Birthdays seem to come in batches in our family, I’m sure your family is no different. February is the last month of birthdays before the next batch in June. As we round out the last birthday for the winter months, environmentally friendly loot bags are on my mind.

This is the first and last of the birthdays that actually require a loot bag as the other kids were either too young or too old for one. 

However, my 8 soon to be 9 year old is right at that age where loot bags have to be awesome. I am at the age where loot bags have to be eco-friendly. 

So, here we are, looking for awesome environmentally friendly loot bags.

All I managed to come up with on the fly was reusable straws….boring! I needed more ideas.

So, of course, I took to the internet to get my creative juices flowing.

Here’s what I came up with. 

Nature party favors

Why not let mother nature help us out with loot bag ideas? She’s not doing anything anyways! (Just kidding, I love you Mother Nature!) 

These ideas might be a little bit out there, but just try and keep an open mind.

Harry Potter Wands

Ok, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be Harry Potter wands specifically. They can be Ron or Hermione wands too–but NOT He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, that’s where I draw the line!

I digress, enough nerding out over Harry Potter.

Have the kids search for the perfect twig to make their wizard wand, and you (the adult) whittle it for them into the perfect wand shape. 

You can also have them decorate it with beads, or ribbon, etc. if you choose to. 

This is a fun ecofriendly party favor for your young guests to take home.

As a bonus, it’s an activity that will take up a good chunk of time, so you don’t have to come up with a million other things to keep the kiddos busy with.


succulents and cactus

Potted Succulents and Cacti

Sounds weird, I know, but my boys love plants. Their window sills are lined with different succulents and cacti. 

They are spikey, which is a bonus for older kids, and easy to take care of which is a bonus for parents.

Sending the kids home with a cool potted succulent or cacti is a unique way to say ‘Thanks for coming!”

Plant your own seeds

If you wanted to get really crazy, have a planting party and the kids can plant their own seeds in individual biodegradable pots. 

This is a good idea for the warmer months as you could set up a table outside and keep the mess out of the house.

This is a time consuming activity that the kids will love. They like dirt, right?

Plastic free party favors 

These are the best non-plastic party favors I found:

wood cube puzzle

Wooden Puzzles

These are great for young and older kids. They promote fine motor and problem solving skills. Your party attendees can have competitions to see who can solve the puzzle first. I don’t see how anything could go wrong there!


Let’s not overlook the almighty book. You can find books fairly inexpensively at second hand stores or maybe you have some at home in good condition that your child doesn’t read anymore. Why not give them out as part of your ecofriendly loot bag?

You can even make a theme out of it. Do you have a few Dr. Seuss books that need a new home? Have a Dr. Seuss themed birthday party and give the kids a book on their way out the door. 

For older kids, you can give out comic books. My 8 and 11 year old love comic books and would be stoked to get one as a party gift.


Puzzles come in cardboard packaging and made with wood, so they are a great plastic-free option in a loot bag. 

Small puzzles are generally inexpensive as well.

One downside to puzzles is that kids aren’t that into them after a day or two, at least mine aren’t anyways, so there is a chance they might end up in a vacuum canister or in the trash in the not too distant future.

DIY crafts as party favors

For the younger kids, DIY crafts are a fun, creative way to include your party guests in the making of their party favors.

Homemade Playdough

Making playdough at home is so easy and cheap! As a party idea, you can make the playdough and have the kids pick out what color they want and let them get messy mixing in the color and playing with the playdough. 

The youngins will definitely get more out of this activity than the older crowd. 

Looking for a good homemade playdough recipe? Here’s one!

Homemade goodies

You can whip up a batch of homemade treats like cookies or brownies and add them to the loot bag. 

Alternatively, you can make it part of the party and let the kids help make a batch of cupcakes and then decorate them when they are cooled off.

homemade slime

Slime made by my 8 year old son.

Homemade Slime

My 8 year old loves slime and his buddies do too. So why not have a good old fashioned messy slime making craft for the party.

This activity takes up a lot of time and they get a cool party favor to take home when the party is over. 

Check out this website for some great homemade slime recipes!

homemade bracelet

Paracord bracelet made by my 11 year old son.

Homemade Jewlery

My brother taught both my 8 and 11 year old sons to make paracord bracelets. Let me tell you, they are a hit! They have made countless ones for their friends who want one. Honestly, it’s a good business idea, they could make a killing!

If you or your child is gifted in the bracelet making game, put one in the loot bag of their guests, or better yet, let them make one to take home.

Beaded bracelets and necklaces take basically no skill (even I can figure it out) and it can be a fun craft for the kids to do.

Environmentally Friendly Loot Bag

Now, since you have ideas for what can go into your environmentally friendly loot bags, lets look at what you should put them in.

Brown Paper bag 

I like the traditional paper bag. Call me a traditionalist, but a paper bag is a classic. 

Younger kids can decorate their bag to take home. We did that for my 8 year old when he was 4. The kids loved decorating their own bag. 

As a matter of fact, they decorated their bag, then went on a scavenger hunt for things to go into it and that’s what they took home. It was a lot of fun and kids love scavenger hunts!

What do you do for party favors for your kids? What is the best thing your child has come home with from a birthday party? Let me know in the comments below.

Cheers, and have an awesome day!




  1. Leana rosetti

    I like your ideas, thank you! I am thinking of getting little flower pots, having the kids decorate them, and then have them make a little succulent arrangement inside. (I have plenty of cuttings from my garden).

  2. Alexis

    Get costume jewelry from Goodwill, from yard sales, or have people donate old costume jewelry. You can obtain it super cheap! Hide it around your yard and have a pirate or princess treasure hunt! Kids can keep the jewelry 🙂


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *