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Delight a kid! Start with a medium to large item that will capture the child’s attention the instant he or she opens the box.
Ideas include: Soccer ball with pump, Stuffed animal, Toys (puppets, trucks, etc.), Doll (baby, Barbie, etc.), Musical instrument, Outfit, Shoes
Toys: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as toy cars, 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.
Crafts: Make your own items such as hair bows, finger puppets, and friendship bracelets. Download instructions here.
A Personal Note: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself, your family, or group. If you include your name and an address, the child may be able to write back.
Do Not Include
Candy; toothpaste; used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures; chocolate or food; fruit rolls or other fruit snacks; drink mixes (powdered or liquid); liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.
Candy specifications: Starting in 2017, no type of candy can be included in shoebox gifts.
Toothpaste specifications: Starting in 2017, toothpaste cannot be included in shoebox gifts, but a child’s oral hygiene can still be improved by regular use of a toothbrush alone.