I am taking my children to visit children in the hospital. I would like suggestions of FRUGAL ideas for goodie bags that my children may hand out to those in the hospital. I am on a very tight budget but believe in teaching my children the importance of thinking of others-- this time of year kids often want, want, want! And I want them to realize the needs of others.
How about printing out a coloring book page or two(holiday or winter theme) from the internet and making copies at your local copy shop. Add some dollar store crayons and a candy cane and you have gifts on the cheap!
Try checking area thrift stores, some have cheap unused cards for inexpensive. Ine book of stamps could be used to stamp envelopes for handouts. Dollar Stores are great for finding quantity of inexpensive items. Some of the "super stores" have travel-size items that may work as gifts.
Candy or food items would not be a good idea, as some patients may have diet restrictions.
Please don't give hospitalized children food with out checking with staff as to special diets, allergies, etc. How about making cards for the children, or zeroxed mazes, puzzles, work searches, etc. and a fancy pencil. Small toys ( as long as they are not a choke risk) can be ordered from Oriental Trading or KIPP Bros catalogs very cheaply, too.
I was going to mention the dollar stores, too. They have packages of toys which commonly have several items inside, and you could put, say, a plastic dinosaur in a boy's bag, play make-up in a girl's bag, etc. Little pads of paper and pencils or markers could also go inside. That's a great idea. Blessings to your family as you give to others in this way.
I save all of the samples that I receive throughout the year, plus small items that I get on sale and take them to the hospital for distribution. Walgreen's, especially, has great $.39 sales often on small toys, coloring books and crayons, etc. You could also do a web search for coloring pages and print them out (check for copyright laws).
You and your children can bake cookies together. Homemade cookies are nearly always a welcome treat.
If you are making bags for adults, I suggest:
a pocket pack of tissues
deck of cards
I agree that you should NOT include any kind of food without checking first -- it's even worse if you give them something they are not allowed, and then it has to be taken away.
I make up "goodie bags" each year for Santa to distribute at our County Home (called the Poor Farm in less politically-correct times!) and these are popular items. I pick things up all year long on sale and stash them away. My goodie bags also include a new pair of stretch gloves (less than $1 each), which of course hospitalized patients would not need -- plus I include sample sizes of shampoo and soap donated by the local Holiday Inn, and toothbrushes and sample size toothpaste donated by local dentists.
Go in the dollar store in the birthday section you can buy party type favours with more than one in a package like crayons, necklaces, activity books, etc. Small stuffed animals are good as well. Good idea I might do the same!
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