Maybe they’re recovering from an accident. Maybe they have a chronic condition that keeps them bedridden.
Whatever their reason for being in the hospital, you can bring a lot of joy to a sick child when you present them with a big, bow-wrapped gift. Here are just a few ideas to get you started!
36 Fun and Low-Impact Gift Ideas for a Child in the Hospital
For Fans of Mike and Sulley: Crazy Colored Monster Paw Slippers
Streaked with pink and purple, these fuzzy monster slippers will bring a little levity to a hospital room. They can be ordered in multiple sizes for growing feet, and they come with dotted rubber soles to provide traction on linoleum floors.
Kids will love the claws and fur; adults will love the fact that they’re warm, comfortable and insulating. No child will catch a chill in these bad boys!
For Better Netflix Binges: Folding Lap Desk
It’s no fun to be stuck in bed all day, but this lap desk can make it a bit more bearable. Kids can use it for writing, drawing, crafting, playing board games or anything else that requires a flat surface.
They might even do their homework on it if they get exceptionally bored! There’s an internal compartment for storage, and the legs of the table can be removed if the child needs or prefers a lower angle.
Best of all, when they’re finally discharged from the hospital, they can take the desk home and use it in their own beds.
A Sweet and Snuggly Surprise: Get Well Soon Teddy Bear Balloon Gift
You can find “Get Well Soon” teddy bears in just about every size and shape imaginable, but this one takes things up a notch with the addition of a balloon and a jar of candy. Not only will the child be able to cuddle the soft, removable stuffie, but they’ll also get to munch on some treats after a hard day of tests! If you don’t like the candies that are already inside of the jar, feel free to remove and replace them with something else.
You could add everything from gummy bears to jelly beans for added color and cheer.
When They’re About to Climb the Walls: Kanoodle
Boredom is one of the unexpected side effects of spending a long time in the hospital, but fortunately, it has an easy fix. Just buy a Kanoodle set! A single board can be set up with hundreds of different puzzles, and they range from simple, kid-friendly ones to elaborate 3D challenges that can stump even PhD holders.
The puzzles can be completed individually or with friends and family, so they’re quite versatile. Gift recipients of all ages will enjoy a Kanoodle set.
To Bring the Wonderland to Alice: Butterfly Tea Set Basket
Turn any hospital room into a garden with this portable picnic set. Everything that you need for a tea party is right there in the wicker basket, including cups, saucers, sugar bowls and red-and-white checkered napkins.
A butterfly theme keeps things cute and dainty, and up to four people can enjoy the party at a time. You might not be able to take the child out of the hospital, but you can bring some fun into the hospital with the right accessories for pretend.
To Toot or Not to Toot: The Farting Animals Coloring Book
If they’re anything like most kids, they have dozens of coloring books already, so you’ll need to step up your game if you want to impress them with a new one. Try the Farting Animals Coloring Book! Like its name suggests, it’s filled with cute, affable creatures who just so happen to be breaking wind, and it’s sure to get a giggle from boys and girls alike.
They’ll be eager to get out their crayons and bring these flatulent friends to life.
To Keep Them Occupied on Long Afternoons: Retro Handheld Video Game Console
Show them how mom and dad used to play video games with this vintage-style GameBoy. It can be used as a handheld device if they’re bedridden, or they can hook it up to the TV if they’re a little more mobile.
It comes preloaded with 400 classic games that include everything from Super Mario Bros to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so they won’t run out of options anytime soon. If you aren’t afraid of some ribbing about how old you are, this gift can be a great bonding tool between parents and whippersnappers!
For Washable Fun: 50-Piece Assorted Stampers for Kids
“Well done!” “Good job!” Every kid likes praise, and with these stampers, you can put the compliments right on their hands. You can also wrap up the stampers with some stationary and let your child decorate papers and envelopes with all kinds of cool patterns.
With 50 designs in total, they can choose from words, animals, flowers, planes, cupcakes and more. It could be just the distraction that they need to get through a tough hospital visit.
To Bring a Little Laughter to Their Hospital Room: Kids Against Maturity Card Game
Kids Against Maturity is the child-friendly version of Cards Against Humanity. One player gives a prompt, and everyone else chooses the grossest, funniest or most absurd answer that they have in their deck.
The end results can involve everything from exploding toilets to Santa Claus losing his pants! Kids will have a blast as they gleefully embrace their immaturity for awhile, and you might just rediscover your own inner child for a bit.
For a New Kind of Art: Rainbow Scratch Paper Art Kit for Kids
There’s nothing like a rainbow to bring a little cheer to a gloomy hospital room, and with this art kit, your child can actually create their own rainbows. They can bring all of their fun, vivid imaginings to life by scratching off the black coating of this rainbow paper.
There are 20 blank sheets in the big, oversized notebook, and the manufacturer throws in some scented stickers and colorful scratch paper with every order. Your little Picasso will redecorate their hospital room in no time!
Goodbye, Germs: Sea Animal Colorful Kids Soap Bars
Turn hand-washing into a fun activity with these sea animal soaps. Not only do they come in fresh scents like orange, strawberry, raspberry and green apple, but there’s a toy in the center of every bar! The animal shapes range from creepy-crawly octopi to beautiful, delicate seahorses.
The only way to reach them is by using up the soap, so your child will be motivated to wash their hands diligently and regularly.
For a Touch of Green Among the White: Light-Up Terrarium Kit for Kids
Some hospitals are cracking down on plant-based gifts because of allergy issues, but this terrarium should be safe enough. It grows wheatgrass and chia seeds in a see-through jar, so the vegetation is visible but contained, and it creates a charming garden scene with rocks, stickers and miniature rabbit and mushroom replicas.
It can even light up at night! Kids will enjoy a sense of responsibility in taking care of a living plant even as they use it for light, warmth and decoration.
To Soothe Their Phobias: Educational Doctor Kit Toy Set
Doctor-related fears can make a hospital stay even more stressful than it has to be, so if you know a child who hides under the covers when the stethoscope comes out, consider this play set. It offers plastic, kid-friendly replicas of common medical devices, including thermometers, forceps, syringes, bed pans and blood pressure cuffs.
It’s more realistic than a lot of the medical play sets on the market, so the gadgets and gizmos will be more recognizable to kids who use them for roleplay. They’re also outfitted with lights and sounds to make them more fun!
Because There’s No Place Like Home: Purple Unicorn Microfiber Kid’s Bed-in-a-Bag Bedding Set
With a sheet, pillowcase and comforter, this bed-in-a-bag set provides all of the essentials. It’s also ridiculously comfortable thanks to its plush polyester filling inside of a soft, fluffy microfiber fabric.
Your child can use it for sleepovers, hospital visits, field trips and more! They’ll be able to relax with a bedding set that smells like home, but since it’s designed for travel, it isn’t a hassle to collect everything and stuff it back in the bag when the trip is over.
You can also order it with other designs if purple unicorns aren’t your thing.
Nostalgic Stories for Nostalgic Parents: Roald Dahl Book Collection
From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Matilda, Roald Dahl is a beloved figure in children’s literature, and you can introduce him to the next generation with the help of this 15-book set.
It includes all of the classics as well as a few surprise additions, and everything is presented in a fun, jazzy format with lots of bright colors and illustrations. Your child might even learn to get excited about lights-out time when there’s a Roald Dahl story waiting for them!
For Travel: 54-Piece Portable Drawing Stencils Set for Kids
Arranged in a convenient “carry and go” case, this stencil set is light and portable enough to be taken everywhere. They can use it in the car; they can use it at home, at the hospital or in the doctor’s waiting room.
There are a lot of small pieces, so it might be best for older children who can keep track of their belongings, but it’s otherwise perfect for young’uns on the move. Everything that they need for fun, creative art is right there in the case, including papers, stencils, sharpeners, colored pencils and more.
For the Future Indiana Jones: Dig-a-Dino Tyrannosaurus Rex
Is there a paleontologist in the house? With this excavation kit, your child will be ready to relive Jurassic Park in no time. A dozen “fossils” are buried in a hard lump of clay dirt, and it’ll be up to them to brush away the debris and unearth the bones one by one.
When they have all of the pieces, they can assemble them into a big, mean skeleton of a T-Rex. It’ll be an all-day affair even for determined diggers, so if you’re looking for something to keep your little one distracted or entertained while the doctors are at work, this is it!
To Make Their Injuries Less Scary: Plush Animal Hospital House
If you’re looking for something a bit more involved than a “Get Well Soon” teddy bear, this animal house can add a dynamic element to traditional plushies. There are five in total, and each dog, cat and bird comes with a cast or head wrap to show that they’re in recovery.
Children can relate to them even as they create games and stories with them. When playtime is over for the day, just stuff them back into their hospital house for another time!
Educational Entertainment: Brain Flakes 500-Piece Interlocking Plastic Disc Set
When they’re tired of Legos, try Brain Flakes. These small, colorful discs can be interlocked in hundreds and hundreds of ways, so depending on their interests, your little engineer can build everything from model trains to swaying sakura trees.
There are 500 pieces in total, so they’ll have plenty of raw material. Additionally, parents will be relieved to know that the pieces are made with non-lead, non-toxic materials, and they come in a plastic jar for safekeeping.
Playtime will be fun, and cleanup will be a breeze!
A Sneaky Gift for Better Health: Create Your Water Bottle Kit
Hydration is important, especially when you’re fighting off an illness or injury. Why don’t you make it fun for your little girl with this DIY water bottle kit? The bottle itself is made with non-reactive, non-corrosive stainless steel, so it’s safe for repeated use, and it comes with a bright pink color and hundreds of glittering rhinestones that can be applied to any part of its surface.
She can create hearts, crowns, stars, sparkles and more. When she’s done, she’ll have a fully customized water bottle for getting all of her fluids!
To Banish Their Fears of the Dark: LED Color-Changing Bear Nursery Night
Hospital rooms can get scary at night, but with this cute, bear-shaped lamp, your child will have a companion in the dark. He’s made with soft silicone materials that are safe for all ages, and you can change the color of his glow with the touch of a remote.
You can even teach your child how to do it! The controls are very simple and kid-friendly, so whether they’re in the mood for a bright, cheerful yellow or a soft and soothing blue, this guardian bear will protect them from everything that goes bump in the night.
Earth’s Mightiest Hero: Lottie True Hero Hospital Doll
Lotte is headed to the hospital, but with the support of her teddy bear companion and the awesomeness of her cool red cape, she isn’t afraid of anything! Ideal for little girls who are nervous about an upcoming hospital stay, Lotte is a superhero doll that can give them courage while still being a fun and relatable figure.
Unlike a Barbie, she looks like a regular girl, and her box encourages her owner to “Be Bold, Be Brave, Be You.”
For Vivid Imaginations: 10-Pack Noodlin’ Noodles
Do you remember playing with pipe cleaners as a kid? Noodlin’ Noodles are basically a newer, safer version without any pokey parts. They’re made with a soft and flexible material that can bend, twist, stretch, squeeze and wrap around objects, and with their fun colors and variable sizes, they’ll be ideal for everything from friendship bracelets to 3D art.
Children with sensory disorders can even use them for stimming. They’re a useful tool hidden inside of a toy package.
To Cast a Spell Over Her: Girls’ Princess Tent
Every princess needs a castle, and this pop-up tent will be perfect for bringing a little fairy tale sparkle into a cold, sterile hospital room. Gauzy pink curtains fall from a ruffled canopy, and complementary star lights twinkle among the taffeta.
Assembly is quick and easy with all of the necessary poles included in the box. The only danger is that your little girl might not want to come out once she’s inside!
For Stress Relief: 60-Piece Animal Mochi Squishy Toys
The only thing better than one squishy toy is an entire menagerie of squishy toys, and with this 60-piece kit, your little one can play with everything from adorable rabbits to fat little bears and tigers.
There are even fanciful creatures like unicorn dragons! Put them all in a bag as a major gift or parcel them out as individual rewards for getting through a shot or an icky dose of medicine. They live up to their “mochi” name by being small, round lumps of pure kawaii!
DIY for the Artsy and Thrifty: Rainbow Loom Bracelet Craft Kit
Meant for older children with steady hands, this bracelet kit is sure to keep them occupied for awhile. It involves the use of a plastic loom with different-colored rubber bands that you pull through and weave together.
Several bracelet designs are detailed in the instructions, so the kids can follow pre-set weaving patterns or experiment with their own. Just make sure that they’re dexterous enough to handle a craft kit with lots of little pieces.
To Indulge Their Sweet Tooth: One Tough Cookie Gift Box
Filled with animal crackers, teddy grahams, vanilla wafers and good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies, this gift box is overflowing with tasty treats. But don’t be upset, mom! It’s all in the name of being “One Tough Cookie.
” That’s what the smiling balloon says, and it’s even decorated with a band-aid to drive home the message that you can be happy even when you’re hurting. It’ll be a rewarding gift for a young champion who has been through a lot.
To Prevent Loneliness: Programmable Smart Sensing RC Robot
If they’re missing their friends while they’re stuck in the hospital, this robot can be a new kind of bedside companion. He has a flexible, multi-jointed body that lets him walk, turn, bend, sing and dance, and he can be programmed with a child-friendly remote control that isn’t overly complicated for little hands.
Teach him how to walk around; coordinate him with some groovy moves. He can provide hours of entertainment for a bedridden child.
For Your Own Little Michelangelo: Ultra-Thin Portable LED Light Box Tracer
Suitable for real, professional use, this light box will make them feel like a grown-up artist even though it’s basic enough for little hands. They can trace pictures, comics, manga and more with the help of its illuminated surface, and the brightness level is adjustable whenever their eyes are feeling a little sensitive.
Powering it up is as simple as plugging the USB cable into a computer or wall outlet. It’s such a nifty little tool that mom and dad might wind up stealing it while their child is asleep!
To Encourage Sweet Dreams: Critter Piller Kid’s Travel Buddy and Comfort Pillow
If your little trooper spends a lot of time shuttling back and forth between home and the hospital, they might appreciate a travel-friendly gift like this one. It’s a curved neck pillow, and it’s made with soft, hypoallergenic materials that will soothe them to sleep no matter where they are.
You can choose between several critter shapes, including a cat, dog, panda, zebra, caterpillar and rainbow hippo.
For the Miniature Stunt Man: I Do All My Own Stunts T-Shirt
Are they in the hospital because they got too ambitious with a skateboarding jump or tree-climbing adventure? This is the t-shirt for them. It says “I Do All My Own Stunts” with a stick figure nursing crutches and a leg cast, and it’s available in men, women and youth sizes to ensure that you find the perfect fit.
It even comes in a dozen different colors! They can proudly wear it throughout their recovery.
When They’re Serious About Their Stickers: 60-Piece Make Your Own Animal Stickers Kit
Stickers are a popular gift for kids, but what if you want something more than the usual rolls and scrolls? Consider this DIY sticker-making kit. There are basic templates for cats, dogs, dinosaurs, dragons and other fun creatures, but their most important features are left blank.
Your child will be able to customize their expressions and accessories by picking out other stickers to add to the template. There are hundreds of potential combinations, so they can really let their creativity fly!
To Stop the Alien Invasion: Astroshot Zero G Nerf Gun and Floating Targets
Everyone knows that the word “Nerf” can make little boys light up like it’s Christmastime. But what if he’s too sick or hurt to play the usual rough-and-tumble games? Consider the Astroshot Zero G. It creates floating targets that he can shoot with his Nerf gun from several feet away, so even if he’s in a bed, walker or wheelchair, he can channel his inner Rambo.
Give him the gift of forgetting that he’s in the hospital for awhile as he locks and loads to his heart’s content!
Create Your Own Butterfly House: Stained Glass Butterfly Kit
A stained glass decoration can bring a little pop and pizazz to a drab hospital room. With this kit, you can even make your own! It’s shaped like a butterfly and uses stickers on glass to create a soft, beautiful color palette.
The edges are smoothed down, so it’s completely safe for kids. They’ll be able to express their creative side and develop or improve their fine motor skills, which can be especially useful if they’re in a rehab program at the hospital.
For the Restless Preschooler: Jumbo Activity Book for Kids
Meant for very young children, the Jumbo Activity Book for Kids has basic counting, coloring, matching and tracing games. It’s best suited for those around the preschool level of development. If your squirmy little worm needs a lot of stimuli to settle down, this is the book to keep them occupied; it features more than 100 different activities on big, child-friendly pages.
They’ll probably be ready to check out before they finish the whole thing!
When They Need a Little Pick-Me-Up: Feel Good Glenn Animated Stuffed Bear
Singing teddy bears are always fun, and “Feel Good Glenn” even comes dressed in blue scrubs with a stethoscope around his neck to fit right in a hospital setting. He’ll sing “I Feel Good” on command, so kids can use him to cheer themselves up when they’re hurt, stressed or just plain exhausted.
Glenn will be a fun and energetic friend who can inject a little positivity into their life when they need it the most.
Gift Shopping for a Child in the Hospital: Do’s and Don’ts
It can be difficult to shop for someone in the hospital, especially when that someone is a child. What’s allowed? What’s too much or too little for them? What will get you the stink-eye from their parents? Here are just a few things to keep in mind if you want your gift to be awesome yet appropriate.
Do: Remember their limitations.
A sick child isn’t going to have the energy or attention span of a healthy one. They might also be struggling with pain or mobility issues that make it difficult for them to, say, sit up for long periods of time. Keep these limitations in mind before you buy them something that will require more fuel in the tank than they actually have. When in doubt, play it safe and choose something that’s less mobile rather than more mobile.
Don’t: Break any hospital rules.
Some hospitals have restrictions against food, flowers, balloons and other things that can trigger allergies or cause messes. You’ll want to call and check before you deliver that five-pound gummy bear to your niece. You should also be careful about anything with lights and sounds that could potentially annoy the child’s roommate. If you’re uncertain about the dynamics of the space, ask the child’s parents, nurses or other people in the know.
Do: Make your gift meaningful.
Are they afraid of the doctor? Buy something that addresses those fears with roleplaying tools and toys.
Are they having a specific procedure done? Look for gifts that are devoted to tonsillectomies or appendectomies.
You can make your present a meaningful one if you’re willing to put a little thought behind it. Even if it’s just a plushie shaped like a spleen, it will show more thoughtfulness than a generic “Get Well Soon” card.
Don’t: Be overly obsessed with brain games.
They’re in the hospital. They feel awful. This isn’t the time to force them into doing math problems. If they enjoy puzzles, riddles and building sets, that’s another story, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with educational games that have a learning element to them. Just don’t overdo it. Think about how you’d feel and what you’d be in the mood for if you had their illness.
Do: Remind them of home.
Most kids can’t wait to get out of the hospital. If your gift can remind them of home in some way, they’ll probably appreciate it. It could be a toy or game; it could be a scent, blanket or stuffed animal.
You might even buy them a gift that they can use at home when they’re fully healthy again. It’ll give them something to look forward to when they’re back on their feet.
These are just a few gift-giving suggestions for a hospitalized child. What do you think? Is there anything on our list that you love or hate? Do you have any other ideas for us? We’re always open to suggestions, especially when they can bring a smile to a child’s face!