Are playing cards allowed?
Yes but only those which are not of the 4-suit variety - so picture snap games are fine.
How about little toys like spiders, bugs, snakes, etc.?
All of those items are allowed.
Can we include batteries?
Yes. However, if the batteries are loose, both ends must be covered with tape.
Can we include paint sets or glue bottles?
No, both of these items are liquids and can’t be included in your shoebox gifts. However, dry paint sets (such as watercolours or paint pallettes) or glue sticks are OK to pack!
Can we include a toolkit with nails, screws, screwdrivers, and hammers?
Yes! The only tools that can’t be included are saws or pocketknives. Please ensure anything that is loose or sharp is wrapped so as not to harm the child when they put their hands in the shoebox.
Are scissors OK?
Yes but preferably those with a round nose that are part of a kit.
Can items with camouflage be included?
If the child can wear or use the items without looking like a soldier, they are OK to include in your shoebox gift. Pink or coloured camouflage is safe as are pencils or wallets.
Are water pistols allowed?
We do not allow anything that resembles or could be mistaken for a weapon.
Can glow sticks go in a shoebox gift?
Yes, glow sticks are OK to pack in your gift. If the tube breaks, the liquid does not spill out and can’t damage other items.
Can we include wet wipes?
Yes, wet wipes do not have enough liquid to spill out into the shoebox so they are OK to include in your gift. We recommend that you place them in a plastic bag.
Can rubber balls be included if they have liquid glitter inside?
No, these would be considered inappropriate because of the liquid.
Are sweets allowed in shoebox gifts?
During the 2018 collection, wrapped sweets with a best before date of at least March the following year are allowed in shoebox gifts. You may not include any chocolate items as these can melt or be affected by heat.
From 2019, sweets will no longer be considered appropriate items, as more exacting import regulations are starting to be implemented within the countries that receive UK shoeboxes. Detailed evidence of ingredients and expiry dates, which logistically cannot be supplied, will soon be a requirement. By removing sweets in 2019, we hope to prevent potential barriers and maintain the access to reach children in all receiving countries.
Is lip gloss OK to pack in a shoebox gift?
Lip gloss is a liquid and can’t be included. However, Chapstick, lip balm or lipstick can go!
Can I include toothpaste in my shoebox?
During the 2018 collection, toothpaste is allowed in shoebox gifts as long as the expiration date is at least six months into the following year.
From 2019, toothpaste will no longer be considered an appropriate item, as more exacting import regulations are starting to be implemented within the countries that receive UK shoeboxes. Detailed evidence of ingredients and expiry dates, which logistically cannot be supplied, will soon be a requirement. By removing toothpaste in 2019, we hope to prevent potential barriers and maintain the access to reach children in all receiving countries.
Is Play-Doh OK to pack in a shoebox gift?
Yes, Play-Doh can be included in your shoebox gift. However, some children might think it is edible.
Can compact mirrors go in a shoebox gift?
Yes. Compact mirrors can be included because if the glass shatters, it will be contained.
Is clothing or footwear allowed in my shoebox?
We do not recommend that you add footwear or clothing, (other than hat, gloves or scarves) to your shoebox as it takes up so much room. We want the child to receive a gift that has a good variety of items that they can love, learn from and play with.
Are knitted items suitable for shoeboxes?
Yes, as long as they do not contain stuffing (due to EU shipping regulations requiring the CE mark).
Can I include reusable sanitary pads?
You can include sanitary items if you would like to but they are not an item we recommend as the essence of the box is 'fun' items. If you do pack them we would suggest putting them at the bottom of the box as they can cause embarrassment when girls open them around their male peers.
Can I include a sewing kit?
Yes in 10-14 boxes if it is small and sealed.
Do I need to leave labels and packaging on my items?
Feel free to remove packaging as long as it does not contain information that is needed e.g. building instructions, dates for sweets, CE mark for stuffed items or the UV mark for sunglasses. We would also suggest leaving packaging on hygiene items e.g. toothbrushes and bars of soap.
Can my note include my address?
You are allowed to put in your own address, but we wouldn’t recommend it for reasons of security. In the past, supporters have included their address and then have received letters requesting money which can be a bit upsetting. Unfortunately, we also cannot control where your personal details might end up once the child has received the gift. However, we have found that a photograph of the person who has sent the box makes it personal for them and really adds to the meaning of the shoebox.