Home » Parties » Plan your own party » DIY Party Planning Ideas

Lolly Free Kids Party Bag Ideas | Zero Junk, Zero Plastic

Kids party bags (goodie bags, loots bags, gifts bags whatever you want to call them!) – the surprisingly expensive, much-hyped end to any successful kids’ birthday party!

Party favours for kids carry the dubious reputation of being a combination of plastic rubbish (terrible for the environment) and lollies. So, how do you do make loot bags at home that kids will go nuts for, without giving them a bunch of cheap plastic rubbish and lollies whilst still keeping to a budget?

If you’re looking for alternatives to loot bags, or just some kids party bag ideas that aren’t full of rubbish we’ve got you covered! In this article we’ve come up with some great alternative party bag ideas, that the kids are sure to love. 

RELATED: If you are looking for zero waste gifts, check out this article!

Lolly Free Kids Party Bag Ideas

Some of the best lolly free kids party bag ideas are listed below:


Lolly Free Kids Party Bag Ideas

You know those frozen fruit icy poles your child LOVES so much? What about those overpriced pouches of yoghurt or fruit puree? How about making your own as birthday loot bag alternatives?  You can buy a pack of 10 reusable mini food pouches and fill them with delicious frozen treats. Awesome for a ‘Frozen’ themed party or also great if you’re looking for toddler birthday gift bag ideas.

The kids can enjoy their yummy treat and take their reusable pouch home to use again. You’ll be surprised how cheap this works out to be and there are heaps of great designs to go with whatever themed party you are having.

Check out these reusable mini food pouches here from Cherub Baby. They come in packs of 10, in a range of funky designs and are microwave and freezer safe.

Home made cold treats in reusable mini pouches are awesome for those parents looking for party bag alternatives and make for great cheap party bag ideas.


Another one of the great cheap birthday goody bag ideas and lolly bag alternatives is play dough. Whether you make it yourself or purchase it readymade, Play Dough is cheap to make and every single kid under eight LOVES it. In fact why not get the kids to make it as part of the party celebrations and then they can pop it in their birthday party goodie bags.

Depending upon what the theme of the party is, you can buy or make Play Dough in the colour to match the theme. Lego? Bright yellow. Frozen? Blue and white. You can make enough playdough for 20 loot bags for under $8. Pick up some cheap plastic packaging from your local dollar shop and tie off with ribbons. It makes perfect loot bag fillers, particularly if you’re after lolly free party bags.

Click here for a bag of Play Doh in great little children’s party bags sizes.


Another one of our cool non-lolly loot bag ideas is a cupcake that the birthday guest can make at home later. All you need to do is gather the dry ingredients needed to make 6 party themed cupcakes. Add the “cake mix” in a ziplock bag, some theme coloured patty cake papers and a couple of edible cake toppers (available on Amazon for a few dollars).

These children’s party bags filled with everything they need to bake their own cupcakes makes for one of the best party favour ideas for kids. Send the kids home with a “goodie bag” that doubles as a baking project. It’s great too if you’re looking for cheap treat bag ideas as you can do 20 “lolly bags” for under $20.

Kids love baking, so these goodie bags for kids are sure to be a hit!

Need some cupcake topper inspiration? Here are some cupcake toppers and edible cake toppers we just love!


Photo courtesy of Modern Parents Messy Kids

In terms of party favour ideas, another one of our cheap goodie bag ideas is to make a Cloud Dough Snowmen set. Cloud Dough is just like kinetic sand only not a total pain in the butt to clean up! Cloud dough clings together and can be moulded like playdough as it has a soft, powdery, snow-like texture.

Cloud dough is simple to make – and has just two ingredients – flour and baby oil. For these homemade loot bags, use one cup of baby oil for every eight cups of flour. You can make enough for 20 goody bags for under $10 using generic brand baby oil.

In addition to the Cloud Dough, party bag fillers can include everything needed for the party guests to make their very own snowmen. In each party bag include a piece of orange pipe cleaner and a small quantity of black playdough for eyes and buttons. Or buy a set like this one here, which includes a range of pipe cleaners in different colours, as well as wiggly eyes and pompoms.

These Cloud Dough Snow Men make a great idea for loot bags for toddlers as well as a ‘Frozen’ themed party – tell the kids they are making Olaf!


Craft filled party bags for kids birthdays are awesome goodie bag ideas, as it gives the birthday guest something fun and creative to do when they get home. They are super easy and relatively cheap to make too.

The goodie bag fillers for your art and craft bags will depend on the projects you have in mind. Here are a few of our arts and craft ideas for birthday bags:

  • Bracelets: Pop in some beads and thread.
  • Transformers Badges: Some paint and glitter and a cardboard outline makes for a nice Transformers badge.
  • Ninja Turtle Mask: A few pieces of ribbon are easily turned into a Ninja Turtle mask.

A grow your own party bag is one of the unique party bag ideas that kids will love.  Perhaps you’re having a ‘Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom’ party? Maybe your child loves the creepy faced Dirt Girl from ‘Dirt Girl World’? Maybe you could grow Olaf a nose? The ideas are endless.

Grow your own kids party bag fillers can include a range of things.  A “tube stock” pot, a pouch of potting mix and some “Fairy Garden Seeds” (or Olaf Nose Seeds or just raspberry seeds) gives party goers a gardening project to do at home without filling them with lollies!

These are such good party bags, as they’re also ideal for introducing discussions around sustainability with kids – after all, how many cheap plastic toys have you binned after a kid’s birthday party?  Love the idea of an eco bag? Consider using recycled paper bags and making the whole bag part of the plant!


One of the really cool boy and girl party goodie bag ideas for older science loving kids is a volcano kit party bag. Fill these cool party bags with mini science experiments to do at home. Build your own volcano kits are always a big hit and you can do 20 loot bags for under $20.

Print off these instructions and make your own volcano!

For a volcano loot bag, things to put in party bags includes:

  1. Pouch of bicarbonate soda
  2. Small bottles containing vinegar with red or orange food dye
  3. Homemade brown playdough (about 3/4 a cup per child)
  4. Drinking straw (cut in half)


  • Model 2/3 play dough into a volcano shape around the drinking straw
  • Grab an aluminium pie tin and fill it with baking powder and wrap remaining playdough around the outside
  • Fit the “volcano” over the pie tin and seal up so pie tin is obscured
  • Carefully pour the vinegar down the straw (use a funnel if available)
  • Watch your volcano erupt!

When it comes to super cool and original party bag ideas, a volcano loot bag is definitely it!


Another one of the great children’s party bag ideas for older kids, is a build your own rocket party bag. This is a pretty easy and fun idea, just be sure to add instructions that stress careful play and parental supervision.

For a rocket party bag, goody bag fillers include:

  1. One empty film canister (from the old style 35mm film rolls) or similar container that has a “push to seal” lid.
  2. One fizzy antacid such as Eno or Alka-Selzer


  • Under close parental supervision, find a flat surface outside
  • Remove the lid from the canister and put a teaspoon of water inside
  • Break the antacid in half and quickly drop into the canister
  • Put the lid on very tightly and very quickly
  • Place upside down (so lid to the ground) on a flat surface
  • Run! Stand back at least two meters. It will take 10-15 seconds to launch your rocket!

If you’re after different party bag ideas, you can’t go wrong with a rocket party bag.


Images of equipment used to make Hand Made Juggling Balls

How about make your own juggling balls for party bag filler ideas. Making juggling balls is surprisingly simple and very cost effective.

Use a funnel to fill balloons to “kids hand size” with short grain rice. Make sure the balloon inflates enough that the ball feels “solid” but malleable. Tie off the balloon and snip away any excess rubber. Stretch a second balloon over the first, hiding the tie. Squish it until it’s a round ball. You can make 20 of these for under $10 (cheaper if you buy rice in bulk from an Asian supermarket) and the kids will LOVE to help.

All you need for juggling ball party bag contents are:

That’s it! Just a couple of things and you’ve got yourself one of the cheap novel party bag ideas.

Click here to see how to make Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle juggling balls like the one in the photo above.


If you’re looking for birthday party goody bag ideas for toddlers and young children, ribbon wands are such a cool idea. A ribbon wand is everything from a tiger’s tail, to a gymnastics prop to a beautiful dance accessory!

The good news is that ribbon wands are super easy and easy to make as well. Buy some dowel and some screw in loop hooks. Cut the dowel into 15 cm pieces and screw a loop hook into one end. Tie on a long piece of ribbon and you’re all set. Depending on the cost of your ribbon, these can be done for around a dollar each.

When it comes to ideas instead of party bags, ribbon wands are such a great idea, particularly when you’re looking for toddler goody bag ideas.

Other Lolly Free Party Bag Fillers

If you’re still in need of some more party gift ideas instead of party bags, or just suggestions on small gifts for children’s party bags which aren’t lollies or plastic rubbish, then here are some more great birthday party bag fillers. 

Also, just remember you don’t have to spend a fortune when it comes to kids grab bag ideas, 1-2 quality goodie bag fillers for kids are much better then a bunch of items which will end up in the rubbish before the weeks out.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

5 thoughts on “Lolly Free Kids Party Bag Ideas | Zero Junk, Zero Plastic”

  1. What a great guide for healthly kids party bags. I love my lil pouch – this would be a great party bag item for toddlers or teens.


Leave a comment