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What Can You Give Instead Of Goodie Bags?

Goodie bags have been a staple of kids' birthday parties for many years - the thing is, they can present parents with a bit of a problem because they can be not only expensive but also time-consuming to put together, and hiring outside assistance isn't an option for everyone.

If you're looking for something a little different (and perhaps less work).

Here are some ideas for what you can give instead of goodie bags:

Host a Party Craft or Activity That Can Be Taken Home as a Gift

  • Decorate Your Own Pillowcase
  • Decorate Your Own Canvas Tote
  • Paint or Color a Canvas Masterpiece
  • Paint Your Own Pottery
  • Picture Frame with a Picture from the Party
  • Make Tie Dye Shirts, Towel or Accessory
  • Cookie or Cake Decorating and Take it Home
  • Paint or Make a Birdhouse and take home a bag of birdseed
  • Make Your Own Scratch Art

Related: When do you stop giving out goodie bags?

Decorate Your Own Pillowcase

Grab a pile of white pillowcases and non-toxic fabric paint markers, and let the kids draw anything they want. 

We wouldn't recommend using puff paint or fabric paints because you may not have enough time to allow them to dry completely before the celebration is finished.

This way, they can take their pillowcase home as a gift and sleep on it that night!

Decorate Your Own Canvas Tote

In the same vein, a personalised canvas tote bag is always a good idea - the fabric is durable and it's a bag that can be used over and over again - they do tend to come in handy for gym kit bags, toy storage and it'll be easily recognisable, too.

Again, use non-toxic fabric paint markers or fabric paints to let the kids decorate however they want.

You could even provide some stencils if you want to help them create something specific.

Paint or Color a Canvas Masterpiece 

Another great alternative is to let the kids paint or colour a canvas.

This can be as simple as providing a blank canvas and some finger paints, or you could get more elaborate and set up a 'paint by numbers' ones.

Either way, it'll be something that the kids will be able to take home to keep.

Paint Your Own Pottery

This is a brilliant activity for slightly older kids. There are many pottery painting studios around that offer drop-in sessions, or you could even set up your own at home with some plain white ceramics from a hobby store.

Bear in mind that unless you have one to hand, you will need to locate a kiln where you will be able to finish off their work if you do decide to try this at home).

Check out your local area or have a look online to see where the nearest pottery painting studios are.

Picture Frame with a Picture from the Party

A nice alternative to the traditional goodie bag is to give each child a picture frame with a photo from the party inside.

This can be done easily enough by printing out photos at home, or you could even hire a photobooth for the duration of the party and let everyone have their own fun strips to take home.

For an extra-personal touch, you could also let them decorate the frames before they take them home (again, non-toxic paints, markers or even washi tape would work well for this).

Make Tie Dye Shirts, Towel or Accessory

This is likely another one for the older kids (Hint: it's going to get messy so you may want to think about making this an outdoor activity).

You could provide each child with a white t-shirt, tote bag or even a pair of socks and some fabric dye - they can then go to town creating their own unique designs.

Cookie or Cake Decorating and Take it Home

This is a lovely option for all ages - decorating cookies and/or cupcakes will always be a hit with kids (and grown-ups, too).

You could either bake them from scratch or buy some pre-made ones, and then set up a decorating station with icing, sprinkles, and all sorts of other fun toppings.

The kids can then take their decorated goodies home to share with the family.

Paint or Make a Birdhouse and take home a bag of birdseed

If you're looking for something a little more nature-themed, this is a fantastic alternative!

You can either purchase mini bird houses, get self-assembly ones or maybe you are able to make them from recycled materials

The kids can paint or decorate the birdhouses however they like and then take them home with a bag of birdseed to hang up straight away.

It could also be a great learning opportunity to teach them about different types of birds and what kind of bird seed they like to eat.

Make Your Own Scratch Art

Scratch-art is a super fun activity for kids - plus, it's very easy to do at home with just a few simple supplies.

You will need some black cards, white crayons, and some toothpicks or a bamboo skewer.

First, the kids need to color over the entire sheet of black card with the white crayons - make sure they really go to town and cover it completely.

Once that's done, they can start scratching away at the paper to reveal the black card beneath and create their own work of art.

Wrapping Up:

There you have it - nine different alternative ideas for goodie bags that kids will love.

Whether you go with one of these ideas or mix and match a few, the end result is sure to be something special that the kids will remember for years to come.

Consider any party favors that will keep kids entertained. From themed colouring books and activity sets to puppets and plush toys, there are plenty of fun options that will help make your child's birthday party a success.

No matter what type of favour you choose, just make sure it's age-appropriate and enjoyable for all.

Have you tried any of these ideas? Let us know in the comments!

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