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Party Bags: Quality, Quantity, Novelty or Charity?


I’m over-thinking things again. I’m ashamed to say it when there are so many atrocities being reported in the news right now, but the ridiculous thing I’m fussing about this time is party bags (weren’t they called loot bags in the 80s btw?) and specifically what to do for M&G’s 4th birthday party. It’s definitely not a case of party oneupmanship – according to the Daily Mail UK mothers spend a collective £808 million on them!?? – I just want to do something the kids will enjoy, but the parents won’t hate; and something that won’t break the bank. 1557156_10152723612145011_3054332879725061739_o

The venue where they are having their party does provide ready done ones at the very reasonable price of £1.80 each. I have shunned these though as they can’t actually tell me what’s in them so I reckon they’ll be rather naff. However, what to do instead? Do you go for quality, quantity, novelty or even charity?

Some of the options

1) Check out The Works or The Book People and buy book collections and individually wrap one book for each child (looks like you can get decent books for £1 each) and then supplement with a bag of Haribo. However, as one Mumsnetter put it: “My kids like books they like parties they like party bags they don’t like them mixing.”

2) Go for a pre-made option from a company that specialises in doing them. It’s a sliding scale with the cheapest looking rather sparse and the good ones really starting to get pricey

3) The DIY bag packed full of cheap tat and penny sweets – loved by children, hated by parents

4) The more novel such as a plant pot and packet of seeds each for party guests to plant at home       

5) Use the money I’d spend on doing something as trivial as party bags to help Syrian refugees instead. At four, I’m not sure if the kids would understand this.

Read: Planning a Child’s Birthday Party 


About Author

I’m Fran: wife, mother-of-three and freelance publicist. My love for communicating and writing mirrors my passion for trying to be the best mum I can be. I love good food & wine, Italian culture and football and have a keen interest in personal finance. I also blog over on Epsom & Ewell Families and Habyts, and write sporadically for a number of other sites.


  1. Personally I feel party bags are over commercialised. Children like a bag to take home & I don’t think they rally care what’s in it apart from the birthday cake. We chose last year to do a sweetie cart instead of the party bag & it was a huge success with all of the children as they picked what they wanted in their bag to take home xx

    • I agree Kerry. The sweetie cart sounds a great idea. I was thinking about doing some sort of pick n mix thing or a piñata for them to fill their bags. Although with the piñata, you always get some children who manage to grab loads more than the others!!

      • We will be using the sweetie cart again for Caitlin’s party at the end of the month – it’s better value for money and the children love it xx

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