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Barnyard Themed Operation Christmas Child Shoebox for a Boy Ages 2-4 Years Old

Sometimes when we  win or earn gift cards online for shopping for shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, we use it to "splurge" on an item that might cost more than we normally budget for that type of item.  Such was the case with the cow blocks/puzzle I built this farm themed box around.

It was a great Wow item-16 about inch square blocks, brightly decorated so as to make up 9 different far scene puzzles (pig, cow, rooster, etc) by Melissa & Doug.  However it was a bit big, so there was concerns as to how it would fit, especially as when I do a theme box I stick to my normal list of things to include, I try to find versions of those items that fit the theme.  I may add an extra unique item or two, but on the whole it's the same list, just different types.  My basic list for those interested is:
  • Hygiene supplies (soap & casetoothbrush; washcloth; comb)
  • School supplies (lined paper, pens, pencils, sharpener, eraser, etc.)  I put these in all ages as preschool classes start early in some countries-and they can be saved for lager or palyed with at any age.
  • Art supplies (crayons, watercolors, and/or colored pencils; plain paper and/or coloring book; stickers, etc.)
  • Ball
  • Stuffed Animal
  • Toy 
  • Something to wear
  • Whistle
  • Some sort of container (maybe a bag or tin)
  • And a family photo (not pictured)

So, could I fit that all in?  And could I do it on theme?  Turned out I could.  I found some great items-a farm coloring book and sticker set, a cow pad of colored papers, a rooster "Beanie Baby" typed stuffed animal that was fun, but didn't take up too much room.  A couple cow keychains.  My mom sewed a tote bag out of some cow/farm fabric we had.  Also, a cow chalk board my late grandmother had only written one thing on-so like new.  It had a painted chalk board so wasn't breakable, and I've read in many countries they like to use chalk boards for school.  I feel I was able to get a nice mix of needed and fun items in the box.  Often people find it helpful to see how the box is packed to fit everything in, so here's some photos of how these items fit in the shoebox-especially the cube puzzle.  I had to take it out of it's tray, but it fit pretty well!

For more ideas/fun boxes, check out other shoeboxes we packed for 2-4 year old boys or our themed boxes!

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