Goodie Bag Favors for Preteen Parties

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 party, Halloween 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.

When choosing your party favors, try to think of one larger, feature item you know the kids will flip over. It could be something like a game for boys or a bracelet kit for girls. The rest of the bag can be filled with smaller things and edible goodies, but most of their attention will go to the showstopper and make the event even more memorable.

Need a little inspiration? Let's explore 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:

  • Anything that glows in the dark
  • Bookmarks
  • Custom Koozies for soda cans
  • Kazoos
  • Mini bubbles
  • Mini frisbees
  • Mini slinkies
  • Noisemakers
  • Pencil toppers and erasers
  • Personalized pencils
  • Squeezable stress balls
  • Stickers
  • Temporary tattoos

Food Items

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

  • Caramel or candy apples
  • Individual servings of pretzels, potato chips, nuts, cookies, raisins, fruit snacks, etc.
  • Lollipops
  • Mini microwave popcorn bags
  • Mini chocolate bars
  • Wax lips

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.

  • Chinese yo-yos
  • Mini board games, such as Connect Four
  • Mini puzzle cubes, such as Rubik's Cubes
  • Paddleball games
  • Playing cards
  • Slide puzzles
  • Yo-yos

Party Favors for Girls

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

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

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.

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

DIY Party Favors

If you love a craft or baking project, you can really add a personal spin to your party favors. Swap store-bought food for some homemade treats. Go back to some of those cute and simple craft ideas you saved on your Pinterest board and create custom goodie bags for your tween. You can even plan an activity that lets the kids create their own party favors.

  • Braided or beaded bracelets and necklaces
  • Hand-painted picture frames for a photo from the party
  • Homemade muffins, cookies, or trail mix packaged in novelty bags
  • Homemade slime
  • Made-from-scratch hot cocoa mix

A Word From Verywell

Let your creativity shine when putting together your goodie bags. After all, your kids are growing up and you won't get many more chances to do this. Keep your budget in mind as well and everyone will be delighted with what you put together.

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  2. Paglia L. The sweet danger of added sugars. Eur J Paediatr Dent. 2019;20(2):89. doi:10.23804/ejpd.2019.20.02.01