kids activities · Party Decorations

15 Items to Include in a Goody Bag (That Aren’t Candy)

Most kids love candy and of course parties are a special occasion, but when it comes to goody bags I like to send our guests home with interactive and playful items. Today, we’ve compiled a list of items that hopefully spark some inspiration for your child’s goody bag.

Working with your theme when putting together your goody bag

Something to consider is tying your goody bag to the theme of your party. For example, at our Girly Girl Bashes the girls receive cutesy stuff like nail stickers and lip gloss while our Spy Bash guests receive espionage tools like invisible ink pens and black sunglasses. Think about your theme, maybe you’re throwing a nature party so you can provide your guests with bug nets and magnifying glasses or a spa party so you can give out bubble bath and loofahs. That can help you come up some ideas of your own.

Spa Goody Bag
Adorable Spa Party Favor Basket

A Fun Alternative – One Big Gift as a Favor

Something I’ve seen on Pinterest lately is in lieu of a goody bag, parents are handing out one large gift that fits the theme. Say you want a Curious George party, you could give away copies of a Curious George storybook. I saw a baseball party that provided each guest a wiffle ball and bat with a box of Cracker Jacks tied to the top – adorable! (

Wiffle Bat and Ball Favor
Take Me Out the the Ballgame Party

Creative ways to wrap up your goody bag items

Those little gifts don’t need to go in a plain, ole bag! Here’s another awesome way to get creative and tie the goody bag into your theme.

The goody bags from our Spy Bash are known as “Spy Kits” and come in black cardboard boxes to simulate a briefcase.

A mom from one of our Cake Bashes this past Fall made these adorable, personalized cups with paint pens and filled with candy and lip gloss. Shout out to Tessla’s mom!

We use cellophane bags for our Girly Girl Bash favor bags that we tie off with pink ribbon and purple flower tags.

Now, what are we going to put in those goody bags?

15 Items to Include in a Goody Bag (That Aren’t Candy)

  1. Playing Cards – these never get old and you can even buy the special game packs like Go Fish or Crazy 8’s.
  2. Fake Tattoos – I’ve yet to meet a kid that has received one of these and not wanted to put it on immediately. It’s a fan favorite.
  3. Glow Sticks – I think everyone has a soft spot for glow sticks.
  4. Twisty Straws – Fun, safe and reusable.
  5. Stickers – We all know how much kids love stickers. Make sure this is age appropriate for your group; you don’t want parents calling saying their child put stickers all over the window of their car.
  6. Bubbles – Perfect for younger groups. Check out Pinterest for printables to make custom labels to add a bit of personalization.
  7. Fake Mustaches – Awesome for kids of all ages.
  8. Coloring Books – With the whole adult coloring fade, everyone is getting back into coloring.
  9. Nail Polish – Again, make sure it’s appropriate for your age group.
  10. Chapstick/Lip Gloss – Up here in the Northeast chapstick and lip gloss are most welcome in the winter.
  11. Gummy Snacks – A nice alternative to candy and Annie’s makes a tasty gluten free, peanut free, dye free fruit snack. (Check out Annie’s website for the most up to date nutrition info
  12. Sunglasses – If they open their goody bags before they leave you can get a great party photo with them wearing the glasses.
  13. Dress Up Jewelry/Clothing – Bracelets, rings, bow ties – kids love dress up!
  14. Hair clips/hair ties – Parents love these too, they always come in handy.
  15. Funky Pens/Pencils – I had a Puppy Art Bash last month and the mom found dog pens at Target that she gave out as a favor. The other day I found candy scented gel pens. Too cute!

For an overview of what we discussed here today, check out our handy dandy infographic!

The Perfect Goody Bag Infographic_Bash Birthday Parties

The main thing to remember is a goody bag is a way to thank your guests for taking the time to celebrate your special event with you! Even the smallest gesture can go a long way to express gratitude.

Best of luck putting together your goody bags and if you have any suggestions or comments please be sure to add them below. Of course you can email me at with any questions or you can message us on Facebook –

Thanks and party on!


Party Decorations · Uncategorized

Tutorial: Trolls Paper Lanterns!

This weekend is going to be a busy one for Bash Parties. Cara will be over at the Phyllis Bornt Literacy Center on Central Ave. in Schenectady hosting a Cake Bash for the library’s first birthday celebration! Very exciting!

Meanwhile I’m going to be in Averill Park hosting a Trolls Art Bash! Pinterest has a TON of awesome ideas for a Trolls party so I really got inspired after doing a little research. I decided to add troll hair to my paper lanterns as part of the decorations.

Aren’t they cute?!
They’re really easy to put together and I’m very happy with how they turned out! Here’s the DIY instructions for the Trolls paper lanterns:

What you’ll need

Paper Lanterns (mine are 8″ in diameter, but you could use different sizes)

Colorful paper (I used neon copy paper, the thinner paper is easier to work with when cutting and forming the “hair”)

Ruler (not totally necessary but helpful)

Tape (translucent tape and if you have double sided tape that’ll come in handy)

Paper trimmer (again, helpful but you could get away with using scissors)


Thread for paper lantern hanging

Not pictured: Washi tape

Let’s get started!

Give yourself a guideline for cutting
What we’ll do first is prep the paper for cutting. You’ll need two sheets of paper per lantern. Smaller lanterns may only need 1 sheet of paper. What we want to do is fray the paper to create hair. I don’t know about you, but when I’m doing something repetitive I tend to zone out, so I gave myself a guideline of where to stop cutting so I don’t cut all the way through the paper. I measured 1″ from the bottom of the paper and drew a line across.

Note: Because the paper is so thin I just stacked the 2 pieces of paper on top of each other when I made my guideline and did my cutting. If your paper is thicker you may need to cut one sheet at a time.

Cut 1/4″ – 1/2″ sections across the paper. Be sure not to cut all the way through!
Next step is to cut the paper. If you have a paper trimmer just line it up and make your cuts every 1/4″ or so. It doesn’t need to be exactly 1/4″ apart, just keep the cuts relatively consistent.

2 sheets of frayed paper ready to go
Once you’ve made your cuts you’ll need to separate the papers and line them up next to each other, about an 1″ overlapping and tape them together.

Overlap and tape together your 2 pieces of paper
Then you’ll take your paper by the uncut section and make a circle and tape. Make sure your pencil guideline is facing inside the circle, you don’t want it to show on the outside.

Your frayed paper taped together in a circle
Now you need to gather the hair on the top. This is the tricky part. I found that washi tape worked well to hold the top together but you could try ribbon, pipe cleaners, regular tape, whatever works for you. I held a prepped cut piece of washi tape in one hand and held the hair like an ice cream cone with the other and wrapped the tape around all of the hair strands.

Hold the hair like an ice cream cone and apply tape, ribbon, pipe cleaner, etc. to hold the strands together.
Now you have your troll hairpiece! You can leave it plain or you can add some embellishments. I thought it would be appropriate to make one Poppy Troll so I used the pink hair and added her flower headband. Here’s how I did it.

Cut 2 small strands of paper for the headband
Poppy’s headband is green with blue flowers so I first cut 2 small strands of paper (mine were about 1/4″ to 1/2″ wide) and taped them together lengthwise.

Using double sided tape I wrapped and taped the band around the hair piece, cutting off the excess green paper.

I used my Cricut machine to cut out blue flowers for her hair band and taped them on the hairband with double sided tape. If you don’t have a Cricut you can print these flower outlines on blue paper and cut them out with scissors. Template can be found here: poppys-headband-flowers-template

And here’s the finished Poppy troll hair!

Poppy’s pink hair with blue flower headband
The final step is putting the hair on the paper lanterns. I reuse my paper lanterns for lots of events so I didn’t want to permanently attach the hair but you could definitely do that with some dabs of hot glue. Here’s how I attached the hair to the paper lantern without gluing:

This is before I made Poppy’s headband – I think the hair looks cute plain as well!
Assemble the paper lantern as instructed and attach the thread you’ll be using to hang the lantern. I use simple sewing thread to hang my lanterns because they’re so light.

Next you’ll need to “thread” the string through the hair. Tape the end of the string to a pen, pencil or bamboo skewer. Feed the pencil through the hair from the bottom to the top of the hair piece and pull through. Then remove the tape from the pencil. Now the hair is threaded to the lantern. Gently slide the hair to the bottom of the string and have it rest on top of your lantern. You’re all done! Now you just have to hang them!

The Poppy lantern!
I made a couple more lanterns that I embellished them with some stick on jewels, more flowers and bows – feel free to get creative with it!

Overall I’m thrilled with how these little lanterns turned out and I think they’ll be a big hit at the Trolls Art Bash this Saturday. We’ll be posting pictures of the party over the weekend so stay tuned and as always, you can follow us on Facebook to see what else we’re up to. Let me know what you think about our Trolls Paper Lanterns in the comments below and definitely let me know if you try these out for your Trolls bash!

Party on!