Sunday, August 21, 2011

What to Put in Party Loot Bags

Most parents who are planning their child's party will gravitate towards candy to include in the loot bags they are giving away. Here are some intentional suggestions and food for thought:

1) You don't have to put food there. This way, you're sure nothing gets spoiled by a guest who doesn't eat that food item, or has a Mom who disapproves of that food item.

You can put puzzles instead, or sticker books. You can put crayons, bubbles, glow sticks, even mini books. You can put erasers, pens, a small stuffed toy. A lot will depend on your budget and theme but pretty much any little thing a child can appreciate (and a child is usually easily pleased).

2) If you must include food, choose healthier alternatives.

Commercial cupcakes, crackers or wafers will be nice. Welch's fruit gummies instead of the usual gummy worms. A muesli bar or honey sticks or a small pack of nuts (just forewarn parents that allergenic products are in the bag so they will check for sure).

3) If you want to give away sweets, think local.

Chocnut will forever delight people. Also those pinipig bars sold at bus stations. Or ampaw/pop rice (plus, kids don't see much of these anymore... they are sold at wet marketplaces still). Make your own sugar lumps or candies from bao/amis which is pure sugarcane goodness. Give yema or pastillas or polvoron instead. This way, you know what ingredients were used rather than buying the more affordable but often dubious China-made stuff sold in Divi.

4) If you must give sweets, think chocolates instead of candies.

Chocolates, though sweet, are not as acidic as hard candies and are still kinder to teeth. Buy chocolate crisp balls or chocolate eggs in bulk and just repackage to give away. Give small tubs of bread sticks with chocolate or strawberry dipping, or a chocolate lollipop. Plus, 3 pieces of chocolate kisses still say a lot more than a slew of cheapo candies (that may or may not raise manufacturing issues).

5) Never put gum in there.

Some parents do not check and not all children will know it's gum and not supposed to be swallowed.

6) Don't go overboard.

Sure, we all like freebies and kids will always love free candies and sweets. But one or two (or three) IS enough. You did not invite kids to your party to give them cavities nor did you attend a party and gave gifts to be given diabetes in turn. Control your desire to please, conform and/or be perceived as well-off or generous or cool. This will save you money, which you can channel on more important aspects of the party (like the entertainment).

7) Don't give away anything you won't give your child.

If you're not letting your child play with plastic toys with uneven edges or let him eat candies with ingredients you cannot pronounce, then don't give any like those away. If you're an intentional parent, chances are, your invited friends are the same.

8) Feel free to do away with a loot bag, especially if there's already a cool giveaway.

Save money and energy, just give something more substantial (but not necessarily more costly) as a token of your appreciation for your guests having come... instead of having a souvenir and a loot bag. If they're taking home a book or a stool or a tumbler, they aren't likely to forget your party anyway. It may even save their parents a meltdown from the over-stimulating party because there will be nothing else that would have to be opened/eaten/played with in the carride home.

9) Give away intentional stuff.

DIY finger puppets will get your child guest (and hopefully their parent) using their imagination. Busy bags will be appreciated by parents and little books will be used a lot longer. A child can also never have enough stickers or crayons.

Good luck with party planning and filling those bags up!

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails