Why not challenge the trend and ditch the kids' party bags completely in favour of other favours. Just as is the case with most adults, a lot of children would far prefer having one gift to treasure than a few items with a rough lifespan of a couple of days. Here are a few eco-friendly alternatives to kids' party bags that other parents and their little ones will be thanking you for.
Books Instead Of Party Bags
I won’t bore you with all the reasons books for kids are excellent gifts. Children almost always get use out of them, with some even becoming regular bedtime favourites. They are the gift that keeps on giving. Whilst books can be expensive, if you are buying in bulk the cost can be greatly reduced. Such as if you look at collections for purchase through Books For People or similar online bookshops. There can find Julia Donaldson collections, collections of board books, bulk bundles of books for toddlers, bulk book buys for ages 5-7 years and even David Walliams collections for older children.
With books as an alternative to party bags, you have two options. You can wrap each book and randomly gift them to children on the way out. Or, you can lay them out on a table near the party exit and allow children to choose their own. Not only does this spare the wrapping paper and the potential issue of gifting a book the child already owns, but they find it so much fun. It feels a lot like a gift shop and they’ll be even keener to get reading their book if they feel they chose it themselves. If you have time, you can even include a thank you message on the inside cover of each book, which potentially gets you out of sending thank you cards!
Craft Kit Party Bag Alternative
Most kids have so much stuff that any time a present is unwrapped parents inwardly grimace, straining to decide where they’re going to out this latest ‘gift’. Better by far, is giving kids something to do. Craft kits keep kids inspired and creative. It takes them away from screens and might even provide a means for you to enjoy an activity together. Or else, keep them busy on a Sunday afternoon so you can have a little quiet. Craft kits may seem like an affordable option, but it does depend on how many you’re having to buy. Some that we offer, from just £3, include:
- Make your own worry doll kids party gift
- Friendship bracelet kit party favour gift
- Make a magic wand party gift activity
- Make a superhero mask kid's party craft
Whilst these make great take-aways, many choose to incorporate the crafts as a party activity which means you are ticking two boxes - party entertainment and gift - in one. The friendship bracelets work particularly well for this.
Seed Kits And Cards
One of the most sustainable gifts, of course, are those that support our planet. Seed packets are a lovely gift that offer a promise of future flowers. They have become a more common wedding favour and are now being used instead of children's party bags. The benefit of this gift is it’s not only a present but an activity where children will enjoy the planting experience too.
There are many ways to give seeds as gifts. Packets are just fine but there are some more unique ways to gift seeds too. You can buy seed balls in matchboxes or sunflower seeds in mini compostable pots. Alternatively, there are SeedBoms. These are really fun for children as you simply pull the pin and throw it into your desired area of the garden where the seeds will settle and begin to grow. We have a Wilderbom full of pastel flower seeds, Butterflybom for flowers that attract butterflies and Beebom for attracting bees to your green space.
Another option is to have seeds embedded in your thank you cards. Plantable cards are a lovely way to say thank you to children for attending the party and to give them something very easy to plant which will result in a beautiful collection of wildflowers come spring.
Hot Chocolate Mix Party Favour
These are especially great for winter birthday parties. It may be difficult to find premade sets that come in under budget but making these won’t be too tricky. You’ll want to include hot chocolate powder, mini marshmallows, a cinnamon stick or vanilla pod and a square or two of chocolate for grating on top - yum! If you've accumulated multiple glass ramekins, as many of us have seemed to, then these work perfectly as containers for your homemade hot chocolate sets. Or you can find glass test-tube style containers with corked tops. Not only will the kids love this but parents might find a calming hot chocolate drink is just what kids need to calm down after all the party fun.
Sustainable Party Bag Gift Ideas
Making up an eco-friendly party bag is challenging for several reasons. Mostly though, it’s difficult to keep costs down. Unfortunately, it’s far easier to mass-produce plastic toys and products made with cheap materials on mass. Here are a few of our sustainable party bag ideas for fillers though:
- Seed packets
- Peg dolls
- Colouring sets
- Natural bath bombs
- Wooden bead bracelets
- Wooden yoyo
We’d love to hear your ideas too. What have you received in a party bag that was sustainable and enjoyed by your child? Or maybe you had success with sustainable party bag ideas or alternatives yourself? Leave us a comment below!