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25 Summer Loot Bag Ideas

I, personally, love giant bags of candy. I know my kids do, too. BUT I know that many parents nowadays are looking for alternatives to a sugar-filled loot bag. Well, I came up with this GIANT list of summer loot bag ideas, just for you. And they are all easy AND inexpensive. You’re welcome.

Inexpensive Loot Bag Fillers:

A mix CD: the songs can fit the party theme! Or you could have a summer-music playlist. ANYTHING that gets Frozen out of rotation in my car.

loot bag ideas - sunglasses

Sunglasses: They are available everywhere this time of year or you can buy a party pack on Amazon.

loot bag ideas - books

Books: Books are always in season plus they can be used over and over again. We LOVE giving and recieving books.

loot bag ideas - playdoh

Play-Doh: Kids love it and you can give store-bought or homemade.

Mini canvas with a few jars of paint and a brush is a fun favour for an art party

Beach towels: Extra towers come in handy during the summer. You can find fun ones at discount stores. We’ve found that ones with TV characters go over well.

Flower or vegetable seeds: my kids grew some sunflowers inside once, and they loved it.

loot bag ideas - sidewalk chalk

Sidewalk chalk: you can never have enough. Give a small box or buy a big box and give each child a few pieces.

Balls: basketball, soccer ball, bouncy ball, etc. You can buy them anywhere, for cheap.

Bubbles: Bubbles are always a hit and they are a consumable that you won’t find under your kid’s bed 6 months later.

loot bag ideas - sand toys

Sand toys: we don’t have a beach, but we use these at the playground.

Hula Hoops – A retro favourite that gets kids moving!
Slinkies: a spring, a spring, a marvellous thing!

Colouring books and crayons – Usually you can easily tie this to your party theme too. Sometimes you can even find a party pack.

loot bag ideas - backpacks

Canvas bags or backpacks – If you get plain ones, you can add an iron-on or patches to make them even more fun! Or just buy the ones above that are already cute.

Mochi Squishy Toys – I have no idea why these are so popular but they are. Even Evan loves them and he is almost 12!

Glow Sticks – I hate throw-away plastic crap BUT kids love glow sticks. Like, love love them.

Gift cards: A $5 gift card to your local frozen yogurt place or the book store is a fun and useful loot bag idea!

Loot Bag Ideas that are also Party Activities 

Cookie Making – Decorate cookies and bring home a cookie cutter and a recipe.

LEGO: Let kids build something out of LEGO pieces at the party, then let them take their sculpture home (bonus: less clutter at your house)!

Baking / Cooking: Kids can make any kind of food or treat at the party, and bring home an apron or chef’s hat. How about a pizza party?

Planting: Let kids plant a seed or seedling into a terra cotta pot at the party. Then they can decorate the pot and bring their new plant home.

Fabric Decorating: Decorate t-shirts, pillowcases, or canvas bags using tie-dye, fabric paint, or iron-on patches. Kids will love to take their creations home.

Picture Frames: Let kids decorate a picture frame. Take a picture of them at the party, print it, and send them home with the finished product.

Necklaces: String beads OR candy to let the kids create a masterpiece to bring home.

Arts and Crafts: if you do any kind of art project at the party, kids can keep the finished result – try something easy like paintings or collages. You can give the kids smocks to protect their clothes and to keep as a party favour!

REMEMBER: We tend to over-think this. Most kids are actually pretty easy to please. Keep it simple, and have fun!

DIY Loot Bag Ideas

Now that you have all these assume things to fill your loot bags with, now you have to figure out how to make them cute. Here are a few posts to help you out with that!


Pantone Loot Bags

airplane loot bag

DIY Airplane Loot Bag

Other Great Birthday Party Planning Resources

how to choose a birthday party venue

How to Choose a Birthday Party Venue

Children's Party Themes

Adorable Kid’s Birthday Party Theme Ideas

loot bag ideas
loot bag ideas

For more easy loot bag ideas, check out my post on Winter Loot Bags!

Betty S

Friday 17th of May 2019

Great ideas.


Wednesday 30th of May 2018

What awesome ideas! Definitely will keep the kids busy for hours.

Dawn McAlexander

Wednesday 2nd of August 2017

These are some great ideas. I like sidewalk chalk and bubbles myself. :)

Ellen LaFleche-Christian

Wednesday 2nd of August 2017

What great ideas. I always try to avoid food in loot bags. You never know.