Kids love them; parents hate them! We’re talking about party bags! Coming up with novel ideas to fill thirty party bags is typically near the bottom of the priority list somewhere behind finding a venue, sending out invites, and organising the food.
So it’s understandable that most parents re-use the same formula for their party bags every year – plastic party bag + cake + balloon + a couple of throwaway toys. It’s quick, easy, and cheap, but it’s no friend to the environment.
Let's face it: most of it goes in the bin shortly after arriving home. But there is another way! In this blog, we look at sustainable, plastic-free party bag ideas loved by kids and parents.
1. Felt crowns
Forget throw-away plastic toys that break as soon as you get them home; these adorable felt crowns are designed to be enjoyed long after the party has ended.
With two ribbons at the back that tie together to fit securely, these felt crowns are designed to fit any prince or princess!
2. Dinosaur headband
If your child and their mates are more into reptiles than royalty, these dinosaur headbands make great alternatives to party crowns.
Get yours in blue and pink or green and blue.
You’ve heard the saying, you can’t please everyone. Well, in this case, you can. If you’re expecting a mix of kids – order a selection of different felt headwear and cover all bases!
Full disclosure: There is a plastic Alice band inside, but this is certainly not the type of plastic you will use once and throw away.
3. Rainbow knotted cord anklet
Send your style-conscious party-goers home with a knotted cord anklet in vivid rainbow colours and earn yourself some serious parent points!
Plastic-free and reusable, they tick all the boxes for sustainable party bag ideas.
But why stop there… continue the theme and create a party bag full of rainbow-coloured accessories, from bobbles and hair clips to headbands and tiaras.
4. Wooden beaded necklace
Wooden beaded necklaces are perfect for younger children who enjoy playing dress-up in front of the mirror. Give them their own jewellery, and they’re less likely to raid your jewellery box!
There is something special about wooden toys and jewellery. Cost-effective, reusable and available in a wide range of designs, they make great additions to plastic-free party bags.
5. Camouflage knitted wristband
Take a walk on the wilder side with these camouflage knitted wristbands.
Perfect for the adventurers in your party pack! Wristbands are a great alternative to some of the daintier accessories we’ve seen.
Good for dressing up and imaginative play, this is one party bag accessory your kids, and their friends will still play with months later.
6. Pirate wallet
Every pirate needs a place to keep their gold bullion, and this is it! Though not wholly plastic-free, this pirate wallet is reusable, and you can expect it to last over the course of many adventures!
Loved by all mighty swashbucklers, these wallets make a fabulous addition to party bags.
7. Glitter animal beak clip
These glittery hair clips come in various designs and sizes to suit the littlest kids all the way up to pre-teens. Made from a metal beak with a felt-style covering, this is one plastic-free party bag accessory your guests won’t be sending to landfill.
And as everyone knows, you can never have enough hair clips!
Alternatives to single-use plastic bags
The least environmentally friendly part of a party bag is often the bag itself. Small plastic, single-use bags are fit for nothing once you’ve emptied them.
Inevitably, these non-recyclable bags will end up being sent to landfills – and that’s if they don’t make their way into the oceans first.
Switch your plastic bag to a paper bag
Coloured Kraft paper bags are just as cost-effective, and when you’ve finished, you can recycle them If you’re feeling crafty, get brown paper bags and add your own design to suit the style of the party theme (just be sure to use recyclable elements if you’re sticking anything to it).
The bottom line on plastic-free party bag ideas
Kids love tacky throwaway toys – or at least they do for the first couple of years – but several parties later, even they’ve had enough! So make your party the exception to the rule.
Give your guests something that kids and adults will appreciate taking home – but more importantly, something that won’t end up tossed in the trash.
It doesn’t have to break the bank – ditching the single-use plastic party bag in favour of cheap Kraft paper bags is a step in the right direction.