It’ll be N’s birthday in the next month, so we’re in party planning mode. Well, I say we. N keeps changing his mind over the type of party he wants, or whether he wants on at all.
The plan is that we’re having a joint party with his best friend because their birthdays are close together. It’s no brainer given they’re in the same class, and know similar people outside of school as well.
Click for my Tips to organise and host pain free birthday parties
So the mum and I have asked the 2 boys for input – of course they want different themes (N asked for pirates, but he didn’t want to join in at the last pirate party, and refuses to go in fancy dress to parties as well!), but we’re exploring a couple of cool options.
My mind turn to party bags. While I hate the tat side of things (and am hoping that the party we decide on will include something for the kids to make and take away), a party bag of some sort is inevitable.
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My aim is always to just provide a piece of cake and a decent present. Given most party bag contents probably cost around £3 each once you’ve got the bubbles, plastic bits, note/colouring books, balloons, pencils etc in, I’m sure we can find a whole lot of different items that could deliver on long-lasting fun and more practical or useful than bog standard party bags.
The best party bag N’s had so far was the pirate party where they were given a blank treasure chest, stickers, chocolate coins and could take them home to decorate them. Great idea and well themed. My favourite party bag item that we did was a parafoil pocket kite. They’re really good kites, although I admit I did go through painful times trying to a) find enough in the country, and b) trying to negotiate on the prices when I wanted all the stock but not enough to class as wholesale. I’ve still got a few left though which I really should put on ebay.
Here’s 5 non-boring kids party bag ideas for 7 year olds
For slightly older children, check out my post on party bag fillers for 8-10 year olds
Not kiddy versions, but a proper harmonica*. Around Christmas time you can get really good chunky ones (N had one in his stocking a few years ago) for under a fiver. But I’ve also spotted them in Flying Tiger, Home Bargains as well as being able to get them online. Apart from the chunky one we have, the others aren’t as heavy and good quality, BUT, the great thing about harmonicas is that even with toddlers blowing them, they still sound quite good.
2, Activity packs
Now, I’m not thinking activity books. Maybe N’s the only child out there who isn’t fussed about activity or sticker books. I’m thinking activity packs…something crafty put together for the child to do. It could be a hama beads board and beads, or mini plate or mug with ceramic paint or pens, or these cool *scratch art keyrings. You could always buy a bulk lot and put 1 or 2 colours with each plate to go in the bags. Or t-shirt and couple of fabric pens.
3, Goo or silly putty
Yes parents might hate goo and worry about it going on the carpet and everywhere round the house. But if you get good stuff it doesn’t stick to anything. N and his cousin love the *Scooby Doo Goo, and we’ve given them as gifts or prizes before. The goo is weird, it sticks to the figures, but it feels quite dry once you’ve removed it from your fingers, and you can easily pick it off a table, floor or wherever else if your children are mucky. We do tend to get it out in the kitchen so no carpet to worry about, but it’s great stuff. I’m struggling to find them cheap (we’ve had them from B&M before), but worth looking round for.
4, Pocket Kite
These simple *pocket kites in a bag are great for younger children’s party bags as well. They always fly, look great, come in their own bag, and are a great gift. I got mine wholesale and off ebay cheaper than the rsp with a bit of negotiation.
N is just getting into his frisbee so perfect for age 4+. Find a reasonably weighted one and good enough size for kids to grab onto but not so it’s unmanageable. Supermarkets sometimes have them and good toy shops, but don’t just get 99p ones. They won’t fly properly. The only problem is fitting it in a party bag!
The hardest bit about going for non-standard party bags is finding enough in stock and getting a good price.
Things to remember when buying multiple items for party bags:
- With ebay sometimes you can find items on there, but often there’s not enough in stock.
- Amazon doesn’t always have the best prices so do check other specialist outlets.
- Wholesalers usually have a minimum price (not all require you to be a trader, but they’ll still usually have a minimum order value.
- Don’t forget to check postage. Often postage will be for one item and combined. Check first if there’s a reduced price for multiple orders.
- Negotiate. If you’re buying in store and buying 25 items, ask for a discount. If shopping online, email them and ask if they’ll do you a lower price. Quite often for multiple purchases they will.
- If items aren’t in stock in the UK, rethink. You don’t want to miss the party because you’re waiting for items to be shipped over from China.
- Buy from different stockists if you can’t find enough in stock in one place.
- Buy for the number of children you’ve invited, not for those you think might come. You wouldn’t want to be short.
- If buying from a wholesaler with a minimum order value, don’t buy other things for the sake of it. Try and find another person who’d like the same items or others from the same wholesaler, and share the order value/postage.
Of course, you can potentially avoid party bags, but having activities during the party and sending the children home with their makes.
Do you do party bags? What kind of things do you include in them?
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