A Guide To Better Party Bags

Every week, our resident experts Mindy Lockard and Coryanne Ettiene answer etiquette questions from modern day hosts, offering advice from both traditional and contemporary perspectives.

Have a question you want answered? Send us an email with your dilemma, and then check back every week for new tips and advice.


This week's question:

I'm hosting a party for my child, but many classmates have allergies. Instead of forgetting the goody bags, one of the most important parts of the party, I'd rather offer something else. What are some creative, non-candy alternatives?

Coryanne: As the mother of three young children, I understand the battle with party bags all too well, especially when it comes to filling them with candy. Last year we encountered a similar problem when my daughter hosted her first party. Instead of candy, we offered homemade trail mix filled with chocolate chips, dried fruit, and nut-free granola in festive-looking Cello bags, and added in a few crayons, stickers, and Mad Libs to give the bags a bit of variety. The party bags were a hit with the parents, guests, and most importantly, my daughter.  


Mindy: What children really want is to do something hands-on and have fun — they will only be disappointed if we tell them to be. It's OK to make an activity a take-away souvenir, rather than have an official party bag. We've had the children paint pots and plant seasonal flowers or veggies. Have them make crayons by taking broken crayons and melting them down in seasonally shaped tins, or make soap by melting down glycerin, adding in a sweet smell, and then wrapping them in a Cello bag. Another fun activity we've done at the end of a party is to have a table full of candy-free options, like fun costume pieces, pens, pads, and other trinkets, and let each child make their own bag. With something hands-on that they are excited about, they won't even miss the candy. 

About Our Experts: Mindy Lockard is The Gracious Girl and offers traditional etiquette advice with a modern, gracious twist. Coryanne Ettiene believes entertaining at home should be an everyday affair; she shares contemporary advice for modern living at Housewife Bliss.

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