11 Clever Birthday Party Goodie Bags Without All the Junk

lego party bag
The Happy Scraps

When it comes to throwing a kid's birthday party, most of us want to send our guests home happy. So of course, a cool goody bag will do the trick. But every mom knows what it's like when her kid brings home a bag full of junk that nobody needs. And what's even worse is that our kids then insist on keeping all these trinkets they don't need! Instead of the usual ho-hum bag filled with cheap trinkets, why not try something with a bit more personality and panache?

We're sure the person who invented the goody bag custom had the best of intentions, but today the tradition just seems out of control! Between over-the-top treats and bags filled to the brim with super sugary candy and cheap, plastic knick-knacks, we aren't convinced that kids -- or anyone for that matter -- needs all this junk! 

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To help spark some ideas for a creative take-home treat that won't go over-the-top, here are some great goody bags to consider putting together for the next kid's birthday party. From animal-themed snacks to Chinese takeout containers, these goody bags with a twist will win mom some points for creativity without draining her savings. 

So read on and take a look at our favorite goody bag ideas! Hint: No. 7 works for any movie-themed birthday party a kid can imagine!

birthday party goodie bag ideas

  • Animal-themed Snack Bags

    Image via Jenx67

    If your child's birthday party is all about animals -- i.e., Wild Kratts-themed, or you rented a cockatoo and baby kangaroo from the zoo -- then animal-themed goody bags are the perfect fit. Think: bags of Gummi Worms, Cheddar Bunnies and Teddy Grahams, along with a note stating a "fun fact" about each animal.

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  • Spaaaah Bag

    Image via Bollingwith5

    If your birthday girl and her friends enjoy a little pampering, spa-themed gift bags are a no brainer. Fill beachy handbags with nail files, polish, hand lotion, then top with a feather boa for an extra flourish.

  • Chinese Takeout

    Image via Scott Rothstein/shutterstock

    If your kids prefer Chinese food rather than the usual birthday pizza, send guests out the door with Chinese takeout -- only instead of filling the containers with leftover lo mein, try fortune cookies, lychee candies, ginseng soap, and other Chinese-themed favors.

  • Lego Bags

    Image via The Happy Scraps

    If a Lego-themed party is in the works, you can easily whip up party favor bags that look like Lego blocks! Toss in a small Lego toy like a $4 Mixel along with some sweets, and your little builders will leave satisfied ... and may love the bag as much as what's inside.

    More from The Stir: 10 Cool & Cheap Goody Bags Kids (And Moms!) Will Love

  • Cowboy Cookies

    Image via Jenx67

    For a cowboy-themed party, send guests home with homemade "cowboy/cowgirl cookie jars." Just layer mason jars with the ingredients, then slap on cute labels. All guests have to do is mix and bake for some homemade treats.

  • Party and a Movie

    Image via Deft Photography/shutterstock

    If your child's birthday party is movie themed, then you can't go wrong with a goody bag made from popcorn containers (which can be bought at many discount stores). Fill with movie snacks like Raisinets, Red Vines, 3D glasses or a gift card to the cinema.

  • Minecraft Goody Bags

    Image via LivingWithBeth

    This Minecraft gift bag is great even if your kids don't love Minecraft. Why? Because it proves that even if the objects in your gift bag are pretty average, you can alter their appearance and packaging to fit a new theme. For instance, in this case, juice boxes were dressed up as Endermans; Twizzlers turned into sticks of TNT. Talk about creative!

  • Doc McStuffins Bags

    Why give kids bags filled with toys when you can give them the real thing for less money? That was the idea behind these Doc McStuffins goody bags, which are actual prescription bags from the doctor's office filled with Band-Aids, lollipops, stickers, and other things you'd actually get during a checkup (with the exception of the syringe, which is really a marker).

    More from The Stir: 10 Goody Bag Ideas Kids Will Hate

  • Play Doh To Go

    Image via Brian A Jackson/shutterstock

    All kids love Play-Doh, and it's insanely cheap and easy to make your own version at home (plus you can custom-create colors and add as much glitter as you want!). Package in small jars with personalized labels for a cute gift-to-go that kids can play with at home.

  • Sock Cupcake

    Image via Bollingwith5

    Send kids home with a cupcake ... that's actually a cozy pair of socks? You'll get points for originality and practicality.

    More from The Stir: Goody Bag Alternatives: No More Junk, Please!

  • Hit the Beach

    Image via  © iStock.com/Mary981    

    If your kiddo has a summer birthday, load the kids up on everything they need to hit the beach ... or the sandbox. These buckets can be picked up at the dollar store and filled with plastic shovels and other small toys for the sand.