Alternatives to Children’s Party Bags

Alternatives to Children’s Party Bags.


Alternatives to Children’s Party Bags are an interesting consideration when organising your parties. Children may love and look forward to a party bag, parents may not share this enthusiasm. A party bag is now considered an integral part of most parties. No matter how many toys and luxuries children have at home the arrival of a bag containing small unknown goodies still grabs attention.

The decision to have party bag is entirely yours. It does seem a little funny that you buy your child a birthday present, pay for a party and then thank your guest for their present and attending the party with a small gift. A man in a red suit with a white beard flying all over the world and sliding down chimneys is a little strange too.

Why do we need alternatives to Children’s Party Bags?

Apart from the additional cost to the party, a dislike for party bags, or the want to do something different.  A major problem seems to be getting replies from guests. Small parties are easier to manage. Once you have 10 or more guests getting a response to the party from a hard-core group of people can be a frustrating task. Despite all of the communication methods at our disposal we receive regular last minute phone calls from parents who are trying to guess how many children will attend a party in a few days’ time

I always put an RSVP date well in advance of the party date onto the party invitations but it has no effect.  I now keep all parents phone numbers from party invitations just so I have another means of chasing up responses to party invites.

In the last three years I have had a party where 7 additional children turned up unexpectedly. A few had earlier declined due to other commitments, some had just ignored the invitations and text messages. This is not too bad if food is a general buffet but if you are having a party at a venue I am not sure why the parents think you want to spend the party trying to sort out last minute additional meals and gifts.  I am also mystified as to why the really late responding parents think it is okay on the evening before or the morning of a party think you have the time to spend on the phone listening to how busy they are, how they would love their child to now attend the party, how excited their child is to be coming to the party, oh and by the way they have special dietary requirements!


So, if any of these factors are affecting you what are the alternatives?



Food  & Party Boxes   

If you are catering for a party on your own using a party box for the food, naming it and including a gift with the food can avoid the last minute scramble with party bags. You can add a piece of cake to the box, children take their party box, gift and cake as they leave. The party boxes still meeting the expectation of a gift at the end of a party. If you have children like mine who like to hoard everything, the party box will be used to store all sorts of things, until you can sneak it away.


Lucky Dips

Just as party bags still bring an air of anticipation to a child so does a lucky dip. Pre-wrapped presents sitting in a box, bin, bowl, basket, anything you can find, match the expectation of a party bag. Wrap your gifts in colour coded paper or buy generic gifts. Unwrapping a gift is always a treat and the contents do not all have to be the same. If you are sharing the birthday cake with your guests you will still need something to safely transport the cake home.

Pick your own gifts.

On the hottest Saturday in September I can ever remember, a friend and I sat in a garden soaking up the sun and drinking tea (drivers!). The children were playing organised games at a party. Points were awarded for each game. At the end of the party instead of the usual party bag the children were given an empty party bag and then chose their own gifts according to the number of points they had earned. The gifts were arranged onto plates on a table with a point score on each plate. The children then picked their own gifts according to the points they had earned. A few parents hovered and checked the additions. Sweets were not included with the gifts.

This worked well for older children but could work just as well for younger children. The points were not really that important, the children chose pretty much what they wanted. I did think the children would all want the same things. The reverse actually happened as the children all chose different combinations and seemed to enjoy having different gifts.   I think to simplify things I would skip the points and just let the children choose four or five items.



Win your gifts.

In a similar style, we had an Olympic themed party last year. The children were put into teams of mixed ages and capabilities, they were then “awarded” gifts for coming first, best trip, any excuse to ensure everyone won.  The children put the gifts into their own labelled party bag. The older children ensured the younger ones put their “winnings” into the correct party bag. The children were not bothered that the first prize box became the second or third prize in another race.  At the end of the party I dropped a few extra leftover items into the party bags.

The party came at the end of a busy fortnight. The party was in the summer holidays, there were lots of yes..but as people were coming back from holiday, seeing friends etc. As time was tricky I knew the majority of the party organising would be last minute. It was easier to put a name on the party bags and then put a few gifts into a box, rather than trying to deal with a mixed age group, siblings. I also avoided organising party bags in the early hours before the party.

The rain just about stayed away. All food disappeared and the children all ensured they had their party bag to take home. Job done! I am not sure whether the party was more or less of a success than normal. The party happened in the school holidays, not two weeks before or 4 weeks late but on the actual birthday so a prize to me. The only problem is what do I do this year?


Parcel Delivery Options- Further Information

Parcel Delivery Options – Further Information.

We are moving! We will be closed from Saturday 10th August and will not reopen until Monday 2nd September 2019. Throughout this period we will not be able to despatch any orders. We will, therefore, disable the payment options on our website throughout this period as we will not be able to process or despatch any orders throughout the period.

We are leaving our existing warehouse on Friday 16th August we will not have a phone line into our new warehouse until Monday 2nd September.

IF you have any queries throughout this period if you send an email to we will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.

 Firstly, this is additional information to our General Terms and Conditions ‎and our Delivery Policy

The General Terms and Conditions and Delivery Policy always take precedence and the information provided in this Blog Post is meant solely as additional information to help you when deciding which delivery option to choose.

A full address is vital.

Firstly we must have a full and complete address from you to ensure the safe delivery of your parcel. We check postcodes to street addresses. Paypal and the credit card processing company also check your address against that registered to the payment card and account details. If we receive an order with missing address details we will contact you for further information. Until we receive these details in writing we are unable to despatch a parcel. Occasionally we are also asked by either Paypal or the credit card processing company to check address details direct with our customer. Until these details are confirmed we are unable to despatch a parcel.

Delivery Tracking

We check the delivery status of all of our parcels daily until we have confirmed delivery details. There are always delays in the update of delivery details, if the delay is prolonged we may contact you and then raise a query with the delivery provider to check the status of any outstanding parcels.  If either the Royal Mail tracking system or the couriers tracking details are unavailable, details do eventually update so, the status of a parcel never remains a mystery for too long.

Once we have booked a parcel we are then dependent upon Royal Mail or the courier firm to deliver upon their promises. We can intervene with couriers but it does not guarantee a speedier response and we do contact Royal Mail but their response system can be slow. Couriers and Royal Mail have a query handling system which is dealt with in a systematic order but it can take time for a response and unfortunately, they do not respond to special cases regardless of how urgent your parcel may be.

Delivery Providers

Presently, we use Royal Mail for our standard and express delivery options and Interlink Express who are slowly turning over to DPD local in areas over the next 12 to 18 months.

We permanently review are delivery options, if there are delays, poor service and missing or damaged parcels we will change providers and have done so in the past

The following information is for UK mainland excluding some remote Scotland addresses, Highlands and Islands addresses. These restrictions are set by the delivery providers and the only alternative to these are charged at a considerable price increase. If your address is off the mainland or one of the mainland “restricted” areas we can inform you of the “quoted” delivery timescales and prices.


Standard Delivery- Royal Mail Second Class- Average delivery timescale 2 to 4 days.

Our cut-off time is 1pm per working day (Mondays to Fridays excluding Bank Holidays). We do keep working beyond this time and will prepare orders received after this time, but if we have a large number of orders we know it is most probable orders received before 1pm on a working day will be despatched the same day. Of course we do not know what is going to arrive until an order is placed so there may be occasional exceptions and unforeseen circumstances.

The Royal Mail quote 2 to 4 working days as an average. They do not quote the percentage of items delivered outside of this “average” time and as with all couriers and delivery providers they do reserve the right to deliver outside of this time!!!!!

We do find the vast majority of parcels are delivered within two to four working days, even in peak periods. In 2016 we had one missing parcel and quite a few taking longer than 4 days.

Our parcels are collected by the Royal Mail Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays. The mail sacks are opened and distributed at the main sorting office for our area and tend to be on their way fairly promptly.

There are delivery time variations and it does not follow that the areas furthest away from us or the more remote addresses take longer.

If you are not in your postman may try to leave your parcel with a neighbour but as all of our parcels have tracking references, it is most likely that your parcel will be returned to your local sorting office for you to collect.


Express Delivery- Royal Mail 1st Class. Average Delivery Timescale 1 to 3 Days.

Our cut-off time is 11am to ensure your parcel is ready and booked before the Royal Mail collect

We find this to be the least consistent service out of all of our delivery options. The parcels are collected daily and our Royal Mail sacks are opened at the sorting office and then sent on their way. A lot of parcels arrive the next day, some parcels take two days and some have taken 4 days. We have had some First Class parcels take a day or two longer than second class, “Standard Delivery” parcels despatched on the same day.

All other details relating to the Royal Mail remain the same and information concerning parcels left at sorting offices are covered in our General terms and Conditions and our Delivery Policy.

Next Day Delivery- Interlink Express, changing to DPD Local. Monday to Friday Service.

Our cut-off time for orders is 11 o’clock, orders can be collected from 1pm onwards and we have to prepare and book your order before the couriers arrive. Sometimes they do arrive late and we will keep booking parcels until they arrive. The couriers will not return once they have left us for the day.

Interlink Express are slowly re branding themselves to become DPD Local, we are monitoring the situation as our local  Interlink Express depot has now moved and changed to a new DPD Local depot.

We have been using Interlink Express for almost three years, in this time we have only ever had two problems we have been made aware of. In the first instance a driver took a parcel off his van and left it on the roadside! In the second a driver could not find a house on a new estate so we had the parcel diverted to a local Sainsburys for the customer to collect.

When we book a parcel a notification will be sent to you either by email or text or both, you are then sent a one-hour delivery slot on the day of your delivery, you can change the delivery address (this can delay the delivery of your parcel by at least 24 hours), nominate a safe place or a neighbour. If you are not in when they try to deliver your parcel and there are no further instructions your parcel will be left at a local shop for you to collect at a time to suit you. The shops tend to be within a couple of miles of your house and can be a small chemist or newsagent shops. This obviously varies from area to area.

On the two occasions, we have had a problem with an Interlink Express the local depot phoned the recipients depot and the problem was sorted within a few hours. We have not had cause to test these capabilities with DPD Local and hope we never have to.

Saturday and Weekend Deliveries.

All companies including the Royal Mail charge a premium for a Saturday delivery and in our experience will take the premium but reserve the right to deliver on another day. One customer paid for a delivery on Saturday 17th December 2016. The courier firm collected the parcel on the Friday but did not attempt a delivery until Monday 19th December despite recording the delivery for Saturday 17th. The customer refused the parcel as her party was on the Sunday, after numerous contacts we finally received the parcel back, battered with the goods damaged on Friday 10th March, we still have not had a single penny recompense for the damaged parcel or a refund for the Saturday delivery premium.

We have had urgent parcels delivered successfully on a Saturday but if you think you must have a Saturday delivery please contact us and we will advise you of the price, please do also have a back-up plan if the courier lets us all down.

Once a parcel has left us I am afraid we lose control over it, we can badger and chase the delivery companies but we are dependent upon a friendly and helpful member of staff and all of those involved to deliver on their promises.

What would we do? watch the time

If it was me, the parcel was urgent and I needed time to make up the party bags and prepare for the party I would use the Next Day Courier option to avoid last minute panics.

If I was ordering for a party over a week away and have the time to make up party bags I would use Standard delivery.

Anything in between I would base my decision upon the amount of time I had to sort out and plan all the items required for the party. I would ask myself how much time I had left, how much I would be prepared to pay to avoid worrying about a parcel not being delivered? or how much I would pay to avoid stopping up until the early hours just before a party?


If you have any further queries, please contact us either by phone 01952 253033 or by email


Popular Party Themes For 2017

Popular Children’s Party Themes for 2017.

A party never seems as straightforward as I have it planned in my head. Despite a ready supply of easy access to party bags and gifts it is the party theme that keeps me on my toes. When the children were smaller it was easier. Once upon a time I chose the venue, the party bag and their contents. Now it is not so easy and the children never just seem to go to a party, there is always a theme, it always seems to be a such and such party. Invitations feature every character you can think of and birthday cakes are no longer a little icing and the right number of candles even if you make your own birthday cake thanks to the help of a quick check on a search engine or Pinterest there is usually an idea for a cake to fit party theme.


Party Themes for Toddlers and Younger Children.

Dinosaur-Mask-Pre-filled-party bag

Party themes for younger children tend to remain fairly constant. Books and television programmes stick with familiar themes fairies, dinosaurs, princesses, good over comes bad and cute friendly animals. New films and television programmes have to fight hard against the well-established high profile merchandise of existing favourites with their large bank of easy to understand stories. I found our children only found an interest in a new character or film after all of the shops had been filled with the character or story for months, until then they preferred the familiarity of something they already knew well.

We find the most popular party themes for younger children involve animals, fairies, princesses, dinosaurs, pirates


Party Themes for Older Children

As children become older they are very influenced by so many more streams of information. If your child attends an organised club it is likely their friends from the same club will be attending your party, so basing your party upon or using ideas from their interests and the skills they use is guaranteed to be popular.

As children become older and absorb new ideas so much faster the role of large marketing budgets have a far stronger influence upon children.  New film releases and large sporting events evoking national pride see a rise in the interest for a particular theme.. In the two Wimbledon tennis weeks and for a month or so afterwards we see a rise in searches for tennis party bag ideas, this disappears to almost nothing October.

Large film releases such as Star Wars will see an almost instant rise in searches for party bag ideas whereas other films may take a little longer or wait until the film is available as a download or on DVD.

If you wish to have the latest film on a party bag or gift, it usually takes 3 to 6 months after the film release for the merchandise at party bag prices to become available. Occasionally some items become available sooner but it is no guarantee of the success of the film.

Sporting events tend to have a much faster influence upon party themes and suit the warmer months when there is the possibility of an outdoor party. The spirit of the Olympics easily captured children’s enthusiasm. Rugby and tennis are popular with children around major tournament time, unfortunately our exploits on the International stage for football are not so keenly followed at the moment.

If you are struggling with ideas or want to stay ahead of the influences your children may succumb to here is a list of the upcoming film releases confirmed so far for 2017.


Lego Batman Movie



Beauty & the Beast    Disney Princess Party Bag

Power Rangers

Captain Underpants




A Little Mermaid

Marvel: Guardians of the Galaxy



Pirates of The Caribean- Salazars Revenge



Wonder Woman

Transfomers: The Last Knight

Despicable ME 3

Cars 3




Spider-Man The Homecoming


Marvel Comics : Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets




Nut Job 2

The Emoji Movie


Lego Ninjago Movie



My Little Pony: The Movie



Thor: Ragnarok

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Marvels The Justice League

Paddington 2




Star Wars: The Last Jedi


The Croods 2

The Lamb








Pre-filled Party Bags



A creative and fun pre-filled party bag for only £1.80


 Pre-filled Party Bags.

What are Pre-filled Party Bags.


The Angry Birds pre-filled party bag includes a selection of fun and slimey gifts for girls and boys

Pre-filled party bags are an all inclusive price for a party bag and a selection of party bag gifts we have selected and then reduced the price.

We also sell the pre-filled party bags without a party bag. Our pre-filled party bags without the party bags exist as a response to a large number of requests for the contents of our pre-filled party bags but customers had already purchased a party bag or they had a party theme which meant the party bag we had selected did not quite fit. Our pre-filled party fillers offer customers flexibility whilst still benefiting from a price reduction

The ideas for our pre-filled party bags are based upon popular party bag gifts, party themes or if we have been able to purchase a popular item at a reduced price and it will make a good value or unusual party bag.

Our pre-filled party bags cover a wide price range, with pre-filled party bags for girls, boys and generic pre-filled party bags for when you need one solution for all of the children attending your party. Our pre-filled party bag prices start from 60p but there is a wide selection beyond this price range to suit your budget.

Why choose pre-filled party bags

If you don’t want an Angry Birds party bag you can still buy the contents at a reduced price in our party filler and choose your own party bag.

The prices of our pre-filled party bags and party fillers are cheaper than if you selected the same items from us individually. If there is a pre-filled party bag or pre-filled party filler you like they become a great way to save a little more money. Our customers either use them as their party bag saving money and time trying to choose a party bag or they use them as a starting point and add a few items of their own.

If you have a party and are not quite sure what to include in your party bag,  pre-filled party bags can be a useful starting point to give you a few ideas and help you to choose items to fit in with your budget.


The Blue Cello Pre-filled Party Bag is a basic party bag at 60p each

Despatch of Pre-filled Party Bags.


Tubby Friends Pre-filled Party Bag. £1.60 each

We do not despatch our party bags out ready-made and sealed to crush and crease whilst on their way to you. As much as we would love to believe that all parcels are carefully handled on their way to you the reality is they will be thrown around, dropped and spun around as they “bounce” their way through their journey. The contents will jostle and jump around, lighter and thin items will be damaged by heavier and sharper objects.

Party bags are made from thin plastic, cellophane or paper, they all crease when thrown around with weight and irregular shaped items inside. Paper party bags also have flat bottoms which makes it harder for them to stand up to the rigours of their journey.  Plastic Birthday party bags and paper party bags to do come with a seal.  The contents of open party bags will fall out and then you will have to play detective re-filling each party bag. We could seal the party bags with clear tape but then you will not be able to open the party bags again to add cake or extra gifts you may have purchased from elsewhere.


Cello party bags do come with a twist tie to seal but crease once sealed and will crease in transit unless we restrict the contents to flat and compact gifts.


A Star Wars, force Awakens party bag and 5 piece stationery set for only £2.90

All of our pre-filled party bags are despatched with the party bags packed flat together. All party fillers and pre-filled party bag contents are listed and similar items are packed together. If you have ordered many different party fillers or pre-filled party bags the contents will be clearly labelled.

It takes a few seconds to fill and seal a party bag. We recommend laying all the contents in their bags  in a line, grabbing a party bag, working your way down the line and then sealing the party bag.

For ideas to seal your party bags please visit our other blog posts.



The Hello Kitty Pre-filled Party Bag is a fun and cute party bag for girls aged 4 to 8 years



If you have any further questions please contact Jennifer by phone on  01952 253033: email or use the contact form on our Home Page.
























Little Party Parcels- All About Us

Little Party Parcels- All About Us



Hello, my name is Jennifer, I started Little Party Parcels when our oldest child was 4 years old.

My very first attempt at organising a children’s party resulted in me spending more money and time than I ever intended on party bags and gifts and then I was left with spare and unwanted items that I had to buy in packs. Unfortunately all of the packs I was forced to buy contained different amounts and none of the packs exactly matched the number of guests coming to the party.

The next year was going to be different and a special party. The party would be just before my daughter started school. All of her friends and their parents who had also survived the early years would be heading off in new directions. I wanted the party to be special, I had “bookmarked” and “pinned” ideas for months beforehand. This year I was going to be organised! Unfortunately, when it came to buy the party bags, items were no longer available, I still had to buy items in multiple packs and buying for a few siblings from different age groups became a very costly expense.

Before children I had worked long hours, commuting over 4 hours daily, now I wanted to be at the school gate for drop off and pick up. I wanted to be around to collect a poorly child and watch as many theatrical performances as possible. The idea of Little Party Parcels was born.

Little Party Parcels has been an interesting learning curve but we have still kept to our founding principles. We still sell everything in individual quantities. I would hope we provide a choice to people whatever their budget may be. We try to add new products and review our products regularly.

We despatch orders Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays. If an order has been placed there is no point in those items sitting on our shelves so our aim is to despatch all orders within one working day. On the very rare occasion, there is a problem we will contact a customer so that we can work out the best plan forward. We may be an on-line business but customer service and the personal touch is still very important to us. We work with many of our customers to ensure they have the items they require within their budget.

You can contact me on  01952 253033, or by email or by using the contact form on our home page.



How To Seal A Cello Party Bag

How To Seal A Cello Party Bag

How to Seal A Cello Party BagHow To Seal A Cello Party Bag.

Mix and match party bag colours

How To Seal A Cello Party Bag or, what is the best way to seal a party bag is a very popular question we get asked over and over again.

Cello party bags are a popular choice for parties and gifts as they only cost 8p each. Cello party bags are available in a wide range of colours and designs to suit every occasion. Mixing designs and colours are a useful way to identify different recipients and make your own colourful statement.

Features of Cello Party Bags.

Cello Base

Base of party bag

Cello party bags do not have a flat bottom. They are heat sealed at the bottom and have a gusset on either side which allows you to fit quite a lot of items into the party bags. Place flatter and heavier items to the bottom of your party bag, so that they will weigh your party bag down. This helps the party bags to stand upright.

Preparation always helps.

Cello party bags like all plastic party bags are thin so they will crease. If you gather the party bag together and re-tie it a couple of times the creases will show.  A tiny bit of preparation will help you fill and tie your party bags quickly and neatly without creases.

When filling a cello party bag open your party bag wide. This allows you to add your contents and move them around without creasing or damaging the party bag or contents. Consider flat items, heavy items and anything with sharp edges. Bring the top back together again when you are ready to close the bag.

Once you have decided upon the placement of gifts within your party bag, fill party bags with similar contents in the same way.

How To Seal A Cello Party Bag

Here are a few of our favourite ways to seal cello party bags:

Twist Ties

Cello Party Bags Twist Ties

Place heavier and flat items at the bottom of the cello party bag, Fold the twist ties in half.

All cello party bags come with twist ties to seal the party bags. The vast majority are silver, however, there are a few coloured ones such as a dark metallic green with the dark green cello party bag and a red plastic twist tie with the Hearts Cello party bag. The Butterflies and Flowers Cello party bag has a white paper twist tie with a metal core.

The twist ties have a metal strip running through them. If you fasten them securely this will keep the party bag closed until you hand them to your guest.

  • Bring the two ends of the twist ties together to mark the centre of the tie, so you have a V-shape

The twist ties are sent out in strips for you to pull individual ties off, so it is easier to mark the centre before you start to separate them.

  • Place your gifts in the party bag. Leave 3 to 4 cm above the tallest gift and then lightly gather the party bag together.
  • When you are happy with the look of the party bag take your twist tie and place the centre of your v-shaped twist tie against one side of the bag. Gather the bag together tightly and start to twist the tie against the gathered part of the party bag.  Once you have made 5 or 6 twists, bring the two ends together if necessary and then wrap the excess around the secured twist tie so you now have a neat metal strip.

Ribbon or Cord

If you do not like the twist ties, ribbon or cord can make the cello party bags look a little more special. Leave the ends loose or, if you have the time we find the best way to achieve the perfect bow is to use the “bunny ears method”. This is the same way as most children learn to tie their shoelaces, so if your child has not reached this stage yet it is great practice.

Bunny Ears

  • Carefully place your gifts into your party bag. Leave 3 or 4 cm above the tallest gift and then lightly gather the party bag together.


  • Fold your ribbon in two, slide one end a few millimetres back and then start to tie a knot using the longest piece to wrap around the shorter side. When you are happy with the look of the party bag fully tighten the bag.


  • Now for the bunny ears, make two loops with each end of the ribbon. The loops should be as long as the bow you require. Check the length of the bow’s tails to ensure they are long enough. If they are too long they can always be trimmed later.


  • Now make one of the loops slightly longer. Knot the two loops together using the longer loop. Tighten the knot when you are happy with the results.


  • Flatten out your bow a little if needed. Rearrange the top of the party bag if required and trim the bow’s tails if necessary.


Fluffy Tops

Once you have gathered and tied your party bag, you can “fluff” out the top of the party bag. To do this place all your fingers together to make a type of beak shape. Place the tip of your “beak” into the top of the party bag so that it touches the gathered part of your party bag. Slowly pull your hand out of the party bag opening and stretching your fingers as you go.

Stickers and Labels

 This is a quick and effective way to seal a party bag, we sell a party bag sticker which allows you to write a message or the name of your guest or alternatively if you have sheets of stickers you can decorate or personalise your own stickers by hand or use clip art and the sticker printing option in “Word” or its equivalent.

Alternatively, if you do not need to name your party bags use stickers of your child’s favourite characters. We think the stickers need to be about 5cm in length to keep the bags sealed securely and you may want to add a couple of stickers to keep the party bag closed.



Cello Parcel with clear tape

Fold the excess party bag down and place it to the back of your gifts. Seal down neatly with clear tape.

This is my favourite and the fast way for sealing cello party bags. It is not as pretty as some of the options but, you can fill and seal a large number of party bags quickly, store them neatly and they stay sealed when you take them to your destination.

  • Place the largest and flattest items at the back of your party bag and add your other contents on top reducing in size. Slide everything into your party bag. Bring the top of the party bag together and fold over two or three times.


  • Fold the excess party bag to the back of your gifts and seal down neatly with clear tape. You now have a little cellophane parcel.


Sticky Clear Discs


A clear party bag seal. Only 3p each

Sticky clear discs are a fast and neat way to seal a party bag. They are neater than a strip of clear tape and can be repositioned without damaging the party bag.


and a few more ideas

These are the most popular and easy to manage methods to seal a party bag.  There are various clever ways to fold plastic bags to seal them without the need for clips or tape. The internet has plenty of videos to show you how to do this but cello party bags will crease. Unless you are an expert at one of these methods your party bags will look very tired and creased.

An alternative idea for smaller parties can be the smaller crocodile type clips suitable for holding photographs or paper. They often come decorated with flowers, we have even had one with a football on it. For now, like most things, it is lost amongst everything else being hoarded in the bedrooms. It will probably reappear over the next few months when it does I will add a photo!



Advent Calendar Gifts

Advent Calendar Gifts.


Christmas is fast approaching but the Advent Calendar Gifts arrive even earlier. The elves collect our Advent calendars on the 30th November and fill them up with presents if the children have been good and are asleep when they arrive. Unfortunately, the elf in charge of Christmas resources two years ago forgot about this task until the very last minute Thankfully the party bag goodies and sweet box flew to the rescue. The elf is now prepared and starts work early on this task, she has learnt her lesson!

We started the “fill your own advent calendar” idea when the children were very young, we bought them a little wooden advent calendar each which we filled with little non-sweet treats and then led them to the calendar each morning for them to find a new gift. There are a number of problems with this

1, We set an expectation which is now as much a part of Christmas as a tree and funky socks for daddy.

2. The drawers in the advent calendar are far too small and are a real nuisance to find something to for them.

3. The children “love” their individual calendars and do not want to change them.

4. They also acquire chocolate advent calendars from friends and family so I really would prefer not to add to the December pre-breakfast sugar load.

The advent calendars used to be easy, a little hair clip, a small plastic dinosaur, all things that were not too expensive and would fit with ease into the tiny drawers. It is now a lot harder, gone are the days where a few cheap hair clips could be spread over a number of days. Our daughter now likes the type of hair accessories that are a lot more expensive and plastic dinosaurs are not even a topic of conversation. It now takes a lot of planning to avoid spending a small fortune on advent calendars and that was never the idea.

advent-calendar-gifts-324 days of small gifts needs quite a lot of a planning. Unfortunately, the children do know just about every product we have in stock and they have acquired many of the items already. To start my planning process off I have been through our shelves to see what would fit into the miniscule drawers (length 3.5cm x width 2.5cm x height 3cm). Hopefully this will give me a little inspiration.



Advent Calendar Gifts- Under 20p each 

Christmas Tattoo 8p each

Smile Eraser 10p each

Christmas Eraser 12p each

Jet Ball 16p each

Finger Fright 19p each

Christmas Stickers 19p a sheet. I am going to cut around the stickers and add them to some of the other gifts.

Stretchy Man 20p


Advent Calendar Gifts- Under 21p to 50p each

Pirate Ring 22p each

Dress Up Ring  22p each

Bead Bracelet 28p each

Stretchy Spider 32p each

Bouncing Putty 35p Each (In internal packaging only)

Smiley Face Punch Balloon 35p each

Snowflake Punch Balloon 35p each

Wooden Bracelet Kit 35p each

Wooden Flower Bracelet 35p each


Advent Calendar Gifts 50p plus 

Marbles 55p per bag. (I have split these over a couple of days)

Wooden Necklaces 60p each

Necklace Kits 85p each.






Advent Calendar Gifts – Christmas 2017 update.

Last year I experimented with a part treasure hunt part gift advent calendar. The treasure hunt was a huge success. I have promised this year’s advent calendar will be all treasure hunt if the children are good and do no try to find the gifts. The main drawback with this “fabulous” idea is that I now have two sets of 24 small gifts to wrap up, two sets of 24 hiding places to find and two sets of clues to write up. I am pacing myself. I have started early and I am only going to hide 8 days worth of gifts at a time…..just incase someone tries to get ahead of themselves.

Gift Calendars

Last year our children were also bought some of the gift advent calendars. One was filled with little bath bombs and soaps, whilst the other was filled with little plastic people and a few items to build. The children were excited, so was I. Hooray the gift advent calendar can be sorted in one quick purchase, my job is redundant. This is definitely the way forward. It certainly looked more exciting than a tiny “bite” of chocolate every day and an awful lot less effort for me on the gifts front.

Unfortunately, it takes a very long time to work your way through 24 mini soaps and bath bombs. In our case a lot longer than the interest in them. The soaps and bath bombs are now sitting on a dish still to be used almost 11 months later. The interest in the plastic characters went before the 24th of December. The build time was a few seconds and that was it. There are now plastic arms, legs and bricks in the bottom of a box never to be reformed. This is okay if you have spent a few pounds but both calendars cost a well in excess of £10 each.

My hopes of a quick solution are dashed, the pre-made gift calendars feel a bit like last years Christmas Crackers. There was a lot of the same type of gift. Opening the door each day was fun but the interest had focused back onto the more traditional calendar before the middle of month. If you have a few children to buy for, or a tight budget this is expensive.

Adventt Calendar Treasure Hunts

I am back in my role of Advent Calendar Elf again. The Treasure Hunt is back on. I have notes on ideas for clues, hiding places and gifts. Some of our new products have been kept a secret so that I will add them to the calendars. I will be organised this year and they will not cost £20 or even anywhere near £10 each.  I will add a few Christmas themed cheaper items at the start of the calendar whilst the novelty is new. Little activities will be saved for weekends and school holidays. The advent calendar gifts will include items the children like so it has meaning and interest to them.

Advent Calendar Gifts

You may think I have started early but we have already had a lot of orders from very organised Calendar Elves already. I have now set up an Advent Calendar Gifts Section. The Advent Calendar Gifts section includes a mix of Christmas and Non-Christmas themed items. I have also included gifts customers have already bought for their calendars. Hopefully, this will help us all with ideas. Gifts start from only 8p each, so, hopefully we can all have fun calendars for a lot less money.



Construction Party Bags

Construction Party Bags

It is party season for us, due to a lack of planning we have a lot of birthdays very close together. This is a little inconvenient for many reasons, trying to remember who you have invited and who has responded to invites requires careful organisation. We have just survived our daughters’ party, the party bags were made a little harder to consider as some of the children will be coming to another party in a few weeks’ time. I also like to have a few ideas for future years.

The children at my daughter’s party were mainly 7 and 8 year olds from school with a few friends from out of school. The girls party bags were easy, they all had a quite girly party bag. The fluffy pom-poms were a huge success and according to some of the girls just what they have “really wanted for ages”! (Tell that to father Christmas!). The pom-poms now bounce past me attached to school bags each morning and I have noticed a few more school bags are acquiring similar items.

                                                                                            Small Metal Construction Kit     Vehicle Building Brick Set


The boys party bags were harder to decide upon. In the end, I decided to go down the building route. Lego is a huge favourite in our house, so fingers crossed the boys would feel the same.  In the chaos of trying to cut the cake and hand out party bags whilst ushering children out of the door I was vaguely aware of some of the boys comparing what they had to make and what they were going to make first. I did not expect the party bags to be such a success. I have received thank you text messages, picture messages with finished creations and boys who normally run into school have stopped me to tell me about the items they are building. My daughter is a little miffed she has not had either of the items to build and regularly reminds me I have promised her construction vehicles and racing cars to build at half term. Does it matter to 7 and 8 year olds what they build, or is it the building process they enjoy?

Wooden Construction Vehicle Kit

The boys party bags consisted of a blue candy stripe paper party bag with matching handles, a metal racing car kit, a wooden construction kit and a car eraser. If you are unsure of what you would like to add to your party bags and would like to investigate the building theme further here are some similar items we stock.


Make & Paint Dinosaur     Racing Car Blocks   Mini Wooden Vehicle Kit.



Halloween Party Bags and Gifts

Halloween Party Bags and Gifts.



Halloween is a little awkward this year, a Monday night on the first day back after the school half term is not the most convenient night for a party. Monday nights are also swimming lesson nights so I will be sat on the side of a swimming pool until 6pm. We normally have a small Halloween party for the usual group of friends and their children each year.  The parties started out as an excuse to get together and to buy our very young children one of the Halloween costumes hanging up in the shops. The children are now older, the party this year will be a sort of Halloween party/half term get together on the Saturday night instead. I suspect a few of the boys may not dress up this year and the main highlight of last year’s party for the children, scaring anyone who dares to knock on the door Trick or Treating is unlikely to happen. The children I suspect will still expect sweets, we will still do apple bobbing (hopefully in the garden) and I will fill a bucket of slime (green jelly) for the children to guess the objects to win a prize


The children are now aged between 4 and 9 years old. I normally hand out a small party bag with sweets and a few treats at the end of the party but this year I am going to make them earn their gifts which they can pop into their own named party bag to take home. I am going to use purple, red and green flat-bottomed paper party bags I will decorate with some sticky spiders I am sure I will find somewhere and I will draw a cobweb onto the bag and write their name.

The party games will have more significance this year if it is to feel like a Halloween party so in a fit of late night madness I have already wrapped up a pass-the-parcel. I intend to merge musical statues and pass-the-parcel. To keep some of the older children engaged I have placed a gift between each wrapper, the person with the parcel when the music stops will only be able to remove a wrapper if they keep completely still whilst the music is switched off.

We will use cheap toilet roll for 3 teams of mummy wrap, with a second prize for the fastest team to pick all of the paper up afterwards. The paper is also useful for any spills later and wiping dripping faces after apple bobbing and slime dipping.

 I am toying with the idea of a torchlight treasure hunt in the garden. Last year the weather was really mild, if it rains this year or the garden is really soggy I am not certain it will be a good idea. My final game will be a jigsaw race. I have found two jigsaws with the same number of pieces, (non Halloween) I intend to place the jigsaw pieces in a bag, the children will then sit arm width apart in a line and pass the pieces down the line for the two oldest children to make up the jigsaw with the others helping once all 26 pieces are at the finish line. The game will obviously stretch between a few rooms and by the end of this I think my job will be done.

I will of course cheat with the party bags, whilst the children are eating I will add a few extra items to any bags that are light on gifts.


Party Bag Gifts

Sweets are not so much of an issue for the older children as the battle for the parents has already been won or lost but because of the younger children, I will mix in some party bag gifts.

This is my list  of gifts and I am not going to be tempted to add anything else  (I hope!)

Rainbow Dust Straws (Cheap and really useful if you are expecting a lot of Trick or Treat visitors)

Softies Chews

Sherbet Tubs

Tongue Painter Lollipops (another favourite to hand to the Trick or Treaters)

Small Haribo

Skull & Bones Tattoos

Jazzy Pencils

Finger Frights

Window Walker Bugs                                               

Bouncy Putty

Stretchy Spider

Jazzy Blowouts . (For home time only!!!)

Another popular theme is the Monster range including stickers, tattoos, stationery items and sticker activity books but I have already used these items for parties in the past so they are having a rest this year.







How to Choose Party Bags for Mixed Age Groups

 How to Choose Party Bags for Mixed Age Groups.


We are frequently asked for help with parties with a mixed age range. This is more relevant for parties during the school holidays as guests may have another sibling with them. The school holidays also make it easier for family and friends to visit. Our children’s parties always have a mixed age range thanks to relatives so this is how I approach the issue.


  1. Know your budget for each party bag, if you have very young children or babies you can spend less, you may want to spend more on older children…or not! If you set a budget it keeps you focused and saves you getting too carried away as you spend more time finalising your party bags.


  1. Roughly separate your guests into different age groups. This will depend on how wide the age range is at your party. If everyone is between say 4 and 8 years old you may want just two groups, say 4 & 5-year-olds then 6 to 8 years old. If the age range is  baby to teenager years you may have 4 or 5 groups.


  1. Now you have your age ranges consider the theme of the party. Are you having a themed party you are trying to work around? If your party has a  theme you may want a few relevant gifts for every age group to take home. You may not have a theme but have a mix of nursery or school friends and friends from social activities. If you can easily identify a group or theme you may want for some or all of your guests it is worth noting this down against the relevant group/s. This helps when you are choosing items for your party bag gifts. A few core items in most party bags this will make your job a little easier.


  1. Are you planning to provide the same gifts to the girls and boys? If you are planning to provide some or all different gifts for girls and boys, you will need to note how many girls and boys you have in each age group.


  1. Do you intend to provide some or mostly all of the same gifts for all age groups and genders? Or, are you after a variety of gifts for each age groups and gender?

It is easier to combine age groups and gifts for seasonal celebrations such as Christmas, Halloween and Easter when children are bombarded with acceptable cute (or not so cute) images as part of the celebrations. Birthdays are harder,  ideas may have already been formed parties your guests have recently attended.

A Christmas themed pre-filled party bag, only £1 each



A selection of party bag gifts for only 60p each.      

6. Now it is time to start to choose your party bag gifts. Pre-filled party bags are a quick way to buy your party bag gifts at a reduced price, they usually contain generic and popular party gifts suitable for a wide age range.  You can always add an extra item or two to make the pre-filled party bag more personal to your guest. Most of our pre-filled  party bags are also available as party bag fillers which are just the gifts. This  allows you to choose your own party bag.  We also have combinations of popular items at reduced prices such as pencils and notebooks, colouring books and colouring items.

A regular review of your list for each age group will ensure you have not duplicated items and may help with ideas if you are struggling.




Polka-Dot-Paper-Party Bags

Polka Dot Paper Party Bags 17p each

  1. It is now time to choose your party bag. If you are busy at the end of the party you will not want to search for your carefully chosen gifts. Labelling party bags or choosing different coloured party bags and designs can help in a speedy identification.