Thoughtful Gift Ideas to Bring Smiles to Hospitalized Children - And Where to Get Them Locally

Gifts of love and support

16 Thoughtful Gift Ideas to Brighten Hospital Stays for Children
When a child faces an extended hospital stay, it can be a difficult and unsettling experience for both the young patient and their family. Offering a source of comfort and a touch of happiness can be achieved through the selection of thoughtful gifts. These presents not only help pass the time but also offer emotional support and foster a positive atmosphere in the hospital room.

What to get and where to get it locally:


1. Stuffed Animals for Companionship

Stuffed animals remain a timeless favorite among children at the hospital. Their plush, embraceable nature offers solace and friendly company during challenging moments.

2. Books to Fuel Imagination

Books, magazines, and coloring books make fantastic presents for children of every age. Reading can transport them to various realms, ignite their creativity, and offer valuable amusement.

Explore our local bookstores for some excellent inspiration.

3. Creative Escape with Art Supplies

Art materials such as crayons, colored pencils, markers, and sketchbooks serve as a creative channel, enabling children to express themselves and temporarily divert their attention from their hospital stay.

You'll find everything you need at our local craft stores.

4. Heartwarming way to say “We love and miss you”

The "My Friends and I" book is a fantastic gift that brings joy both during a child's hospital stay and afterward.

Get Well Gesture

The "My Friends and I" book is a heartwarming way to show a child, who can't be with their loved ones at the moment, that they're surrounded by love and missed by many. Family members and friends fill out the book and surprise their little friend with "a book full of friends" in the hospital to brighten their stay.

Create Memories

The young patient might also want to invite their doctors, hospital staff, and new friends from their hospital stay to sign their "My Friends and I" book, preserving sweet memories to take home when it's time to leave. 

Welcome Home Surprise

Home is truly where the heart is, especially after a hospital stay. The "My Friends and I" book makes for a lovely way to welcome a loved one back to their happy place.

Learn more about the book here. The book is available on the Life Is Better With Friends website, on Amazon, as well as locally at The Book Burrow in Pflugerville and HobbyTown in Austin. 

My Friends and I book

5. Games and Puzzles for Fun and Learning

Compact puzzles, board games, and card games are excellent for keeping youngsters engrossed and mentally alert. Additionally, they offer chances for social interaction, especially if there are visitors or other patients available to join in a game.

Our local toy stores will help you find the perfect game or puzzle.

6. Comfortable Clothing for Cozy Days

    Hospital gowns aren't necessarily the most comfortable clothing. Wearing soft pajamas or cozy slippers can significantly enhance their comfort and make their stay more relaxing. Include a playful accessory to wear, such as a hat or a colorful scarf, for some extra fun.

    Find the ideal hospital attire at our local clothing stores.

    7. Craft Kits for Hands-On Creativity

      Craft kits include all the essentials for crafting something beautiful. They are ideal for children who have a passion for crafting and enjoy crafting their own unique creations.

      8. Personalized Items for a Homely Touch

        Transform the hospital room into a more familiar and cozy space by adding personalized blankets, pillowcases, or towels adorned with the child's name or their beloved characters.

        9. Electronics for Entertainment

          Take into account the child's age and the hospital's guidelines; you might want to think about portable gaming devices, tablets, or e-readers as options to offer hours of entertainment.

          10. Audiobooks and Music for Relaxation

            Supplying headphones along with a collection of audiobooks or their preferred music can assist children in unwinding and immersing themselves in their cherished tales or tunes.

            11. Care Packages: A Personal Touch

              Craft a customized care package containing their preferred snacks, beverages, and comforting treats. Incorporate handwritten cards and heartfelt letters from loved ones to infuse a personal and heartfelt touch.

              12. Brighten the Room with Artwork

                Elevate the atmosphere of the hospital room by adorning it with posters, artwork, or decorations that highlight the child's passions and beloved themes.

                13. Educational Materials for Growth

                  Think about age-appropriate educational resources such as science kits, puzzles, or engaging educational apps that offer enjoyable learning experiences.

                  14. Gift Cards: The Gift of Choice

                    Presenting gift cards for online stores, streaming services, or local restaurants can offer children options and flexibility while they're in the hospital.

                    15. Themed Care Packages: Tailored Delight

                      Craft themed care packages tailored to the child's interests, like a superhero-themed bundle or one centered on their beloved hobbies.

                      16. Quality Time: The Best Gift of All

                        At times, the most valuable gift you can offer is your company. If feasible, schedule visits, engage in games, or share stories together to offer emotional support.


                        Prior to choosing a gift, it's essential to consult with the child's parents or caregivers to confirm its appropriateness and compliance with the child's hospital stay preferences or restrictions. Additionally, take into account any allergies or medical conditions when making your selections. Thoughtful gift choices can greatly contribute to brightening the hospital experience for a child in need.

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