Ideas for Things to Send

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I thought it might be fun to have a place where everyone could share creative ideas they have for things to send to the kiddos. The guidelines, due to customs regulations, are that the items be made of paper and are no larger than 8-1/2" x 11" and 1/4" thick. Here are a few ideas for things that I haven't seen to be commonly suggested:

Uno Cards
. Uno is a seriously fun card game! The rules in the package come in English and Spanish but you can also find them here and maybe use Google to translate this page to your child's language if it's available. The cards can be put in plastic baggies and taped to a piece of card stock to mail with the box broken down to lay flat.

Highlights High Five Bilingüe Magazine. For Spanish speaking kids ages 2-6. I tried to find a Christian Spanish kids magazine but this is actually the only Spanish kids magazine that I could find. It is a good magazine, though, and most kids would probably enjoy it. The magazine is about 8" x 10-1/2" and 1/8" thick so it seems to go through the mail just fine. Just be sure to mark out the address on the cover.

Paper Bracelets. Here is a video showing how to make one. This one looks good and it's one of the ones that looked easier to make but don't expect to get it right the first time :) It's actually harder than it looks. I think both girls and boys would love these but the boys might prefer to have one without the heart shape in it.

If you have any ideas for things to send please share them!
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Adam

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Posted 4 years ago

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Sara Hill Loggins

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Focus Press and Answers in Genesis both have some materials in other languages.  One of them even has printable books in languages such as swahili and spanish.  I think that is Focus Press. 

I sent number flashcards to my 4 year old in Honduras.  No words, just a number on one side and a picture on the other side.  This way we can start studying Days of Creation and Ten Commandments, etc.

Teacher supply stores, homeschool supply, and Vacation Bible School stores are good resources.

I am going to work on downsizing some folders today and stuff them with stickers and devotionals and such.

I have found spanish and bilingual spanish/english books at Goodwill.  I stay away from books dealing with pirates, war, ghosts and goblins, barbies, etc.  I have rejected books with beautiful pictures and a nice story because in part of the book there was what could be perceived as animal 'worship'.  The book was too thick for me to send any kind of explanation so I tossed the idea.  One of my children in Ghana speaks English so it is easy to find books to send him.

I do not send barbie or Disney princess stuff, but that is just my choice.  I try to make each mailing a lesson from the Bible.  Creation with animal books, animal collage, animal stickers.  A lesson on giving with extra blank cards for them to fill out and give to teachers or family members.  I am planning on Fruit of the spirit packages later this Summer.  I sent them photos of their own jpeg from CI and each time photos are updated I send jpeg to walgreens for new photo and send the updated photos.

I have a facebook page where I have taken pics of some of the things I have sent if you want to search for Love2Sponsor on facebook.
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Adam

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Hey Sara! Thank you so much for sharing all of these ideas! I really like how you do the different themes with your letters. I love the Fruit of the Spirit idea! I think I'm going to swoop that one up for sure :) I never would have thought of that. Actually I really like them all. The number card ideas and the creation theme and the giving lesson are great ideas too. I can tell that you really put a lot of thought into the things you are sending and that is so cool.

Thank you for sharing those websites. I hadn't heard of either one of those before but I will check them out. We have a Lifeway store in town and that's where I find a lot of the Spanish materials that we send. They also have a website. I was kind of surprised because it seems like it's kind of hard to find small paperback Spanish books to send. I have found a few at Lifeway. Amazon has a few Berenstain Bears books and The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Good Night Moon in Spanish but that's about the only ones I have found that I thought would go through the mail. I haven't looked at Goodwill yet but I will now that you mention that.

We do send some stickers and coloring books that are princess themed (we sponsor a girl), well actually a lot of it is Frozen. It seems like that stuff is everywhere. Little girls must love that movie. We also send some Hello Kitty stuff and Dora the Explorer and stuff like that. I was a little hesitant to send much of that at first because I was thinking since we are limited on how much we can send then we should send mainly Bible lessons and Christian materials like you mentioned. But I thought, if I had a daughter would I let her have this stuff and I probably would so that's kind of how I landed on that. I don't really have a strong opinion about it either way. Actually, I do have a daughter she's just not officially here yet :) My wife is nine months pregnant, bless her heart, and we are expecting a baby girl any day now so I'll probably be learning a lot more pretty soon about that kind of thing. But we don't send Barbie stuff either just because personally I think Barbie sends the wrong message to young girls.

I really like your Facebook page! I love the colorful pinwheel thing that you have on there. Did you make that? My wife and I had a Facebook account but we canceled it when we started sponsoring because when I heard that we couldn't be friends with our sponsored kids and if they tried to "Friend" us we had to decline it I just wanted to cancel it because I know how hard that would be. I wasn't sure if I would be able to do that so I just wanted to avoid that situation. It seems like Compassion and a lot of the sponsors are doing a lot of cool stuff on Facebook like you are though so I might start another one at some point. I don't know, we'll see.
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LJ

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Adoramapix has photo calendars that you can send if you take off the metal binding and replace it with string.  We sent an 8"x8" calendar that we just filled up with pictures and some verses.  You can take off anything that makes it a calendar if you like.  They are really good quality and reasonably priced (they also have frequent sales).  They always go on sale at the end of the year.  We made one for us that was identical to  the one we sent so that we can go through the calendar together.

I'm also working on figuring out how to send a Jesse Tree or a Jesus Tree (one ornament a day during advent or lent respectively that take you through the Bible).  There are many versions around, though we did this one in felt for our family http://www.leafletonline.com/Jesus-Lent-Tree-Kit/productinfo/11938/ and I'm thinking of doing one in cardstock for our sponsored children.
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Adam

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LJ, those calendars look legit! There's a lot of ways you could customize that for your sponsored child. It looks like you can put a picture of them on there for their birthday square. The Jesus tree is a cool idea too!

What kind of pictures do you put on the calendar? Do you put pictures of you and your family on it along with the verses or do you put pictures of nature and stuff like that on it? I guess you could try to find pictures of the child's country or maybe pictures from your home state to put on it too. That is such a cool idea!
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LJ

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Thank you!  I have only done this once, but I put a small calendar section (with the days of the week the way they do them in Mexico since that's where she lives--Monday's first) for each month.  Then I put photos of us doing something appropriate for that month in our lives. I put special emphasis on extended family and SNOW because she is always asking about if it is snowing and what snow is like.  I also put in photos of flowers near us and butterflies--monarchs fly to Mexico and I asked if she had seen one.  I tried not to have photos that emphasize "stuff" we have, but rather people and nature. I put a caption and a verse on each page.  I speak enough Spanish to write in Spanish with some help from a dictionary, but regardless you could put the verses in your child's native language--check out Bible Gateway.  I figure that cuts down on work for the translator and makes it so that the word of God is translated only once and not 4 times.  Since I sent it in late December or early January, I started it in April to make sure she would have it in time.  I think photos of the child's country or from your home state would be great as well.  I have young children which makes for more photo fodder.  I hope that helps!
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LJ

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Vermont Christmas Co has lots of advent calendars, including some that you can send to sponsored children.  We sent one with verses behind each door in Spanish to our (older) sponsored child in Mexico http://www.vermontchristmasco.com/product/2562/spanish-advent (I had to cut it down a bit so it met the size requirement, but it went through!) and we opened a door each day of December along with our sponsored child.  For our younger kids who can't read yet (and speak Haitian Creole, not Spanish or English) we are planning on sending www.vermontchristmasco.com/product/1115/religious-card-advent-calendars this one which is just pictures inside each door.  As you can see, I like things that connect us so we can do something on the same day as our sponsored child.  Remember to send it well in advance, though, as it can take 3 months for your child to get it. 
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Adam

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I was just going to remind everyone about these awesome advent calendars! I just remembered it the other day. This is such a cool idea, LJ! I can't believe it's already time to start sending Christmas stuff.
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Tracey Evans

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Talking of Christmas stuff to send- I found some nativity printables here;

http://www.weathercharts.org/lucypaintbox/Colouring-Christmas-Bible.htm#christmas-pictures-cards

They have printable Christmas colouring pictures and cards, a christmas story booklet and a large and a small  (one page) nativity scene.
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Adam

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This is great, Tracey! Thanks so much for sharing this! :)
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Elizabeth York

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I like to hand make things...if you correspond/sponsor an older child, maybe you could write about a sport (like when it was founded, by whom, etc.) or about an animal or something on a piece of cardstock...another idea is making a bookmark on your own and then sending the things for the child to make his or her own! You could make a card with colorful paper and write a short note inside...there are a lot of ways to connect with your precious child! They need your encouragement! :)

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Tracey Evans

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I love all these ideas. Compassion has its own pinterest page for craft ideas too at Second Friday Letter writing club . Its full of things to make and ideas on what to write about.
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Adam

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Hi Elizabeth and Tracey! There was a Compassion blog post a couple of days ago by Yvonne Reynolds that was talking about the Second Friday Letter Writing Club on Pinterest and the top 5 ideas for things to make and send to your kids. There was a cool booklet on there made out of brown paper lunch bags that you could put notes in and your comment reminded me of that, Elizabeth. When I saw that I was thinking, you know, I should probably try to do some of that stuff. I always forget about the Pinterest page, Tracey. I still have no idea how that site works :) my wife has tried to help me, but when I go on there I'm always amazed by some of the things people come up with. I managed to make a pretty decent paper bracelet for Ana's birthday but I went straight off the video and it still took me three tries. I don't consider myself to be very creative or crafty but that's probably just because I don't really try to do things like that and practice. When I started sponsoring, I couldn't remember the last time I colored a picture but I have since discovered that I still love to color! Coloring is so fun! It is so relaxing just to sit down and not think about anything and color a picture. Maybe I should try to get more into the Pinterest stuff and trying to make things by hand. I guess you never really get to old for things like that. And like you said, Elizabeth, I'm sure that kids would love to get something that their sponsor made for them along with the materials to make their own. Maybe I will start with a bookmark :) That's a great idea!
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Adam

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Thank you, Audrey. It's sweet of you to say that. I don't really know what to say except it's only by the grace and mercy of God that He has changed my life and loved me in spite of myself. God really has blessed me and I don't deserve any of it. I was amazed at your post! It is so apparent that God has given you an awesome heart to love Him and live for Him and a lot of wisdom and that you are raising your own children to love Him and live for Him in the same way. Your kids are so lucky to have you, all of them, and it's no wonder that God has entrusted you with so many! And being a missionary from home is a good way to put it because that's exactly what you are! :)
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Audrey Logan

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I had to chuckle at your comment that God has changed your life... Oh He has with me too. I still can't get over how it really is true that God redeems all things in accordance to His will. Once I got back to God a few years ago, the blessings He poured out on me were so bountiful and unexpected! I constantly said that God was giving me so many blessings I was drowning in them (in a good way!) Lol.

Even now, I try to be keen to His voice, and keep a ln eye out for the little blessings He allows me to have each day. The smile of one of my kids, the minute of pure happiness, a letter in the mail, making a lunch everyone will eat lol, the aha moment when reading scripture, the moment when God intervenes in my heart and allows me to have a Godly attitude instead of letting my emotions run my mouth. All these things I try to immediately give Thanks to our Father.

Even now I fight my tired eyes (I have 3 sick kids and I am as well), yet, I pray for motivation, for His priorities to be evident for today, and take solace in the fact that God has my back.

He is truly an awesome God... Another thing that baffles me about God is His love. For instance, look at your new daughter and feel the rush of love and joy you have for her... it's intense right? Did you know you could love someone THAT much?! It's amazing that we have this capacity to love, and I never knew I could love 40 kids at once, and I DO love them! It's insane, mind blowing! And yet, God loves US even MORE than we love our flesh and blood... I mean we can't comprehend the immensity of His love for us. And He loves every, single, soul on this planet, all at once, with the intensity of more than 1000 fold of how we love our kids... Mind... Blown! Lol
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Adam

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Your story sounds just like mine! Back when I wasn't walking with God and I used to try to rely on myself for everything it seemed like things just had a way of not working out, but since turning my life back over to God and trusting in Him for everything it just seems like He always has my back, just like you said, and His blessings have been so amazing! God is so faithful! Things are still hard sometimes and they will never be perfect but even when things are hard it seems like there's always something God is teaching me or something God is working on that's even bigger or maybe just God reminding me that this world is not really our true home. We can't ever see the whole picture but I am beginning to see that God is only good and that he really does only want what is best for us. I used to only think of what I didn't have but now I try to see the good in everything and to always be thankful. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) I am learning that everything that's beautiful and good comes from God and now I can see God's beauty and goodness in all kinds of things just like you said. A sunset, a nest of baby birds, my coffee in the morning. God is teaching me how great is love is for me and for everyone. When I sit down to eat now I remember that God loves me and he is providing for my needs in that moment. I've started praying about small things too because I know that God cares about the details of our lives. I like to listen to Christian music at work on YouTube and just the other day there was an ad for some horror movie that was playing before every song and I prayed that God would make that ad stop playing and I never saw it again. Also, not long ago our washing machine broke and we didn't have the money to get a new one and I prayed over it, sitting there full of water, that God would fix it and it started working again right after that. That was amazing! God really does want us to trust Him for everything. (2 Chronicles 16:7-13 - I just read these verses this morning) I will be praying for God to give you strength and for you and your kids to get well quickly! Remember, God cares about that too! :)
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Audrey Logan

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Adam I'm so astounded by your devotion to God. In my experience it is rare to meet a man with devotion like yours. It's nice to know yall really do exist! Lol

Like you mentioned when you were relying on yourself that nothing seemed to work out. That's how I got back to God. I was 5 months pregnant with my second child and my fiance left us. It was random, I had no clue that it was even a possibility. I was so angry, I started yelling at God (literally out loud in my living room), "Fine! You want me! You got me! Let's see if your plans are really better than mine! I'm leaving it all up to you! Take my life, have it!" So out of spite and in a quest to "prove God wrong", I started going to church, reading my Bible and doing a Bible study every morning! I look back on this and laugh, God had me exactly where He wanted me. Broken, willing to be molded, and diving with a furry into His word. I can only imagine that God busting a gut laughing at me...

It has been the hardest and most joyous ride ever! He has taught me Sooooooooooo much, changed my heart in ways I would've never thought possible and in many ways I didn't know I needed to be changed. One of my biggest blessings was that God brought a man back into my life that I had known for 4 years, but hadn't talked to in 2 years.... we are now happily married and my 2 girls have an astounding dad who loves them!

God is wonderful! I love bragging about God lol
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Adam

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Yep, that absolutely sounds like the Lord working in your life. I was pretty much the same exact way except God used a situation with my job to break me down and change my life. I can talk about it with a smile now and even laugh about it. It's easier to do that after the fact than when it's actually happening. I don't think God was laughing at you, though. I think God knows just exactly how much things hurt when we go through them and He hurts with us, but sometimes His greatest blessings come through the most painful times in our lives just like that. I also don't think God orchestrates all the storms that we go through in life, but He can surely use them for our good. Praise God for your husband! I pray that God blesses your marriage and your family and that He just keeps leading you and blessing you on this journey to know Him more. (Job 5:18)
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Gina Woodring

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The child we sponsor is in the Dominican Republic so  in each letter I send I put a notecard with a bible verse on one side in English and on the other side in Spanish - with uplifting scripture to remind her to have hope and that God loves her. I am hoping it will help her to associate Spanish words with English ones. And the translation software on the computer makes this easy to do.

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Audrey Logan

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Did you know that you don't have to translate things yourself? Anything written will be translated for your child. I really like your idea however, I think I will start doing that!
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Debi

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I did send something to one of our sponsored children with a verse written in Spanish, accompanying the usual English-written letter. Not sure why, except that it seemed good on that day to have God's word in the child's language written by my hand. For that purpose, I simply copied it from a Spanish version of the Bible at Bible Gateway (for example, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...).
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Audrey Logan

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Awwwwwwwww Debi, that is so sweet! I love it when God talks! And we are wise enough to listen!!! Bible gateway is amazing, I'm a full time student at a Christian college, that website has saved my hiney a few times! Lol ;-)
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Gina Woodring

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Like Debi I wanted to personalize it with my hand writing  plus I wanted the Spanish on one side and the English on the other, like a flash card -so when she is older and learning English she can use the verses to practice her English at home if she has saved her cards. It also helps me to remember the Spanish I learned years ago in high school so that maybe if we get the chance to take a group tour I may not be fluent but be able to recognize a few words here and there. Makes me wish I would have taken Spanish class a bit more seriously in high school. :)

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