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The Grab N Go Bag

A Grab N Go bag is something that you assemble yourself to be ready whenever you have an opportunity to respond to a natural or man-made disaster. You may find yourself going to a shelter. You may find yourself going to where people are being housed for the short term while they work out the next steps, like after a house fire. You will have more of these opportunities if and when you contact your local CERT volunteers (Community Emergency Response Team). They appreciate the help and comic relief you can bring to those who have just been through a disaster. No "disaster" is too small for the heart of a clown to reach out.

If you have what we call a Grab N Go bag you will feel ready and prepared. It is important for each of you to put together those items that you are comfortable working with and are appropriate for your area. You are going to find a lot of these things right in your own clown room.

Use a tote bag, anything durable and spacious but easily carried.

Contents could include:

  • Red noses

Have a bunch of red noses to give out but make sure you have enough for everyone who wants one or don't give them out.

  • Bubbles Galore

Use them outside, if you are in a shelter setting, so the floor doesn't get slippery.

  • Face paints / face paint pallette

Stick in a small palette of face paints and a brush. You don't have to be an expert face painter to make someone happy. You might want to include a page of simple designs you can paint.

  • Balloons and small balloon pump

Include a small balloon pump and fresh balloons.

  • Crayons and pencils

Have crayons and pencils to color or play games. I like to have a couple of small pads of paper for games like Hangman. Consider leaving some crayons and pencils behind for folks to continue entertaining themselves and others.

  • Cards

Indispensible for games, have some decks of cards, some of which you might even leave behind.

  • Smile Makers, Smile on a stick

Pack some smile makers like a smile on a stick and stickers. Have a variety of stickers and bring enough for everyone and then some.

  • AT&T Hug a Bears

These are comforting to give to a few who need them. You can order these by contacting Teresa Gretton directly. All we ask is for you to pay for the shipping. You can contact Teresa by sending her a request at PO Box 787, Waldorf, MD 20601-787 or an email at

  • Magic, like a small change bag

Include a small change bag with a rainbow silk. Any pocket magic you have and like doing is also a good item to either have in your bag or in your pocket.

  • Pocket items

Keep funny walkaround items in your pocket, ones that will appeal to both children and adults. Squeakers can be made to do all sorts of delightful things. Also consider a D'Lite thumb tip.

  • Rose paper napkins and roses

Carry rose napkins and a few twisted roses.

  • Magic coloring book

The small size Magic Coloring book will entertain a group and allows you to engage in a little storytelling as well. Put a magic wand in your bag if you have room. Otherwise wiggly fingers will work magic, too.

  • Temporary tattoos

Have some temporary tattoos. An assortment is good but large amounts are not necessary.

  • Action activities

Include action play things like the rocket balloons.

  • Giveaways

How about some Free B's, Brown E's and some Clean X's?

  • Smiley rings

Try to get a hold of something for every kid like these smiley rings.

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