15/06/2010 17:39 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Tip Of The Day: Alternatives To Party Bags

It seems like every little kid I know is having a birthday within the next month. What is it with all those June babes? Is there a power cut every Autumn that sparks off mass conception?

And with birthdays comes the inevitable round of birthday parties. And you can't have a party without a party bag. Well, you can, but you'll have trouble shifting the party-goers at the end, and they'll grumble about it.

So if you're looking for an alternative to the traditional party bag full of disposable plastic rubbish and sweets, here are some ideas:

  • A piece of birthday cake and a balloon
    The simple approach is absolutely fine. Just make sure you have enough balloons for everybody, and a few extra in case those burst. Obviously this will only work if you have no balloon-phobics present, so do check.
  • Lego Minifigures
    These are due to be the going home pressies at my son's seventh birthday. They're only £1.99 and (fingers crossed) will be popular with all little boys.
  • Something from a one pound shop
    I've had some great partyware from bargain shops. A craft set like this Ben 10 one from Poundland would go down well with most children.
  • Seeds or a bulb to plant in the garden
    Very popular with both adults and children. We have plants in our garden which came from party bags years ago.
  • A book
    With a multipack from The Book People or Red House Books, you can get a book for each child for around 80p.
  • A book with a chocolate bar sellotaped to the front
    The deluxe version of above. Use supermarket multipacks and you can still keep the budget under £1 per person.
  • Nothing at all
    For the hardcore minimalists. Come on you lot, where's your party spirit?