Books can be sourced very cheaply. Some ideas you can buy the collections of books from the book people (works out at less than a pound per book!). There are many shops including poundlound or The Works where you can usually get books for a pound or two each.
Or look for book sets on amazon. Captain Underpants is a good choice for boys. Jacqueline Wilson is a good choice for girls.
Baked Goods and Edible Treats
Kids love cupcakes, brownies or sweets in a mug.
You can make these part of the party where they make the edible treats that they are too take home. If you want to keep it simple, they can just decorate gingerbread men or ice biscuits as one of the fun activities. Or if you have time, ice the biscuits with each party guest’s name.
Or just give them the treats at the end of the party instead of lots of plastic toys.
Kids love chalks. This can be a great idea for the summer as they will enjoy chalking on the pavement outside. And it can easily be washed away when the rain comes.
You can order chalk online. Or pick up a packet from the supermarket, poundshop or stationary shop.
Cupcake in a Jar Kit
A ‘cake in a jar’ kit is a great idea instead of a party bag. Measure out the dry ingredients into the jar (flour, sugar, etc). Write the recipe and instructions of how to make on the outside and any other ingredients they may need to add. Add a ribbon for decoration.
You can amend this idea for other recipes too. What about cookies in a jar?
If you would rather not have sugar involved in your party bag, why not have the ingredients and instructions to make play doh or slime in a jar.
Design Your Own Binoculars
There are some really great paper and cardboard craft kits which are perfect to put into party bags or to complete at the party.
Kids will love designing these cardboard binoculars. I can’t vouch for the packaging they arrive in but the binoculars themselves are made of card. You could always make your own cardboard kit to put in the pary bag.