Update: I just finished packing our Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes for 2018 and found a few more fun items at the Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby ~ I would love if you'd join me and pack a box for a child in need this year too! Learn more HERE.
I'm so excited because I'm partnering again this year with Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes, and they have a few new fantastic Operation Christmas Child Shoebox ideas & resources including pre-printed plastic shoeboxes ~ I just ordered ours to start filling this year!
If you haven't heard of Operation Christmas Child Shoebox before, they're a ministry of Samaritan's Purse that provides shoeboxes to children worldwide who might not receive a Christmas gift at all without people like you and me packing boxes to send.
You can get free materials, recommendations, and more right now by visiting the Samaritan's Purse Resource & Idea Hub right over HERE. National Collection Week is November 13th-20th this year ~ find a location to drop off your boxes right HERE.
Here are 7 more resources to get you started:
Learn about Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Tracking HERE
Read more about Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stories HERE
I also highly recommend sharing the video above with your children, family and friends as you pack your Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes. This is one of our favorite ways to give each year, and I love that my kids get to see the other side of where our simple boxes end up.
Curious what to pack in an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox for younger kids? Here you go . . .
- coloring books
- flip flops
- bar soap
- pencils & pens
- pencil sharpener
- duct tape
- travel size games – checkers
- deck of cards
- hacky sack
- yo yo
- glue sticks
- small stuffed animal
- pom poms
- small crafting kit
- post it notes
- small notebook
- watercolor paint sets
- play doh
- small etch a sketch
- back pack
- plastic cup
- jump rope
- matchbox cars
- finger puppets
- silly putty
- wet wipe
- travel pack of tissues
- hair ties
- band aids
- hair brush
For Older Boys:
- Tools – hammer, screwdriver, wrench or pliers, duct tape, measuring tape
- Fishing supplies – add in a small fishing kit, fishing line, hooks
- Plastic Magnifying Glass
- Collapsible water bottle
For Older Girls:
- Small sewing kit
- Clip on earrings
- Coin purse
- Sticky notes
- Watercolor paint set
- Colored Sharpies, highlighters or markers
- A friendship bracelet with extra string so they can make more
- Ink pad and stamp set
Also, here are a few ideas that Operation Christmas Child shared on their site as far as suggestions for all ages (as well as some items not to include):
- TOYS: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls, toy cars, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.
- SCHOOL SUPPLIES: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
- NON-LIQUID HYGIENE ITEMS: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, etc.
- ACCESSORIES: t-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc.
- A PERSONAL NOTE: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. If you include your name and address, the child may be able to write back.
- DO NOT INCLUDE: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.
National Collection Week for Shoeboxes this year is November 13-20, and if you’re not sure where to drop off a box in your area you can go HERE to find a local collection site. They do ask that you also give a donation of $9 per box to cover the cost of shipping – learn more about that over HERE and donate online as well.
Additional tips that may help:
- Pack soap in a plastic bag to keep the scent from taking over the whole box and so that nothing leaks.
- Remove packaging from your items so that you allow for more room in your box and so that they don't have much trash to throw away.
- Don't send anything that has directions/writing in English (i.e. toys with instructions, games that require kids to read English.) Since these boxes go to non-English speaking country it's worth only including things that are understood internationally.
- Read more great tips and suggestions from a missionary in the field over HERE.
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