I know what you’re thinking, why are you writing about Operation Christmas Child in July? It’s 100 degrees, and I am not ready for Christmas.
Two words for why you should shop now: save money.
That’s it, make your dollars go further and support a great charity while you’re at it. It’s a win-win situation. So, get ready to prep for what will pop up in a few months in your Bible lesson when you talk about giving to someone else at Christmas.
My plans for our Operation Christmas Child in July shopping
I briefly mentioned in my post about our Navajo mission trip (you know, last August) we put together Christmas presents for the kids in the Reservation schools. I learned something as we put those bags together, and I have a plan to be better prepared for this year, and this plays into my grand plans for family discipleship (teaching giving and a servant’s heart).
I’m using back to school sales to stock up for Operation Christmas Child
For those of you not familiar with the concept, you fill a shoebox with toys, clothes, toiletries, and SCHOOL SUPPLIES for a child who may not be getting a Christmas present otherwise.
By the same token, I can do the same thing for the Navajo kids.
Breaking down school supplies by age range for Operation Christmas Child
Of course, not all school supplies are equal for all ages, but here’s what I’m getting for the different ages.
Preschool school supplies for Operation Christmas Child
For this age, I’m concentrating on craft supplies. So I’m picking up lots of crayons, plain notebooks, and maybe some glue sticks or stickers.
If I see some good coloring books I’ll pick those up also. Operation Christmas Child specifies nothing with violence (so no super-heroes, or things like that) because many of the areas they send presents to have been affected by war.
Elementary school supplies for operation Christmas Child
There’s a lot I can buy for this age, but I’ll concentrate on a few things in particular.
I’m going to put together a small school kit that will also be usable for crafts. I bought pencils, colored pencils, pencil sharpener, scissors, and glue sticks. This covers most supplies kids use in elementary school.
I choose glue sticks because it’s less messy and less likely to spill. It’s what we use in our house mostly.
I might also throw in some small notebooks, they can either be used for writing or drawing in.
Middle school and High school supplies for Operation Christmas Child
High schoolers may not admit to liking crafts and things, but they still do, and they still use many of the same items for their classes. So you could buy the exact same things as for the younger kids.
Other things you could add in: protractor, compass, cheap calculator, binders.
A note on markers
Markers dry out fast. While kids enjoy using them, if you leave the cap off, the markers are useless. Colored pencils will last longer in most of the environments presents will be sent to, and unlike crayons, they won’t melt (though Crayola crayons don’t tend to melt unless it’s insanely hot, I’ve left them in my car and not had them melt, I live in Texas ya’ll, it gets hot).
The only reason I don’t give colored pencils to preschoolers is they are sharper than crayons and more likely to hurt you, same reason I don’t give scissors (and yes my kids did use scissors as preschoolers, but I do not know the situation the child who is receiving the present is in and if they are okay to have scissors).
What else you could get for Operation Christmas Child boxes
They are dozens of posts written on this topic, and I feel no need to duplicate those posts. Instead, I’ll let you read them.
- Operation Christmas Child packing party
- 101 Operation Christmas Child present ideas
- Unsolicited Advice for Operation Christmas Child presents (I highly recommend reading this one, it gave me a whole new perspective as I pack my boxes this year)