** Treat ! **

10.27.2009

One thing I get asked to do at Adam's preschool is make treat bags for various holidays. And though I am prone to saying *NO*, I am thrilled to say *YES* to this because it's a chance for me to be a little creative - and I can do it at home.

I thought I'd share some of my treat bag making tips since some of you may have treat bags in your future for the upcoming holidays.

I had 23 bags to fill this time - quite a large number! In the past I struggled a little trying to figure out what to put in them that would:

1. not be very expensive (except 23 - hello small fortune!)
2. would not just be a bag of junk tossed aside the minute the kids opened them, and
3. were age appropriate (no small parts, no chocolate, no peanuts, etc)



I keep a stash of holiday bags, velum bags, tins, containers, stickers and all sorts of ribbon and tulle on hand because they are key to turning a little somethin' into somethin' fun and great lookin'. I scour the sale bins at places like Hobby Lobby, Michael's and HomeGoods right after a holiday for things marked down 50% or more. The bags I used for this project I bought 10 for $1 at Hobby Lobby last year.

For the 3-4yo age group here are my best ideas for gift bag eats. Most of these can be purchased in quantities (like a box of fruit chews) which greatly reduces the cost per gift bag

* cereal bars (no chocolate or nuts)
* fruit chews in individual packets
* snack sized bags of Gold Fish or other similar crackers
* candy like Smarties, Starburst, Swedish Fish, and individually wrapped Twizzlers
* juice boxes/pouches
* Pez

For other goodies, I visit the dollar aisles at Target and Wal-Mart:

* glow sticks
* kiddie card games like Crazy 8, Old Main, Go Fish
* for girls: barrettes or ribbons, tiny lip gloss
* holiday themed socks
* yo-yo's
* small flashlights
* night lights
* stickers
* plastic bowls or snack plates in the holiday theme or colors

And of course I never buy anything that would annoy the parents!



Once my bags were filled, the fun really began for me. I folded down the tops, secured the back flap with scotch tape and then finished it off with a Halloween sticker. I punched holes in the flap and used black/white/orange themed ribbons in all sorts of combinations to fancy up the bag. I printed out the To/From tags on the computer, backed them with scrap booking paper cut with a scalloped 3" punch and attached them to the front of the bag.
At Adam's school, the kids are given their treat bags when they leave so they are not opening them and losing things and possibly eating things their parents don't want them to have. (BTW - I am well aware many of the bags will get shoved down into a backpack by sweet little 3yo hands with dirt under the nails. But at least I tried! ha!)
I also filled Halloween canisters for Adam's teachers. One place I look that often has some great things for teachers is the aisle with travel-sized products. Not everything there is for hygiene - you'd be surprised what you can find for not much money!

Ideas for grown ups:

* Burt's Bees lip gloss, soaps, lotions
* Holiday socks or gloves
* Starbucks or Blockbuster cards
* CHOCOLATE! Grown ups can have it!
* Small candles
* Note cards
* Cocktail napkins

I'd love to hear your gift bag ideas, too!
For some reason I have visions of Christmas bags dancing in my head.

18 comments:

Tonja :

Great ideas! Another great thing to put in a child's bag is bubbles. If you go to the party store, or aisle, you can find favor packages...they usually have small bubble containers. Small books from the Dollar Store are good too.

Teachers: loved all of the ones you listed. One of the things my Mom used to do for the granddaughters at Christmas, was to do goody bags. So, I have taken on the task. I got some decorative photo storage boxes, and each time I am at Michaels, or HL, or dollar stores, I look for things to put in! It;s really been fun looking...sort of like stocking stuffers!

Not for a goody bag, but another wonderful gift that I loved to recieve from students was a gift card to Barnes and Nobel or BAM.

*carrie* :

Those bags are so cute--I hope the kids (or at least their parents) appreciate them! =)

Randall @ Happy For This Moment :

Those look so darling, great job!

mer@lifeat7000feet :

You're awesome, and your bags are SUPER cute!

Another great place to find stuff is the Hot Spot section at Archivers--lots of fun stickers/stamps/ribbon/and other cute crafty stuff for around $1.

I also love recipe cards for teachers. I usually find them at Michael's in their dollar bin. Also love magnet picture frames. I've bought those at Michael's too!

Pink Martini :

Honestly, you should say yes more often. These bags are adorable! :)

clemsongirlandthecoach :

Love them, they lok fabulous, not that I am surprised!

:)

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows :

I am truly impressed. I wish my Best Girl was in Adam's class!

Preppy Pink Crocodile :

You are so creative! Great gift ideas!

My best friend is a teacher and some years all the parents pool their $ and give her a big mall gift card. That's her fav bc its a big gift with lots of possibilities.

MissJody :

Yes-love it :)
You have great ideas :)
I love the items your putting in them...I have no kids. So I have no idea what would be safe and would not be. Moms are amazing People. They JUST KNOW!

I love your picture collages :)

Houses, Couches and Babies :

Wow! Your bags are awesome! And you really thought of everything! Thanks for the ideas...especially for the teachers!

adrienne :

fabulous! you inspire me!

kmm0305 :

Those are adorable! I just spent about 30 min at Hobby Lobby today looking at the Halloween sale stuff, wondering what I could do with it next year.

One thing I saw at Target that I almost picked up were the Halloween pencils with the lead "caps" that you take out and then push up through the bottom and a sharp, new lead comes out top. We have a few of those around the house so I know we will always have a sharpened pencil (since our pencil sharpener tends to disappear).

At Christmas as a preschool teacher we used to make big batches of homemade playdough then put in smaller bags and tie a cookie cutter onto the bag. Cheap and something the kids love. Attach the recipe so parents can make more at home.

A Southern Accent :

Love them! Yes, the kids will crush them up, but you went above and beyond as mommie (and all the other moms will be jealous of your mad skills...not that it matters or anything).

Pink in a sea of blue :

So cute! Those are great. I have orange bags and black and white ribbon (herringbone) on hand. I may have to copy you next year. We're still at home this week. :)

Henley on the Horn :

I commented out loud about how cute you are!! What precious gift bags. I LOVE Your ideas.

Henley on the Horn :

I am adding you to my blog roll! Love your blog!

EntertainingMom :

we made home made pumpkin play doh that we packaged together with recipe and cookie cutter. Packaging was nowhere near as cute as yours though!

Hillcrest Acres :

Those are the cutest goody bags.

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