To loot bag or not to loot bag….that is the BIG question when faced with planning your kids party. Loot bags have long been a party staple and they are a great way for the host to show gratitude and appreciation to the guests for attending. They are also something that kids really look forward to giving and receiving at the end of a party.
Lately, loot bags have become somewhat controversial as they are usually filled with items that are not eco-friendly, not healthy and sometimes cheaply made. Many parents would love to have the practice of loot bags stopped but they are too afraid of offending anyone by not providing them.
Ultimately, as the party host, it’s your choice as to whether you give out loot bags or not. If you do decide to participate in the loot bag game, here are some tips to ensure your loot bags are eco-friendly and useful to the recipient.
Donation in Guests Honour
One option is to include a sign at your party stating that in lieu of loot bags, you’ve donated to a charity in the name of the guests who attended. You can include information about the charity and accept contributions to the same charity in lieu of gifts as well. Echoage is a great online tool that incorporates charitable giving into your party invitation.
Give a Plant or Seeds
A nice plant for a kid to take care of like a succulent or a package of seeds is a good eco-friendly gift. You could create little planting kits with a pot, soil, and seeds.
A gift card to your local ice cream shop, coffee shop or online retailer like Indigo or Amazon is a nice idea. The party guest will love the experience of getting an ice cream cone, hot chocolate or ordering something online.
You can purchase book sets or mini books from Costco, Scholastic, Indigo or Amazon that are inexpensive. The mini Munch books or Golden Books are both great options as well as the Mr. Men collection. You can set them up at the party and the party guests can each select a book. You can also order books that match your theme. If you’ve got time to make the drive to Whitby, TheBookLady.ca offers thousands of top quality, gently-loved books to support the Ontario School Curriculum for grades K – 8; a wide variety of early developmental books for babies and toddlers.; plus an ever-growing selection of brand new books offered at liquidation prices.
Homemade Baked Good
Fresh baked goods like a customized cookie or square is a nice idea as the gift is consumable. You can make your own sugar cookies getting supplies at The Bulk Barn or order customized ones to match your party theme from any of our trusted vendors.
Make a Keepsake Craft
If you’re having an art or creative birthday party – have the finished craft be the loot bag. Whether you’re doing painting, a clay piece, some jewellery or cooking – it’s a nice takeaway for your guests – and something that they will always have to remember your party with.
Use Recycled Toys
Everyone has little toys hanging around the house. If they are in good condition, why not recycle them and create little care packages. Another alternative is to purchase loot bags from the Tiny Toy Co. This online company collects used toys and creates beautiful re-loot bags filled with upcycled toys.
Hire an Entertainer
Including an entertainer in your festivities is a great way to keep your guests entertained but it’s also a great way to incorporate your give away. If you hire a face painter, tattoo artist, or caricaturist – then all of your party guests get something custom made – just for them – to take home.
Polaroid Photo Souvenir
A bit on the expensive side, unless you can rent or borrow from a friend – you could give out polaroid photographs of each party guest taken at the party. You could set up a photo station with props and costumes. You can purchase a polaroid printer or rent a photo booth. If cost is an issue, just use a colour printer.
Use Eco-Friendly and Reusable Packaging
Try to remember to make sure your loot bags are biodegradable by using paper or cardboard based wrappings. You can even make your own using old, but in good condition, wrapping paper and gift bags.
Whatever you decide, just make sure to be mindful of the environment and do your best to limit your use of plastic items.