There’s no question about it- kids love goodie bags! These days, sending guest home with a party favor has become the norm- but there’s no reason for it to be filled with plastic toys that will ultimately end up on a landfill. We don't even think it needs to be in a bag, for that matter! Whilst we’re not here to ruin birthday fun, we are very conscious of how our day-to-day decisions have an impact- it is after all our kids futures that we are protecting.
We’ve rounded up some super creative, affordable and unique ideas that kids’ and parents will enjoy whilst also being kinder to the planet. One things for sure, giving eco-friendly party favor bags is pretty cool!
DIY Goodie bags
Hands-down the best way to provide kids party favor bags is to have the kids make their own as part of the birthday party activity. Not only does this make it more affordable but it also means there's less to think about- it's a two-for-one deal! Many birthday party venues now offer this service- think art or cooking classes, where the kids go home with the item they made. If you’re throwing a party at home our mini kits also turn the party activity into a great take-home gift.
- Paint a plant pot: Mini Terracotta plant pots are cheap and reusable. Have the kids paint the pots and send them home with seeds to plant.
- Fruit necklaces: Good for older kids all you'll need is some cord and large blunt needles. Put out grapes, strawberries, and jumbo blueberries for the kids to thread onto the cord and turn into jewlery.
- Make your own magnets: Either buy a kit or you can buy plain magnets with self-adhesive tape on one side. You can cut the shapes and have kids stick them to almost anything- like old buttons, bottle caps, decorated clothes pins. See more ideas here!
As parents who have carted our kids around to more parties than we can count, we love the idea of a goodie bag that gives back.
- Flower Arrangement: As mom's who love receiving flowers we fully endorse this idea! Kids also love to make a give things to their parents so why not buy a few bouquets of flowers (skip the plastic bags at checkout) and give each child a small mason jar to fill with stems before they leave the party.
- Kindness rocks: This is such a fun way to spread the love. Have the kids collect nice flat rocks (or pre-source them yourself). Set out paints and brushes and have the kids write kind messages. Each child can go home with 1 to 2 rocks to hide around town and make someone else's day. If you're really short on time, you can buy rock kits too.
Useful & fun
We love a present that's useful!
A little bit of effort
Whilst these ideas require a little planning their really minimal effort and the kids will love to fill their own bags. For food items you can buy some cute wooden scoops or just use spoons you already have.
- Mini clipboards and crayons: Add a party themed coloring page or word search and wrap the crayons with twine.
- DIY s’mores kits: Buy some cute paper bags and allow the kids to fill with chocolate, graham crackers and a couple of marshmallows. Add a chalkboard sticker to complete the package.
- Trail mix bar: Set up a bar of healthy trail mix options (such as pretzels, dried fruits, chocolate chips, popcorn) and have kids fill a paper bag.
- Monogram chalkboard letters: Big craft stores offer lots of budget DIY options that you can customize for your guests. Use a hot glue gun to attach a twine hook so kids can hang the boards on their doors and attach a bundle of chalk.
If you're ready to throw in the towel on party favors (and believe us, we get it!), why not throw a party that includes requires each guest to bring a book to exchange. This could also be a toy, Pokemon cards or leftover halloween candy. One persons trash is another persons treasure! If you don't want to trade, Usborne makes terrific educational books around a $5 price point.
A note from the author:
When it comes to being eco-friendly we're just doing our best. As a business and as two moms we still have a lot to learn and we know that there will always be more that we can do and sometimes that can be overwhelming. We know that many of the suggestions above include packaging and some are imported. That said, we think of them as being less likely to be immediately thrown out, useful and much better than plastic toys.
We believe small choices add up and can have big impact- one plastic water bottle is just one water bottle until seven billion people say the same thing. Making small changes is how we got started so we encourage you to start where you can. Being eco-friendly doesn't have to be about sacrifice or giving up- it's about changing habits.
At Poppikit we pay more for our packaging to be made from recycled materials or renewable resources, recyclable or compostable because it matters to us and we know that it matters to the future of our planet. One day, we hope all of our packaging can be free of plastic and 100% compostable- watch this space!