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  • Writer's pictureIsabel Mack

4 types of party bag fillers to avoid

When putting together party bags for a kids party there are some items that it's best to avoid. While no-one likes to be a party pooper, the last thing you want is to send your guests home with something potentially harmful or something that's going to send their nearest and dearest up the wall – especially when they may repay the favour at a later date!

Here's my list of what NOT to put in a party bag. Avoiding the following types of fillers should help you keep in the good books all round.

No.1 – gifts that are annoying to others

Mainly this refers to items that create noise!

From mini recorders and kazoos to hand-held rattle drums and moo or baa tins, there’s so many noisy things to choose from. Top of the list of annoying things to avoid are whistles of any kind or anything that makes a high-pitched noise. Three uses of any of these is probably about the limit of enjoyment before they start to drive everyone mad.

My son was recently gifted a mini loudhailer. Now, I don’t know about your child, but mine was already loud enough!

Aside from noise, balloons can also be an annoying party bag filler. Many parents now try to avoid balloons for environmental reasons, but just having to blow up a balloon and tie a knot under pressure can all be a bit much.

No.2 – gifts that are damaging or destructive

While I’m sure it’s tremendous fun to massage slime into the carpet, it’s not so much fun to clean. For this reason pots of slime have to be at the top of the list of party favours which can be damaging or destructive.

One all-time great fun item has to be the bouncy ball, but there’s way too much potential for accidents – oops, there goes your TV! For this, and many other reasons, we have a ‘no ball policy’ inside our home.

Another type of item that comes up quite often in conversation with other parents are those sticky creatures you fling at the wall that then drag themselves down. These stretchy toys are notorious for leaving behind marks on your paintwork.

No.3 – gifts that could cause allergies

When planning your party, you might find yourself asking for your guests’ food preferences or allergies, but there are a number of non-food party bags fillers that could also cause allergies.

Depending upon the type of pigments used, temporary tattoos have been known to cause allergic reactions. And nickel would best be avoided if you’re looking at items like one-size-fits-all rings. Nickel can cause a number of unpleasant skin irritations.

Another popular item that may cause redness, itching or rashes are bath bombs, along with various other toiletry items. If you’re gifting these types of things, it’s best to keep your choices as natural and as hypo-allergenic as you can.

No.4 – gifts that are dangerous

The bouncy ball makes its second entrance in this section. It’s just too easy for children to run into the road as they chase their ball down the street. Even worse, these can be a choking hazard. In 2018 a young child in Australia died after chocking on a bouncy ball from a party bag.

Anything that’s small enough for a young child to swallow can be a potential choking hazard or do serious damage. Items like magnets, marbles, pen lids and gobstoppers are better off avoided, even for older kids.

As well as getting things stuck in the throat, other small items can get wedged up the nose or trodden in to the foot – and OUCH, that’s not so much fun! Enter a whole range of small plastic toys, which hold very little play value, and are likely to break, leaving them jagged and pointy. Any toys that you do include should have a CE or UKCA Mark (or similar).

There’s lots of ways to make your party bags safe and fun

Yes… party bags can be a bit of a minefield. When you really start to think about it, you can probably find a reason not to include almost anything. While it’s wise to be aware of things to avoid, there are many ways to make your party bags safe and fun, which is what we all want at the end of the day.



Eco-friendly parties

Party kits are an easy, convenient and often cheaper way of accessing reusable tableware and decorations for a party. 

Make your next party a little more eco-friendly and hire a party kit. 

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