Loot Bag Alternatives for Kids’ Birthday Parties

Loot Bag Alternatives for Kids’ Birthday Parties

Truth time: I’m not a big fan of birthday loot bags. Usually filled with treats and trinkety toys, I find half the bag usually ends up in the trash can.

When my son selected the Paw Patrol theme for his 4th birthday party, we visited the loot bag section and found the usual: candy, bubbles, noise makers, tiny notebooks and bracelets. I wondered how much of this would make it past the car ride home. I wanted to gift his little birthday party guests something that would last, a cute memory of my little guy’s special day.

So, we put back all of the loot and decided to do something different.

Loot bag alternative: Adopt a puppy for a Paw Patrol theme party

Instead of a loot bag, all the kids got to pick a puppy to “adopt”. Along with their pup they got an adoption certificate to take home. The kids loved getting to pick their favourite puppy (I bought a few extras in case there was one kind of popular pup) and the parents loved that I didn’t give them a bag of candy that they’d have to try to grabble from their hands on their way home. Kids’ got to pick a name for their puppy and put it on the certificate. Not surprising with little ones, “puppy” got written down a lot!

Some of my other favourite loot bag alternatives include:

Kids’ Books

A book is a great gift that kids and parents alike will appreciate. Find a children’s book that matches your party’s theme. I personally love the “That’s Not My …” series from Usborne books for the wide range of topics available to match your birthday party theme.

Potted Plants

These are a great idea for a spring birthday party. You can get a set of small clay pots from the dollar store and some potting soil and flat of small flowers or pack of seeds from a garden store. Kids can decorate their pots with stickers that match your party’s theme, or you can personalize them in advance with your little guests’ names.

Paint Your Own Bird House

Of course, we love this idea! You can buy small wooden bird houses from the dollar store or local craft store. Provide your guests with a small paint palette and a paint brush and you’ve got a great craft project to send them home with, or a fun activity to keep them busy at the party!


Give your little guests a memory to take home. Set up a photo booth using some goofy props. You can use a polaroid camera or a mini printer (I personally love the Canon Selphy) and print their photo on the spot, giving them a fun party memory to take home. If you don’t have a printer handy, print the photos after your guests have left and mail them out with a thank you card. What child doesn’t love getting mail?

At Chickadee Family Café, we can help you find creative ideas for your child’s birthday party.  Watch for birthday party packages coming soon!


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