Guidelines for Making Shoe Box Gifts || Shoe Box Gift Ideas
Submit Your Shoe Box Gift Idea!
Usually, giving gifts to children means buying manufactured toys at a store. Here is an alternative gift idea that you can conveniently put together - shoe box gifts. Shoe box gifts are collections of small, familiar items that are organized around a play theme and presented in an appealing way.
When carefully chosen to fit the interests of the child you have in mind, shoe box gifts can provide hours of creative and satisfying play that individual children can adapt and shape to meet their own skill and interest levels. They also help children learn that expensive, packaged toys aren't the only good gifts; that common household objects put together in interesting ways often can lead to more long-lasting fun.
The process of putting together such an easy, yet imaginative gift for a special child in your life can be very satisfying for you, too!
Guidelines for Making Shoe Box Gifts
- Start with an empty shoe box (or similar box with a lid you have around your home)
- Cover the box with paper and decorate it.
- Choose a theme that fits the interests of the child you have in mind.
- Put a clear label of the theme on the box which includes both a simple word and a picture. Even very young children will enjoy "reading" the label.
- Have fun choosing from our lists of ideas, or use it as a jumping off point for your own ideas.
- Be selective - you don't need to include everything listed to create a wonderful gift.
- Use small containers, sandwich bags, or building dividers with small pieces of cardboard to make "compartments" for the various items in the shoe box. Young children appreciate organization - being able to return everything to its place.
- Most of these suggestions are appropriate and safe for young children to use independently; however, objects in some kits may require adult supervision and/or aid.
- Once children begin using the box, be on the lookout for things to replenish and to add to the box. Encourage children to do so as well.
Some Shoe Box Gift Ideas
Bath & Water Play || Detective Kit || Stringing || Office || Play Dough
Dress-Ups || Rescue/First Aid || Baby Box
Bath & Water Play
- plant sprayer bottle
- liquid dish soap squirt bottle
- bubble wands
- sponges/wash cloths
- plastic colander
- clear plastic tubing
- soap crayons
- egg beater
- plastic animals & nesting cups
- turkey baster
- plastic eye droppers
- magnifying glass (plastic lens)
- small pad and pen
- a map
- tie-on/sticky labels (to label clues)
- little clear plastic containers
- (to store clues in)
- ink pad/paper (for fingerprinting)
- plastic fishing line or thin plastic- coated electric wire
- yarn with tape at ends
- styrofoam shapers
- old thread spools
- plastic or wooden beads
- stapler (4 or 5 yrs & up)
- hole puncher
- post-its or message pads
- small clipboard
- receipt book
- sticky back blank labels
- key ring with old keys
- carbon paper
- ink pad & stamp
- make your own play dough or buy a can
- garlic press
- plastic knife
- popsicle sticks
- wooden dowel
- plastic lids
- small tray/plate
- styrofoam packing material
- miniature plastic animals
- costume jewelry
- old scarves/suspenders
- ace bandage
- eye patch
- surgical mask
Baby Box (to use with doll or stuffed animal)
- newborn disposable diapers
- empty plastic baby food jars
- baby-sized spoon
- infant clothes
- baby blanket
- wash cloth
Submit Your Shoe Box Gift Ideas!
Just fill out our simple online form, and
let us know your Shoe Box kit or homemade gift ideas!
Check out our Playground for other fun things to make!
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