Kids Party Planning

Kids Party Planning without single use plastic

I am no environmental saint and I often without thinking throw something in the bin when it could be recycled, but I am trying to be less wasteful and one place that I have found it easier to make a change is with single use plastics.    I am about to head into crazy birthday season in our house and am hoping to do all four parties without any single use plastic.  When you look at it there is a lot of plastic involved in kids party planning.  Is it even possible to do kids party planning without single use plastic?  I am hoping so….


kids party planning without plastic

Party Bags

These are surely the biggest waste of plastic ever.  I have seen biodegradable plastic party bags, but still there is a high potential that this will just end up in the bin.  So I have found a couple of solutions;  paper bags or cloth bags. 

I am favouring the cloth bags and especially the shopper style as I know if my kids got one of those I would then add it to my shopping bag stash so it would genuinely get reused.  The only thing with them is they are quite large so I would be concerned that the party bag might look a bit empty!!  The paper ones of course can be recycled, but aren’t going to get reused so I am not sure they will achieve quite what I want. 

Now if I were really being 100% environmentally sound I would be making these bags myself out of old material – perhaps the kids clothes?  Maybe next year…..

Party Favours

Again there is a lot of plastic rubbish given as kids party favours.  I am not judging as I have certainly given lots of this out too.  After all kids like little toys and if you don’t want to break the bank then plastic tat does seem to be one of the only options, but we all know where it is headed – the bin!!  Some ideas I have had by theme are below:

Pirate Party

This idea comes from Empty Nest Mummy who I shared a party with last year.  She created paper dipped in tea (aged) and cut so that it looked old.  This was wrapped in a scroll with colouring pencils and instructions for making their own treasure map.

non plastic party bag fillers

If you are more interested in buying than making some ideas could be pirate bandanna, stickers or felt eye patches. 

Pony/ Unicorn Party

Make your own unicorn wands.  You can buy a kit for this and include it or you could wrap short sticks in ribbon and include sequins, a cut out of a unicorn and colouring pencils so that the kids can decorate.  I have not tried this yet, but will be doing it in a few weeks so I will update with pictures!

Books – you can’t go wrong with a book and there are loads about Ponys and Unicorns


Grow your own fairy garden.  In this case I wouldn’t even do a party bag;  the plant pot becomes the party bag.  What I am thinking is a terracotta plant pot, some grass seed and a little accessory for the garden like these:


Over on Rock My Wedding they have done something similar as a wedding favour, but minus the fairies.  I thought this might give you an idea of what I am aiming for, but as I haven’t tried this idea out yet do let me know if you try it.  I will be creating a pin for it as soon as I have a go!!


I did a football party last year and really wanted to do a keepy uppy ball for the party bag gift, but honestly they were too pricey for me.  I still think it is a good idea though as the kids would get a lot of fun out of it.

You might also think  about the Charlie Fry Football series of books:

Science Party

Look no further than the British Science Week website where they have great downloadable workbooks for kids that give ideas and instructions for at home experiments.  Perfect for a science party…

My son is having a Science themed party this year so I have prepared party bags.  I almost avoided plastic altogether except for the sweetie cones which I ended up having to use as the paper bags that I was going to use were not big enough and I only ordered one type.  So I didn’t quite manage it, but I was pleased that we only had one bag of waste for the whole party and some of this was recycling.  In the party bags I included a science book, a dinosaur egg, the slime they made at the party, a book of other kids at home science experiments, some sweeties and some cake.

Science Themed Party Bags

Food Wrapping

One of the areas that I have noticed I use single use plastic in lots is around food storage.  I am guilty of using freezer bags, sandwich bags and cling film.  This year I have decided that I am going to stop using these things so I have been using stasher bags (full disclosure:  I was originally sent these to try and review, but have since gone on to buy more as I thought they were fab) which I am a bit obsessed with, tupperware (I like the sistema range), but I haven’t found a wrapping system to replace clingfilm.  I want to try the beeswax wraps, but I don’t know if they come large enough to be useful. 

Quick question for you lovely readers – is this bad for bees??  Honestly I feel like every time I do one good thing for the environment I am doing something else bad…..  If you have product suggestions I would love to hear them.  I genuinely would like to eliminate all single use plastic from my kitchen and not just for the upcoming birthday parties

Table Cloths

In previous years I have bought those character driven plastic table cloths, but not this year.  Instead I am getting oil cloth from my local sewing shop.  This isn’t too expensive.  It can be wiped clean after the party, folded up and saved for next year.  My plan is to choose a colourful print that won’t offend any of the kids so maybe something like spots or stripes!!


That way I can use the same one for all of the kids parties and keep using it year after year.  You can buy fancy tablecloths made from oil cloth – Cath Kidston has some beautiful ones.  However, the beauty of this fabric is that the edges don’t fray so you can just buy the length you need.  You don’t need to hem or anything so I don’t think you need a fancy one.  At my fabric shop it is around £5 per metre depending on the pattern.  As long as you have somewhere you can keep it for the following year this is a perfect solution as I don’t know about you, but I don’t love the combination of kids and nice fabric tablecloths.

Plates and Cups

The solution here is probably paper plates and cups. I am thinking as at least they can be recycled. I have seen that some still have a plastic coating. If you want to avoid single use plastic you will probably need to read the small print!  Although I do have a big stack of the ikea plastic plates and cups that my kids use every day so I am thinking maybe I will just bring those out and wash them up afterwards which should mean even less waste.

kids party planning

So that’s how I am kids party planning without single use plastic this year.  I hope that some of the ideas have been useful for you.  I would love to hear any ideas that anyone else has as I really want to make this change. 

The next target would be reducing the carbon footprint of getting it all here!! 

Any bright ideas? 

I can’t source everything I need locally so at the moment the only thing I am coming up with is making sure I am organised and order everything at the same time and from one single provider or at least as few as possible.

30 thoughts on “Kids Party Planning without single use plastic”

  1. Some great ideas here! If you reAlly think about it therE’s lots of ways you can reduce single use plastic.

    Enjoy party season


  2. So many good ideas here.
    I used to love replacing the party bag with something fun and functional like a cup or a fabric draw string bag that followed the party theme.

  3. I love this post! It’s got so many great ideas in it, I’m never a big fan of plastic rubbish in party bags – i’d much rather give them another favour that they’ll enjoy. #dreamteam

  4. Love your environmentally friendly party ideas! we recently took our grandchildren to a restaurant where they served straws made from plant stems with the drinks. They were a little perplexed at first, but soon adapted.

  5. Great ideas and great to see how unnecessary waste/plastic can be avoided in creative ways! As for the beeswax wraps – no they aren’t bad for bees however I still don’t quite understand why they would be needed: Food/sandwiches can more easily be stored in reusable containers and lids or simply plates can be used to cover up leftover food in the fridge #dreamteam

  6. I love this! We’re trying so hard to reduce our reliance on single-use plastic. It’s hard, but certainly not impossible. Just takes a little bit more research and hunting around. great post #dreamteam

    1. Thanks Jennie. It did take a bit more time to think through and some of the plastic items would have been cheaper, but I wanted to try and I won’t go back #DreamTeam

    1. I think I only noticed because we have 5 out of 6 of us celebrating birthdays within 30 days so I see it all in one hit. #DreamTeam

  7. Perfect timing! Just about to start planning my three’s joint party – dinosaur themed of course! It’s scary how much plastic we use. I’ll definitely be using some of these tips, thanks! #dreamteam

  8. There are some brilliant ideas here. When you see it all written down like that it really makes you think how much waste a child’s party can create! I’m definitely guilty of putting convenience before environmental concerns. It’s something I really need to change. #dreamteam

    1. Thanks lovely. I think it strikes me as 5 out of 6 of us have birthdays within 30 days so it is all about parties and the waste is huge!!

  9. Great ideas Kirsty. I really like the idea of fabric bags instead of the plastic ones. These come in handy for so many things. I’m not sure where I have seen them, but they have ones that you can buy with a design on and fabric pens to colour the design in. #DreamTeam

  10. I love your ideas! One thing I’ve heard of is compostable paper plates and cups. Those are even more eco friendly than paper that is recycled (from my limited understanding of all that). #DreamTeam

  11. well done you. Its so hard though isn’t it and it shouldn’t be , if retailers got more on board with the idea. What i hate most are the crappy little plastic toys the stuff in Xmas crackers, that invariably end up in the bin almost straight away . #dreamteam

    1. OMG me too!! They drive me crazy. I am thinking I will make my own this year so that the kids actually have something they can use for more than 30 secs! #DreamTeam

  12. Pingback: First Birthday Party Planning Ideas - Navigating Baby

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