The early birthday parties are chaotic, but they are also the most fun in many ways.
The kids are beyond excited, and as a parent it’s such a satisfying feeling to know you’ve given your little one a special day that they have enjoyed.
Part of the magic of attending birthday parties as a toddler is getting your hands on the party bag at the end of the celebration.
I can remember eagerly wading through party bags when I was a youngster myself, excited to check out the swag I had managed to nab for myself.
It’s the same with my toddler now. She adores party bags and she’s had some pretty amazing ones at her friends’ birthday parties so far.
There are some absolutely amazing places to get party bag goodies, and you really do not have to spend a lot of money if you don’t want to!
Here are my top tips for creating the perfect party bags:
Dial up the magic
We all know that the thing kids love the most about parties is the treats.
With that in mind, they need a little something sweet to take away with them, and for me there’s nothing more evocative of childhood fun and celebration than Swizzels sweets, especially Love Hearts.
I remember picking through the sweets and reading the message on every single one when I was little before devouring them happily. They’re such a lovely addition to a party bag, and whenever I have some they seem to have new little messages or designs on them that make me smile.
You can get personalised Love Hearts on the Swizzels website with a happy birthday message to the birthday boy or girl, as well as pick your favourite colour for the wrappers.
Keep it interesting
For me, the key to an amazing party bag that will have toddlers skipping around with delight at the contents, and keep them entertained for a while even after the party has finished, is variety.
It’s good to get a decent spread of different things, including crafty bits and toys to play with.
Ideally, I think a good party bag should have something your child can make, something they can play with or read, something they can wear and something that’s just silly, like a party whistle.
Set a budget and stick to it
Once you’ve decided how much you are going to spend, try to stick to that amount.
If you’re happy to spend a little more, you can buy some really sweet individual presents for each child.
I love Party Pieces for the beautiful goodies they offer, especially this unicorn headband! It’s so adorable.
If you’re looking to save on costs, I recommend Amazon, Baker Ross and Hobbycraft for little sticker sets and other items.
Buy in bulk
If you are trying to keep costs low, look for items that are sold in bulk. Think about how many bags you need to make up and try not to overbuy if you can.
Amazon is fantastic for bulk items, such as fun pens, little notebooks, toys and bouncy balls. Swizzels also sells their sweets in bulk, including variety tubs which are perfect for dividing up between party bags.
Think about the age range of the kids who you have coming along. The small bouncy balls are really fun and always a hit. But they’re not going to be great for one-year-olds, so keep that in mind if you have any younger siblings attending.
All good products have a recommended safety age on them so you can always double check.
Give them something to do
Small craft kits, stickers, colouring books, bubbles to blow and crayons are fantastic ways to give children something fun to do once the party is over.
You will also be doing fellow parents a huge favour.
Make it personal
Why not make some bookmarks on your computer, with each individual child’s name on, then print them off onto card.
You could add cartoon characters or illustrations from free clipart.
Alternatively, find a shop that offers cheap personalised keyrings or little mirrors.
You could get small cardboard boxes that can be decorated, which your guests could then write their name on, paint or cover with stickers. You could fill these with sweets or stickers.
I confess that I have totally stolen the following idea from a party that my daughter attended, but it’s so great I just have to share it!
Get a recipe that you like making with your child, such as cookies or simple cupcakes. Measure out the amount of flour, baking powder, and sugar needed for a batch then bag them up in plastic freezer bags (don’t forget to label them). Provide cocoa powder or chocolate chips, and any other dry ingredients required for the recipe. Then print out a recipe and attach it to the freezer bags and other packets – try to make the recipe look pretty by putting it on some coloured card.
Add a note if other wet ingredients such as butter and eggs are needed. I love this idea, because it encourages people to have fun after the party and you can get everyone sharing pictures of their baking efforts on Instagram the next day.
Bag it up
The party bags can be simple paper or something more elaborate like these beautiful unicorn ones by Ginger Ray from Party Pieces.
Whatever you choose to get, make sure it’s going to be big enough to fit all of your goodies inside without causing the bag to split!
Do you have a birthday party coming up? Have I got a treat for you!
I have teamed up with Swizzels to offer you an amazing giveaway of their delicious sweets.
The prize includes a 3kg Swizzels party mix bag and 100 personalised Happy Birthday rolls of Swizzels Love Hearts. UK entries only. For more terms and conditions see this post.