It’s a divisive subject on parenting forums – to party bag, or not party bag, with the anti ‘plastic tat’ brigade regularly suggesting giving children a book to take away after a party as their consolation prize for not being the birthday girl or boy, and the rest remembering the joy this plastic tat gave them as a kid and happily carrying on the tradition.
For the latter group, here is our selection of pre-filled party bags, for those of you who wish to bring joy but really can’t be bothered to source the components separately.
1. Hawkin’s Bazaar Jokes Party Bag: £3, Hawkin’s Bazaar
This joke-filled party bag is full of what parents like to think of as Old Fashioned Fun. That is, things we liked when we were younger. And still do to be honest –who doesn’t enjoy a whoopee cushion? The selection of joke products, which also includes a squirt pen and noisy putty, comes with a small bag of sweets inside an old-style plastic goodie bag. Suitable for kids over the age of six.
2. Little Lulubel Pre Filled Thank You Party Cone: £4.50 each, Not On The High Street
These cones look fab and are unusual enough to elicit excitement from young party guests used to bog standard bags. The contents are the tried and tested party bag items: chocolate coins, a lollipop, and a variety of plastic toys, which is exactly what your average five-year-old wants. Quick-thinking parents could pretend the cone is an extra bonus gift of a party hat.
3. Disney Princess Small Party Goodie Bags for 15 Guests: £17.99, Argos
It would be easy to dismiss these Disney Princess Party Bags because the snob in us says “No, no, no” to too much pink and too much princess, but these press all the right buttons for Disney Princess fans – colouring sheets, sweets, toy jewellery and stickers.
4. Party Pieces Superhero Filled Paper Bag Kits: £1.99 each or £10.99 for 6, Party Pieces
Our favourite thing about this party bag is it is both superhero-themed and unisex – finally an acknowledgement that a love of superheroes is not gendered. For parents who care about such things, you’ll also appreciate the lack of sugar inside. The bag contains stickers, stationery and a glider.
5. Hotel Chocolat Pick Me Up: £12, Hotel Chocolat
Teenagers might think they are too old for party bags, but it would take a very nonchalant one to refuse this treat bag from Hotel Chocolat, were you feeling inclined to splash out £12-a-head. Containing a rocky road slab, chocolate brownies, caramel chocolate puddles and a trio of strawberry and lemon cheesecakes, it might be wise to order an extra few for the grown-ups – think of it as ‘quality control’.
6. Ducks in a Washbag Party Bag: £4, All About Party Bags
As the name suggests, All About Party Bags sells many different pre-filled bags – our favourite is this duck bag which beautifully solves the problem of what to give younger kids who might still choke on the usual selection of whistles, bouncy balls and erasers. It includes a big bath sponge, a rubber duck and soap, while sweets and chocolate can be added for a few extra pence.
7. Craft Party Bags: £4, Oglee Poglee
These little craft packs are super cute and full of craft materials – crayons, coloured paper and the like. Current themes include pirates, dinosaurs, space, jungle, spooky , under the sea, woodland and superheroes, though Oglee Poglee will design a bag around your theme if you have something else in mind.
Apparently the main purpose of a party bag is as a bribe to children to get them to leave the party without a fuss, which is why they are traditionally given out at the door as you exit. Any of these should do that job very well, though our favourite, for the whoopee cushion alone, is the Hawkin’s Bazaar Jokes Party Bag. Now who farted?
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