Oh the loot bag – and bain of kids birthday parties! Some people are opting to forego them entirely which I am totally on board with. But if you still want to give away something to guests at the end of the party I have a few ways to create eco-friendly loot bags. By doing some of these tips, you might also find guests liking the items a little more too. The key here is to include one or two more substantial items rather than a whole bunch of knick-knacks. These items will be more usable and are less likely to end up in the trash – think about what you’d want your child bringing home with them.
1 – Start with your party theme and use it to your advantage. Think about toys and activities you can include that work with the theme. If your child loves the theme, probably some of their friends do too. This puts you a step ahead and should make it more likely that the party guests will enjoy the items. These are eco-friendly loot bags not because of the actual contents but because they are less likely to end up in the trash if the kids like them. Some examples of these include:
- A beach pail and shovel or sand toy for an under the sea themed party
- Rainbow coloured slime for a unicorn themed party
- Bath toys relating to your theme (farm animals, jungle animals)
- A s’mores kit or a bubble wand for a camp themed party
- Nailpolish for a spa party
- Dress up toys for a pirate themed party (eye-patch, sword)
Check out these under the sea themed loot bags by Spaceships & Laserbeams
2 – Turn one of the party activities into the loot bag giveaway at the end. Kids love making creations of their own and there are so many options when coming up with an activity for a particular theme. Let me give you some of my favourites.
If you are having an outdoor/springtime party, you could have the guests plant something and decorate the pot to take home. Just buy seeds or seedlings, soil and small terracotta pots. Kids can paint them, add stickers, draw on them and can learn a little bit about gardening all at the same time.
Jewelry making can be a fun activity for older kids. You can get beads at a local craft store or learn to make your own beads out of paper.
Making tie dye t-shirts, decorating cookies, a bird house or a tote bag or learning to make their own play-dough can be fun activities that they can take home.
3 – Next, think about your container. This is an easy way to help make eco-friendly loot bags. Steer clear of all one time use plastic including plastic bags and cellophane. Try using something that is usable like a large reusable cup filled with treats or a beach pail that can be used all summer long. Reusable bags are also a great option and come in a variety of colours and patterns. If you can’t get around using a disposable bag, try to use a kraft paper bag that is made from recyclable materials.
4 – Small books are another great loot bag item, especially for younger kids. You can often find well priced books at Winners and HomeSense or sometimes book stores will have tables where books on that table are less than $5. Maybe it’s your child’s favourite book that you want to share with others or perhaps it works with your theme. Like a sea creatures book or a book all about superheroes.
5 – Gift certificates – Yup I said it. This one can be a little bit contentious but if you do it right it can be a huge hit. How about a gift card to your neighbourhood ice cream parlour or bakery? Just make sure there is enough money on each card to purchase one ice cream cone or one cupcake. Don’t make the parent shell out extra money so only choose locations where the gift card value will be worth it. In doing a gift card you can be supporting local business, giving the guest autonomy on picking out something they’d really like and they are incredibly eco-friendly loot bag options.
So there you have it! 5 ways to create eco-friendly loot bags for your kid’s party. I recently wrote a post about ways to host an eco-friendly birthday party which you can find here and take it all one step further. It starts with each individual making better choices for our environment. We are the consumers, so if we stop buying all the disposable items and they stop making money, they won’t be making them for very much longer.