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
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
* small flashlights
* night lights
* 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.