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Gift ideas

When you choose a gift for a child or young person, think about what you might buy if it was for your own child, niece, nephew or grandchild. What sort of gifts would they like?

Children and young people in care are given gifts to the value of approximately $20. Some may be given one item, while others may be given a collection of donated items up to this value.  

To help you decide, here are some tips:

  • Gifts need to be age and gender appropriate. Toys and games often have an age rating on their packaging to guide you.
  • While gifts for younger children are needed, we also need gifts for teenagers.
  • Safety is always a consideration in choosing gifts and toys for children of all ages.
  • Used or second hand items cannot be accepted.
  • Food cannot be accepted.
  • Select gifts that are easy to transport.
  • Please don't wrap the gifts. Leaving the gift unwrapped makes it easier for us to match donations to suitable ages and genders.
  • Gifts cards are very welcome, as we can either give them directly to young people or use them to purchase gifts.

Here’s a list we have compiled with gift suggestions for each age group.

0 to 1 year olds

Newborns and 1 year old children learn about their surroundings through the 5 senses—sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. Gifts that appeal to the senses are good gifts for 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 to 3 year olds

Children aged 1 to 3 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 to 5 year olds

Children aged 4 to 5 years are learning to associate with children of their own 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 to 9 year olds

Children aged 6 to 9 years enjoy 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 to 12 year olds

Pre-teens enjoy playing with other children and expanding their skill sets.

Gift ideas include:

  • gift voucher (approximate value $20)
  • 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.

13 to 17 year olds

Young people may appreciate:

  • gift cards (approximate value $20)
  • movie cards (approximate value $20)
  • wallets
  • books
  • totem tennis
  • journals/diaries
  • T-shirts
  • caps
  • bracelet—female or male
  • watch
  • 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.