How we filled our Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes for a boy and girl, ages 10-14 years old.
I did find myself leaning strongly towards items that are useful. Maybe it's a complete mom thing, but I wanted to make sure the kids had hygiene and safety items first. I tried to think of things that I'd want with me if I was living where they are. The box is only so big.
Supplies listed below may include affiliate links to the products.
- Soap and soap boxes (the linked set has 6 boxes)
- Shoe box (I found a set of 5 for $4.66 on clearance at Target)
- First Aid Kit
- Notepad (this barely fit)
- Glue stick
- Pencil sharpener
- Small First Aid kit
- Foam football
- Toothbrush and toothpaste kit with container
- Eraser (Bought a set of two, removed packaging and put one in each shoe box)
- Melamine bowl (found at Target)
- Flash Light (bought a set of four and split between the boxes)
- Batteries (AAA for flash light)
- Girl: Sewing kit (I added cuts of fabric to sew, making sure to stick with neutral type prints), hair bands, jump rope, embroidery thread.
- Boy:Tape Measure
I actually came across this advice on what to put in the shoe boxes and found it super helpful. Make sure you read it because there are a lot of things that I just wouldn't have thought of.
Obviously most of this "work" involves stuffing all of the stuff into a shoe box! Not too complicated, but I wanted to address a couple of ideas and suggestions.
Here are the boxes all packed.
- It would be helpful to have the shoe boxes available on your shopping trip to make sure everything will fit. You can fill them as you go, then empty them for cashier to scan when you get to register.
- To save money, you can buy some things in bulk or use items you have at home due to buying in bulk. For example, I had lots of extra bars of soap in the soap that were in their original box.
- Instead of using a cardboard shoe box, I opted to use a plastic one. They were on clearance at Target for $4.66 for a set of 5! I was so excited. My understanding is that they can be useful for the kids to haul water in.
- To pack more inside each box, I did remove some items from their original packaging. I decided what to keep in packaging based on what I'd want someone to do if they gifted me a box. For example, I removed the pencil sharpeners and soap boxes from their original packaging, but kept the soap in the original packaging (a box).
- I used ziplock bags on items I was concerned could melt- ie. the soap, the glue stick.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”