For kids’ birthday parties it’s pretty much standard to give out gift bags filled with trinkets, toys, and goodies as a thank-you to guests. Candy and chocolate are popular in loot bags, and kids usually love them, but you may want to avoid food due to allergies, sugar overload, or regulations prohibiting them at schools or daycares. Or you may just want to mix it up and branch out.

Below are 75 great ideas for non-edible, junk-free, inexpensive loot to fill those favour bags for party guests. Live in Toronto or the GTA? Here are some of our favourite places to buy loot bag supplies.

Books & Games

books (money-saving tip: score great finds at discount stores like Costco and Winners, or find second-hand books in mint condition at used bookstores, yard sales, and public-library book sales)
bookmarks
playing cards
Mad Libs
bookstore gift certificates
book label stickers (“This book belongs to __________”)

Art & Crafts

stickers
stamps
crayons and sparkly crayons
coloured pencils
washable markers
chalk
drawing pads
colouring books or colouring pages
activity books
sticker books
modelling clay or Play Doh
Silly Putty
washable paint
paint-with-water sets
paintbrushes
glitter glue
googly eyes
sequins
specialty paper (origami paper, etc.)
stencils
temporary tattoos
coloured pipe cleaners
plastic cookie cutters
patterned or brightly coloured washi tape

Music & Instruments

noisemakers
kazoos
whistles
jingle bells
egg shakers
finger cymbals
echo microphone
mix-“tape” flash drives: you can buy 1-gigabyte flash drives in bulk for about $2.50 apiece, then load up with your party soundtrack or themed songs!

Costumes & Dress-Up

crowns
funny hats
sunglasses
superhero masks
feather boas
pirate eye patch
nail polish (non-toxic brands for kids: ShuShuSuncoat, Piggy Paint)
bracelets
necklaces
stick-on earrings
headbands
barrettes

Toys

balls: bouncy, squishy, or sports!
bubbles
sand toys
finger puppets
mini vehicles (cars, boats, trucks, planes)
mini people or Lego figures
mini animal figures
pinwheels
puzzles
balloons
whoopee cushions
spinning tops
jacks
kaleidoscope
water pistols

More Loot Bag Ideas

ice cream shop gift certificate
bendy straws or crazy straws
reusable snack bags
nightlight
goofy magnets or letter magnet for each child’s name
crazy socks
seeds for planting

Bonus idea: Give the gift of giving! In lieu of loot, donate to a charity in your child’s and guests’ names: provide a child in need with school supplies or feed a family. Give each child a card or a small token and let them know where you’ve donated. Or you could even get the kids involved in deciding on a charity.

In the GTA? Check out Kids’ Loot Bags and Supplies in our Toronto directory.

PHOTO: @pillohead_designs/FlickrCC

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