In part one Tash covered; Games, toys, puzzles, crafts and other activities. In part two, she’s found some fantastic comfort items, books and clothing ideas.
Hospitals are never a fun place for kids to spend their time. Boredom soon sets in and if confined to their bed or room, kids can go crazy without stimulation and things to keep them busy, distracted, comforted and as happy as they can be considering the circumstances.
A blanket, quilt or pillowcase, perhaps handmade, is often a lovely and comforting item. It’s wise to check first that the child is able to have these items in hospital with them, and if you can wash them first, they will be able to use them straight away. There are many beautiful blankets to choose from but sometimes a simple polar fleece throw blanket with a child’s favourite character can prove just as popular. Spotlight carry a range with many characters including Batman, Cars, Frozen, Thomas the Tank Engine, Minions, Paw Patrol, Spiderman and more.
little wuppy is the brainchild of Melbourne artist and former primary school teacher Linda. It’s a sausage dog worry puppy designed as an aid to help ease children’s worries. When a child places the heart of the little wuppy against their own, they can send their worries to the little wuppy so they don’t need to worry anymore! (You can read more about little wuppy in our previous blog post on reducing anxiety in hospital
Corrine of Hug Pillow, makes lovely handmade comfort pillows which children can take with them on hospital visits like a little piece of home. A great comfort item that is even useful for siblings at home who might be missing mum or dad and their sibling too.
Something nice, new and special to wear like pyjamas, clothing, slippers or socks. If you’re sure of the size and that the item will be used, give them a wash before you gift them so they can be enjoyed straight away (plus it’s one less thing for the parents to do!). The perfect outfit for children experiencing a longer hospital stay, from a baby to a seven year old is, Cocooned clothing, which is now available!
Don’t forget books! Recommending books would take a whole other blog post so I’ll just state the obvious and say that books make wonderful gifts! If a longer hospital stay is required then for older readers, consider a book series. For younger kids, I’d suggest finding a book that has plenty of things happening in the illustrations so there is something different to spot each time. Where’s Wally and Richard Scarry books are wonderful for this and lift the flap books like Maisy and Spot are a great choice for the very young.
A Busy Book or Quiet Book makes a lovely keepsake gift. These are usually handmade items which are perfect for little ones with various hands on activities. Little Pouts custom make some beautiful busy books.
Activity books are always popular with kids. From sticker books to colouring books and other crafty activities, there’s plenty to choose from. For those keen on drawing, I love learn to draw books like How to Draw 101 Baby Animals and the Djeco Step By Step drawing instruction cards. Smiggle also do a great range of stencil activity books which are sure to keep kids busy.
I used to love origami as a kid. From funny faces (suitable for 4 – 8 year olds) to fortune tellers (6 – 11 year olds) to origami planes (7 – 13 years), these Djeco kits would make original, inexpensive and crafty gifts (an added bonus is that they don’t require sticky glue or messy glitter!).
Tash blogs at Gift Grapevine sharing inspiring gift ideas for babies and kids, the latest trends, toy news and occasional 1980s flashback. Nothing’s for sale, just great ideas for when you are thinking “What do I buy a X year old?!”
All of these items need to be considered in terms of age appropriateness, and we encourage you to check with the parents or carers first, if you’re unsure whether an item will be suitable.
What would you add to this list?