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Family Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Packing Party 2016

I know this is a little late for last year, but I finally got time to type it up, so I thought I'd share in case it helps others in planning smaller Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing parties.  We are 4-5 adults who pack about 50 boxes on a Saturday. We are all knowledgeable about shoeboxes, and try to fit as much in our boxes as possible and make them personal.  So, rather than have a tightly set list and controlled number of items, we all choose what we want to/can put in.  You can see various other ways we've done packing parties for various groups over the years here.

School supplies for packing in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

In the past I've tried to pre-pack the pencil packs, and set out with each age group the right number of other items with each age groups' packing area, but this year I didn't have time to do that so I just laid it out all out together.  This side was art
supplies.  You may like to check out our Crayon Brands Review posts.

School supplies for OCC shoebox packing party.

This side  was the more school supplies.  It worked out great-everyone could pick exactly what they wanted for each box.  Not sure how we fit a spiral notebook in our shoeboxes?  Check out this post:  How to Fit a Spiral Notebook in an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox.

This was  our tote bags and pencil cases tub.

Tins and assorted containers

Hygiene items for Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing.

Some of the hygiene items: various washcloths and hand-towels for the packers to pick from, toothbrushes in cases, nail files for those who want to add the, various combs.

A box of bars of ivory soap in zippered sealed plastic bags was on top of the green tub, but they weren't here when I took the photo.  And some snack containers I bought to use as soap dishes
Stuffed animals for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

We laid the stuffed animals out on this shelf we had open at the moment.  It was fun and helpful to be able to see them all at once.  We kind of sorted by size, type, etc.  We've picked them up over a few years though donations, deals, etc.  Always fun to be able to pick just the right new "friend" for the box.  This post shares Why we pack Stuffed Animals in all our Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

These were "bonus" items, flashlights, musical toys, etc.  That anyone could get if there was room in their box.

This was my 10-14 year old girl shoebox packing station-shoeboxes on top, items to go in the boxes on the bottom.  I like to half-pack all the shoeboxes at once, like take my sewing kits and put one in each box, then my games one in each box, etc.   As opposed to taking one shoebox, going down the line, filling it up, then repeating. That way I can very the sizes of the items-if there's a big toy, maybe I'll put in a small game, and can also work to match colors better I feel.  I then finish each boxes separately. Also off to the side I had some bonus things like jewelry.

This was the 2-4 boys table, the boxes in the back had toys and small bonus items, and you can see the balls and dishes.

Finally, I tried to put one of these at each work station.  Scissors for anything we hadn't gotten taken out of packaging; tape in case wrapping paper needed helped or something needed attached; rubber-bands for bundling or boxes, sticky notes & pen in case we didn't have enough of anything, notes could be put on the boxes, and we could add it later, and bags in case anything needed bagged.

We used a variety of boxes but tried to stay close to the average sized shoebox recommended.  For more information check out this post:  What Type of box to Use for Packing an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox.

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