100days81 Days left until Operation Christmas Child Collection Week!  What to Pack for A BOYS 10-14 Shoe Box?

We’ve listed ideas for the 2-4 year old age group, and had posts about the Girl 5-9 shoe boxes and the Boy 5-9 shoe boxes and Girl 10-14 Shoe Box.  The fewest boxes they receive are for BOYS, both in the 2-4 age range and in the 10-14 age range.  If for whatever reason at the distribution point they don’t have boxes for them, they occasionally are given either Boy 5-9 or even Girl boxes.  But you will see that many of the items will be the same as any age category and could be boy or girl!

OCC MONGOLIA, NOMADIC FAMILIES.School Supplies  – Did you know that many children can’t attend school because they don’t have school supplies?  School supplies are powerful tools that could transform these children’s futures.

  • Pencils and sharpener
  • Pens
  • Colored Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Solar calculator
  • Watercolor sets
  • Mechanical Pencils
  • Glue sticks, Adhesive tape
  • Pencil Case
  • Notebooks, pads, index cards and all kinds of paper
  • Blank cards for writing notes to friends/family
  • Construction paper
  • Highlighters
  • Scissors (this age group can have sharp pointed scissors)
  • Ruler, protractor (metric)
  • Stickers
  • More complicated coloring books or sketch pads
  • Self-Inking stamps or stamps and ink pad
  • Chalk, small chalkboard
  • Backpack, or tote

NEW to the brochure this year:

Include items that children will immediately embrace, such as dolls, toy trucks, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise, etc.

This will be the exciting and fun item of your box, so for BOYS to play with:

A boy in a slum area of Venezuela arrived at an distribution with an old baseball glove tucked under his arm. He told a volunteer, “I wish there was a new glove in my box.” He opened his gift to find a new glove! It was the first time the national OCC team had seen a baseball glove in a box.

  • Stuffed animal – even older boys need something to hug!
  • Balls (tennis balls, wiffle balls, bouncy balls, paddleballs, hacky sack, football, nerf balls, beach ball, juggling balls)
  • Mitt
  • Soccer Ball with pump
  • Cars or trucks (every boy seems to LOVE “matchbox” type cars)
  • Puzzles
  • Slinky
  • Tops
  • Games that don’t require alot of directions (they might not read or know English) – checkers, dominoes, ring toss, playing cards
  • Flying items – foam and paper airplanes, kites, frisbees
  • Musical instruments – a better quality than for the younger age group
  • Yoyo
  • Handheld Etch-a-Sketch
  • Legos
  • Jump rope
  • Marbles

Clothing Items (Bigger is always better than smaller when choosing a size.  For tips check these sizing charts:  ONE and TWO

John 14 years, from Madagascar Underwear is a far fetched dream for our parents to buy for a primary school boy – they do not think it is a necessity. I have been praying for the day I would wear underwear.  As we are growing, we become conscience of our environment.   I got the most precious gift,  six white under wears of my size.  I am now comfortable at school.  Thank you very much; I know it is God answering my prayers.

  • Hat, Visor
  • Gloves, mittens
  • Scarf
  • Underwear!
  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Flip Flops
  • T-shirt, any shirt!
  • Pants
  • Jacket
  • Bandana
  • Rain poncho

Grooming and Hygiene Items

  • Mild Soap (in a baggie please!)
  • Washcloth or small towel
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste (check the expiration date! for this year’s collection, the box might not be delivered well into 2014…possibly even summer of 2014)
  • Deodorant
  • Handkerchief
  • Comb or Brush
  • Nail Clippers

Some other different items:

  • Fishing Kit (container with hooks, sinkers, corks or floats, fishing line)
  • Foldable fishing pole
  • Tools (Hammer, screwdriver, wrench, pliers) – Some boys have jobs or need to help around the home
  • Nails or screws (in containers please)
  • Duct tape, rope
  • Measuring tape
  • Work gloves, work apron
  • Bowl, cup, plate, spoon, fork
  • Gardening Kit – Gardening gloves, trowel (NO seeds)
  • Watch
  • coin purse
  • Flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • Folding umbrella
  • Plastic magnifier (not everyone has access to eye care, or glasses)
  • Sunglasses
  • Binoculars
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Colorful Band-Aids

Hard Candy – check the expiration date and DOUBLE BAG.

Homemade items are great to include:  You can check our blogs on Homemade Items, or you might want to check our PINTEREST BOARD for hundreds of crafting ideas! and at Crafting for Shoeboxes they have a list of ideas of what to make for the 10-14 group.

DO NOT INCLUDE

  • War related toys (soldiers, guns, etc). No camo clothes or items.
  • NO knives or saws.
  • Liquids or lotions. So no bubbles or shampoo or liquid glue. It might leak and ruin the box.
  • Used/worn items. We want to bless these children with new items.  So anything obviously used or worn will be removed from your shoebox.
  • Food or chocolate.  It might melt or spoil.
  • Medications and vitamins.
  • Aerosal cans. Yikes, these could explode!
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43 Responses to Ideas for a BOY 10-14 Shoe Box

  1. ShellBell says:

    Thanks so much for these ideas. I try to focus on the older boys, but hadn’t thought of a lot of these items. Your suggestions are much appreciated!

  2. Cathy says:

    I have a couple of friends who told me that boys are “too hard to pack for.” My response is that it is really very simple. The foundation of my boxes, regardless of age, is a beany baby teddy bear, tennis ball (older kids LOVE having them for cricket), and 2 hotwheels. Then I add the apporpriate size clothing and/or shoes–usually a tshirt and sock or flipflops. I let the clearance sales control what clothing the kids get. Then I add age appropriate fillers. For 2-4 its often happy meal toys, a small blanket and a can of playdoh. For 10-14 its some combination of tools and or fishing supplies. Hope this helps.

    • Angie C. says:

      How do you fit shoes and clothes into the boxes? I found that the shoebox provided is too small for shoes that would fit a 14 year old boy and leaves no room for anything else. One child mentioned that he wished he had underwear, but they would fill the box almost entirely. I wish OCC would increase the size of the standard box they provide, especially for the 10 – 14 age group, both boys and girls. They are larger than the little kids and we could give them a bit more of what they need.

      • Mary says:

        The goal of the GO box is that more children will receive a gift. At our packing parties (we packed 1500 last year) we only used GO boxes.

        When you say the underwear would fill the box entirely – I guess you mean an entire pack with packaging. We remove ALL of the packaging on every item. Then we separate multi packs. So a boy might receive 1 boxer brief and a t-shirt. Once you remove packaging, everything is MUCH smaller and easier to pack. Sometimes we squeeze and item smaller and rubber band it to keep it small, and then pack it.

  3. Cathy says:

    A suggestion from my husband: If you send a hammer, screwdrivers or wrenches, also send nails, screws, and nuts/bolts. He added them himself to my first 10-14 boy boxes–it would have never occurred to me to send the appropriate hardware to go with the tools.

  4. Amy says:

    Being female, shopping for pink sparkly fluffy girl stuff is more fun than shopping for boys, but I’ve found that packing boxes for the older boys is fun in its own way. Lots of boys like to draw, so I always include a ton of the school supplies I get in the back-to-school sales–spiral notebooks, crayons, markers, sharpener, pens, pencils. Also clothing items like t shirts and flip flops. You can get super balls at many Old Navy stores in a giant gumball machine for 25 cents. Thre are lots of things to put in boxes for the older boys!

  5. Melody says:

    Just a note, I don’t think playing cards (the kinds used for tradional card games) are allowed either as it can potentially used for gambling and they want to discourage that…

    • Mary says:

      They are allowed. I’ve seen Operation Christmas Child respond to the discussion of cards on facebook, and they said they are an “allowed” item.

  6. Cathy says:

    I wondered if any one would address the concern with playing cards. I’ve sent them often, Dollar Tree used to sell 3-packs of cards and I bought a bunch. While I certainly don’t want to encourage gambling, I’m a Solitaire addict so I do like to pack playing cards. I was hesitant to send them last year but I’ll be sending them this year.

    • Mark says:

      I don’t have anything against playing cards, but I usually don’t include them. My experience with third-world countries is that card playing isn’t that popular among most kids. Also, where cards are popular, they are usually pretty cheap and easily available, so their value as a gift doesn’t seem that great.

    • Mary says:

      They are an “allowed” item. A few of the over 100 different countries your box may go to, don’t approve of playing cards, but there is no way to know if your box will end up there. It is a personal choice if you include them or not.

  7. Mark says:

    Versatile gifts are a lot of fun for older boys – things that you can do a lot of different things with. For example, duct tape or other sturdy tape, wire, colored paper, string or cord, rubber bands, pipe cleaners, and so on. They can be of the construction/repair type, or the art supply type – either is fine. A lot of school supplies are also really versatile.

    Baseballs weren’t specifically mentioned, but those are really good to include – very durable and fun to play with even if baseball isn’t popular where the boy lives. I would also consider including a geometry set or drafting set. These are sometimes available for a dollar or two but a good one usually costs more. But you might have “rewards” to use up or need to make a minimum purchase to get a good deal. One of these could really open up some boy’s world, and send a strong message that the boy’s mind and vocation are valuable.

  8. Mark says:

    One other group of items that wasn’t mentioned is small “filler” type toys. Besides the small bouncy balls and kaleidoscopes (which are both terrific ideas), well-made versions of toys sold as party favors or novelties work well. For example, noisemakers, whistles, balloons (regular or “punch-ball” types), magnets, and prism-type viewers (sometimes called “dragonfly eyes”) are a ton of fun. These are also good for 5-8 year-olds. But don’t worry about toys being too childish – unless it’s literally a baby toy, an older boy can find a way to play with it.

    Ideally, toys shouldn’t need instructions – it should be obvious how you use it (look into it, blow into it, bounce it, or whatever). If a toy or game (like a card game) does need instructions, be sure to include them. Also, where possible choose sturdy versions that are built to last, instead of the cheap party favor versions.

  9. Cat says:

    Seriously, a baseball is a good idea? I would think its really only useful with a glove and a bat. As a foolish girl who played with boys a lot, baseballs bruised my hands and face many times–just playing catch. I feel so much better about sending tennis balls. I guess we all just need to send what we feel called to send.

    • Mary says:

      “I guess we all just need to send what we feel called to send.” I thoroughly agree with this! What might seem odd or foolish to one person, might be exactly what that child needed. For example, I’ve never included a fishing kit, others feel compelled to. I actually did hear a story about baseballs…a number of boxes came through the processing center and a woman commented that they all had baseballs and what an odd thing. Seems her friend got to hear the rest of the story, for she was on a distribution where those boxes were given out. The boys and the community was overjoyed to get them, they all loved baseball! They already had the mitts, they needed balls! In the end…it starts and ends with prayer. The boxes are more than the sum of their parts :)

    • Mark says:

      As a former 10-14-year-old boy, I can tell you baseballs are fun! And not just for baseball. They can also be used in cricket, field hockey, and several other sports. You can also make up games based on what equipment you have (that’s how games like stickball got started), or have fun with them in other ways, like knocking over targets with them. They’re a very versatile and durable toy.

  10. Amy says:

    If you’re concerned about real baseballs being too “hard,” Target sells 8 packs of those practice baseballs (either white or an assortment of red and blue, the plastic kind with holes) for $4, which means 50 cents each. This is what I include in my boy 10-14 boxes. Can’t remember the brand (Franklin?) but they seem incredibly sturdy.

  11. […] What to Buy For a 10-14 Year Old Boy’s Box […]

  12. Trisha says:

    What about a tube of light sticks? I know young children like them and teenage girls like them…they come with connectors to make all kinds of fun things.

    • Mary says:

      While OCC says they are allowed, there have been reports of many volunteers taking them out of shoe boxes at the processing centers since they perceive them to contain liquid. OCC trains their volunteers as best they can, but these fall in that “grey” area and there has been some confusion.
      While I love them, there is not guarantee that children would understand what they were, or how to use them. That is the problem with lots of different toys and items.
      However, if you feel led to include them, absolutely do so!

  13. Rosemary says:

    I’ve just bought a pack of cards for a boy of 10-14, I hope that will be ok :/

    I know that many boys of 15 and over will be receiving these boxes due to lack of boxes being done for boys, so I thought they would enjoy a card game, but hope it won’t encourage gambling when they’re older…

    • Mary says:

      Rosemary, I see that you have a UK email address. The items listed in this post are for the US. There are different regulations depending upon which country you are sending from (custom regulations). I would check with the UK Operation Christmas Child website just to make sure that playing cards are allowed from the UK.

  14. staci says:

    Hello,
    What is done with the items removed from the boxes people send in? Where do those items go? I assume kids here in the US, but to what or where specifically? :) Thank you for any information.

    • Mary says:

      The items go to over 40 different charities, and they are different based on the location of each different processing center. Some go to women’s shelters, homeless charities, etc. (lots of the liquids, like shampoo and soap, etc.)
      One of my local schools helped out on several distributions to Native American reservations in the Dakotas. In addition to the shoeboxes the children received, the truck also had cartons and cartons of chocolate (that was removed at processing….but could be sent to them since they are in the US). That was a real special treat for the children.

  15. suzanne Patterson says:

    Another problem with aerosol cans is they contain propellants in which folks might purposely inhale. Also, I called the organization playdoh is forbidden because kids eat it.

    • Mary says:

      I’m not sure what country you are from Suzanne. The US Operation Christmas Child facebook page has consistently (and way over 10 times already) answered the question, “Is Playdoh allowed” and have answered that YES it is. Not sure if perhaps you are from another sending country. Each sending country has a different set of rules.

  16. Eowyn says:

    My question is about box inspection. When the boxes are being inspected I assume it is thorough search. I have spent a lot of time packing my box like a puzzle and squishing all the air out of plush toys in ziplock bags as to cram nor in. Are the inspectors able to repack the boxes every time? Will they open the stuffed animal bags? What happens if they can’t repack the box?

    • Mary says:

      In the past, they used to fully empty and repack the box. That seems to no longer be the case. Last year (and perhaps the year before) the inspection was just finger poking…moving things ever so slightly to see all around just to check for inappropriate items. It is alot less intrusive than it used to be. And don’t worry, they are volunteers who also pack their own boxes…they love the project and will make every effort to keep your box just as you had it….and then tape it up good! for it’s journey to your child.

  17. Amy says:

    When I was growing up, playing cards were used to play all kinds of games such as crazy eights, rummy, heats, slap jacks and more. We didn’t have a lot of individual specialize card packs. When sending playing cards, include instructions on how to play these types of games. One deck of cards…many games to play.

  18. Sherrie Klingaman says:

    I love the idea of sending baseballs but they are costly. Woofle balls don’t last as well as cheap plastic. While at Wal-Mart I came across a great alternative. They are hard plastic baseballs that look like a woofle ball that are used in baseball for training. My package has 20 balls for about $13.00. Online, Wal-Mart has a package of 24 for about the same price. Average price of $.50. Because they are so light it also helps with the weight thus the cost of overall shipping is less.

  19. Sherrie Klingaman says:

    With the debate on sending playing cards, I do send them but throw out the jokers. In standard kids games they really aren’t needed, only for gambling purposes. I figure this is a good compromise

  20. Karen says:

    I would like to add a couple of things about what happens to inappropriate items removed from the boxes at the processing centers— someone checks to see if items have been removed that shouldn’t have been, is so, the items are put into the filler bins and the volunteers are told to leave them in.

    Also, what is or isn’t allowed can vary depending upon the country receiving the shoeboxes and what their “customs officials” will allow in–so items like playing cards and rubber snakes may be allowed into some countries, but not into others. Some countries have complained about too much candy in the shoeboxes in the last 2 or 3 years.

  21. Jill says:

    Balls-at distribution site last year, I noticed and removed several plastic balls that were already flat from loss of air. I suggest sending only solid balls that dont have air in them (baseball, the real solid bounce balls, nerf balls), hollow balls like wiffle balls, or balls to which air can be added like beach balls you can blow up or real soccer or footballs sent with a pump.

  22. Nancy says:

    How can I fit a baseball glove, fishing pole, and other larger gifts into a small shoe box? I tend to overpack, so buy 6 qt. plastic boxes; they hold a lot more. Forget the ones we have to assemble – they are colorful, but not spacious enough for big boys toys. And a baseball glove? Screws, bolts, nails are sold separate at most stores, so does that mean I can’t include them with a new, small hammer set? Please explain & any packing ideas would be nice.

  23. Nan says:

    How can I pack a baseball glove, fishing pole, and other neat boy’s gifts in the Samaritan’s standard box? They aren’t spacious enough for the gifts I send.
    Also, I find that nails, bolts, screws, etc. are sold separately and are not pre-packaged. Can new ones be sent in a plastic bag? Small hammer & screw-driver sets are easy to find at our Target, but what about accesories?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Nancy!
      Yes you can change the packaging of ANY item – so you can pack some nails, screws etc. into a tin, plastic container (upcycled pill bottle, baby food container, altoid tin, old film containers, etc.). I think that might be nicer than a plastic baggie – nails and screws might just poke right through those bags. (Even my hubby has many of his screws and nails stored that way!)
      I package my pins, needles, etc. in exactly the same way – so they don’t poke children, or the people who will be examining your shoebox at the processing center.
      NOW
      as far as how to fit things in your shoebox – They do sell some folding fishing poles – but many include just the fishing line, sinkers and hooks (also in plastic containers) so that a child could use a found stick.
      I have packed a baseball glove and ball – and found all the other nooks and crannies in that box to fit the other items. Even a deflated soccer ball and pump really does fit in the tiny “GO” OCC shoeboxes – In this post you can see pictures of how Jennifer was able to do just that! http://www.clipwithpurpose.com/how-about-including-a-soccer-ball/
      It is a challenge, lol!
      I have found that same frustration – pack 2 shoeboxes then instead of just 1. You will end up blessing 2 children with those abundant items!

      • mary wallerius says:

        i read somewhere yesterday that all nails and screws/bolts, ect need to be in their ORIGINAL packaging and also the same for any tools like screwdrivers. i was hoping to be able to take these out of the packaging to save room! i have some tool sets still in their boxes and had wanted to removed each item so the actual box wouldn’t take up so much space. i’m from the us. thanks. any ideas?

        • Mary says:

          Hi Mary :) Since you live in the US, you can take ALL ITEMS out of their original packaging. You may remove all tags as well.

          Every sending country has a different set of rules and regulations. Also things change over time.

          I saw that same statement on a post on a blog from a few years ago. It is incorrect. I have spoken with OCC from the US about this numerous times and they always respond that you may remove all packaging. I wrote a blog post here: http://www.clipwithpurpose.com/packaging-what-to-remove-and-what-to-add/

          It would be nice to put the loose nails and screws into a container of sorts – pill bottle, little Tupperware or even a ziploc baggie – just to keep them together and to prevent pricked fingers when people are inspecting the shoebox, or when the child is opening the shoebox. It would be nice to have something to store them in – but pick something much smaller than the original packaging.

  24. anya says:

    Hi everyone! I was wondering if makeup is OK for the 10-14 age category. I know we can’t do liquids, but I was thinking maybe a tube of babylips lipstick, and a thing of eyeliner. What about dry makeup like eyeshadow?

    • Mary says:

      Dry makeup is acceptable and is allowed to be packed. That would be the official stance.
      This part is ONLY my PERSONAL opinion: 10-14 is a little young for makeup if you think the child might end up being 10 when receiving the shoebox. Plus we need to consider the culture of the countries that will receive the shoeboxes. In the poorer communities, very few ppl wear makeup or accept the idea of ppl wearing makeup. The children of the poorer communities overseas live in vastly different circumstances than our own children.

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