What to Buy

In choosing a gift for the appeal, the best advice is to think about what you would buy if this gift was for your own child, niece, nephew or grandchild. What are the things they want or would ask for?

To help you decide we’ve put together a few other gift buying tips:

  • Gifts need to be age and gender appropriate. Often toys/games will have an age rating on the packaging.
  • Safety is always a consideration in choosing gifts and toys for children of all ages.
  • Used items, or food, are not appropriate to donate.
  • Please select gifts that are easy to transport.
  • Please do not wrap the gifts, as this will make it easier to match donations to each child.

Here are some suggestions:

0 – 1 year olds – Newborns to 1 year olds learn about their surroundings through all five senses: sight, smell, touch, taste and touch.  Gifts that appeal to the senses are good gifts for children in this age group because they encourage learning.  Gift ideas include:

  • rattles
  • mobiles
  • teething rings
  • pop-up books
  • stacking toys
  • squeeze toys
  • soft toys without button noses and eyes
  • activity quilts.

1 – 3 year olds – Children aged one to three years are learning and practising mobility by crawling, toddling, climbing, pushing and walking. They also learn about manipulating objects.  Gift ideas include:

  • simple puzzles
  • large building blocks
  • stacking rings
  • colouring books with crayons
  • play dough
  • picture books
  • sand and water toys
  • balls
  • push-and-pull toys.

4 – 5 year olds – Children aged four and five years are learning to associate with other children of their age.  Gift ideas include:

  • storybooks
  • puppets
  • simple board games
  • dress-up games
  • bath toys
  • music makers
  • cuddly toys
  • bubble maker
  • face paint
  • magnetic letters.

6 – 9 year olds – Children aged six to nine years are seeking new experiences and challenges.   Gift ideas include:

  • construction sets
  • sports equipment
  • a bicycle helmet
  • simple model kits
  • craft kits
  • board games
  • books
  • Lego
  • toy cash register
  • toy tools
  • train set
  • skipping rope
  • hula hoop
  • toy medical kit.

10 – 12 year olds (pre-teens) – Pre-teens are enjoying playing with other children and expanding their skill sets. Gift ideas include:

  • gift voucher
  • sports equipment
  • art supplies
  • model kits
  • science project kits
  • jigsaw puzzles
  • card or board games
  • books
  • water pistols
  • walkie talkies
  • small beach tent
  • remote control cars
  • kites
  • bug catchers
  • boogie board
  • fishing rod
  • hula hoop
  • magic set.

13 – 17 year olds – Gift ideas for young people include:

  • gift cards
  • movie tickets
  • wallets
  • books
  • totem tennis
  • journals/diaries
  • t-shirts
  • caps
  • bracelet – female or male
  • watch
  • toiletries
  • planning calendar
  • simple recipe book
  • tie dye kit
  • sketch book and charcoal
  • make up bag
  • lava lamp/plasma ball
  • ear phones
  • manicure set
  • card making kit
  • picnic set.

Thank you for helping to make it a merrier Christmas for children and young people in care this year.