Goodie Bag Favors for Preteen Parties

Goodie bags that won't disappoint

Four children (9-11) at birthday party with blowers, outdoors
Martin Barraud/The Image Bank/Getty Images

If you think the days of handing out party favors are behind you, think again. Tweens may be growing up and developing a newfound sense of independence, but they still love their parties.

Whether you're planning a birthday partyHalloween party, or another special event, don't forget to send guests home with a bag full of fun treats. Sure, tweens may no longer be interested in finger puppets and tiny jars of Play-Doh, but there are plenty of age-appropriate goodies that are sure to please.

Need a little inspiration? Here are five inexpensive and unexpected party favor ideas to get you started.

Novelty Items

Whether you're throwing a full-blown Halloween costume party or an ordinary slumber party, there are a few essential items your goodie bags should never be without. Tweens love fun novelty items, and oftentimes the only place you can get them is in a party favor bag.

Throw a few of these items in every bag and watch their eyes light up:

  • Personalized pencils
  • Mini frisbees
  • Squeezable stress balls
  • Pencil toppers and erasers
  • Kazoos
  • Stickers
  • Anything that glows in the dark
  • Mini bottles of bubbles
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Soda can koozies
  • Mini Slinkies
  • Noisemakers
  • Bookmarks

Food Items

No favor bag is complete without some type of treat. Don't skimp on the best part but you can include something that doesn't overload your guests with sugar, either. There are many individually wrapped food items and other treats that are the perfect additions to any goody bag.

  • Individual servings of popcorn, pretzels, potato chips, nuts, cookies, raisins, fruit snacks, etc.
  • Mini chocolate bars
  • Mini bags of microwavable popcorn
  • Lollipops
  • Wax lips
  • Caramel or candy apples
  • Individually-wrapped candies, such as Smarties, Tootsie Rolls, Pop Rocks, Pixy Stix, Fun Dip, etc.

Games and Puzzle Items

Keeping finicky preteens entertained doesn't require much time or money.

Games, puzzles, and other activities always seem to go over well with the preteen crowd:

  • Yo-yos
  • Chinese yo-yos
  • Paddle ball games
  • Playing cards
  • Mini-puzzle cubes, such as the Rubik's cube
  • Slide puzzles

Party Favors for Girls

For girls, party favor options are endless. If you're assembling party favor bags for preteen girls, you don't have to search far and wide for things to include.

  • Pinwheels
  • Slap bracelets
  • Mini spiral bound notebooks
  • Small stuffed animals
  • Mini manicure kit
  • Lip gloss
  • Perfume samples
  • Paper folding fans
  • Novelty pens and pencils
  • Small craft projects, like a make-your-own-bracelet project
  • Colorful emery boards
  • Mini soaps
  • Stamps and ink pads
  • Body glitter

Party Favors for Boys

Depending on your perspective, boys are either easier or harder to buy for than girls. Sometimes less is more for boys. They may be happier with a gift card to the local bowling alley than they would be with a bag full of stuff they might never touch.

  • Mini vinyl footballs
  • Water guns
  • Small rubber balls
  • Mini flashlights
  • Comic books
  • Keychains
  • Plastic sports bottles
  • Jacks
  • Marbles
  • Gift certificates for mini golf, bowling, movies, frozen yogurt
  • Glow-in-the-dark slime