1. Use paper bags or fabric bags.
Paper bags are recyclable and fabric bags are reusable. I make fabric drawstring bags that can be reused as shoe bags, as gift bags, to store little toys, or even used as little handbag pouches for the girls.
2. Choose an activity.
These include, bubble fun, activity booklets you can compile yourself (just search for "children's activity sheets" and you can get pages of fun activity for the kids), colouring books, stickers, finger puppets (Ikea sells them in sets of 10 for just RM19.90), stamps or Ikea's marker with stamps - 6 for RM3.90. You can also come up with DIY craft for kids such as origami (the easy ones)
3. Healthier munchies.
Why not pick raisins, a pack of juice or milk, wafers, rice crackers or seaweed instead of candies. If you have the time, why not bake some homemade cookies? There are healthier candies in the market too, made of natural colour and flavour.
I tend to favour wooden toys and noise makers to their plastic counterparts because they are eco-friendlier and last longer. Examples are like wooden yoyos, castanets, small wooden toy vehicles.
Basically, give the kids things they can make use of, learn from and at the same time have fun with. Having said that, I feel that my son is receiving way too many stationery sets in his party packs. There are usually a few pencils, a ruler, an eraser and a pencil sharpener in a set, and are normally of poor quality. My son can't really write yet and already owns more than 10 sets of these!