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Family packing shoebox gifts

Ideas for Families

Filling an Operation Christmas Child shoebox is a great activity for families to take part in, with everyone having a part to play.

Give Thanks

Watch some Operation Christmas Child videos together. Discuss with your children what it might be like to never have a toothbrush, a bar of soap, or even a toy of their own.  Thank God for the many ways He has blessed your family.


Children in Zimbabwe with shoebox gifts
pile of shoebox gifts

Set a Shoebox Goal

Decide how many shoeboxes you want to fill. Will the gifts follow a theme? What special things to you want to put in your boxes? Your kids may want to help pay for the gifts from their pocket money.

Go Shopping

Go shopping as a family to pick out the gifts you want to put in your shoebox.  

Let your kids choose the age and gender they want to buy for.

Family going shopping

Personalise Your Gift

Write a note or card and include a photo of your family in your shoebox.  

Your children might also like to include a ‘Let’s be friends’ sheet. 

Visit the Post Office

Find out how much it would cost you to post a shoebox to another country.  

For just £5 you can cover the cost of collection, processing and shipping your gift, as well as training local churches and providing project materials. 

Craft ideas


Work on a Craft project together for your shoebox gift. It could be wood work, crocheting, sewing or card making. We've shared some fun ideas and patterns here.


Pay your suggested project donation online and discover the destination of your shoebox gift.  You will receive an email in the new year revealing the country, and a link with more information about the work of Operation Christmas Child there.

Looking up information about the countries where shoeboxes are delivered is a great way to teach kids geography.

Child smiling holding blue and white shoebox gift
child in fluffy hat smiling with shoebox in Moldova


Pray for the child that will receive your shoebox – that through this gift they would hear the Good News of the Gospel and know that God loves them. 


Download our How to Pack a Shoebox Leaflet to get started. 

You can also download children's activity sheets 


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Children Helping Children