Winter Holiday Wish List

We can only help children and families at holiday time because of the kindness of individuals like you. Any hospitalization can be stressful, but spending a holiday in the hospital can be very upsetting for children and families. Normal family holiday traditions, celebrations with family and friends, holiday shopping, and the joy of the season can be overshadowed by a child's illness.

The Child Life team spends much of December carefully selecting gifts for children that match their skills and interests. We work with families who are interested to ensure children wake up on Christmas morning to find presents and stockings on their bed.

You and your group can help by following these guidelines:

Visiting Policy

Because our children are acutely ill, we need to screen all donor groups before determining if scheduling a gift delivery, special visit, or party is appropriate. Thank you for understanding. Contact Child Life at 410-328-1241 if you are interested in bringing a group to visit &/or deliver gifts. See our Helpful Hints for Visitors for more information.


Only new toys are used at Christmas. Please plan to deliver them by December 20th to allow our team time to make the personalized selections. See our Toy Safety Guidelines for more information.


Deliver donations to the Child Life office, preferably on a weekday. Call the office for specific information: 410-328-1241.

Stuffed Animals

We can only accept new stuffed animals because of our many children with asthma and other life-threatening conditions. Smoky, musty, or even slightly soiled ones cannot be used -- we must discard them.


Holiday decorations are used throughout the Children's Hospital. Please check with us to see what is needed. No glitter please.

Gift Wrapping

Please do not wrap gifts. Even if you were to label the gifts, safety regulations require that they be checked for appropriateness. Please organize gifts/donation by gender and age group for easier distribution.


Donations of unfilled stockings and stocking stuffers are much appreciated.  We set up a stocking stuffer station where parents/caregivers appreciate the joy of "stuffing" their child's stocking personally. Stocking stuffer ideas include party packs of playdoh, small bubble containers, yoyo's, crayons/markers, coloring books, activity books, deck of cards, chapstick, nail polish, koosh balls, small puzzles, rattles, small hand lotion, small mirrors, hair accessories and matchbox cars. Additional ideas by age are listed below. 

Edible Gifts

All edible goodies must be commercially made and wrapped. Lollipops and small candy canes are welcome. We cannot accept homemade foods. Holiday placemats and party favors are appreciated. Please do not use straight pins, toothpicks, sharp or unsafe items in tray favors.

Toys are needed for all age groups. Our children range in age from a few hours old to 20 years old. Items that are not used for the holidays will be saved for birthdays or for use in the activity rooms. Below is a list of suggested toys and "stocking stuffers".

Bolded items are of greatest need.

Small cardboard books/cloth books Rattles
Bath books and plastic bath toys Baby socks
Stuffed animals (brand new) Teething toys
Baby spoons and sippy cups Snap beads
Small soft balls (no nerf balls) Infant Mirrors
Sensory blocks by Fisher-Price Beanie babies
Stacking toys ? ring stack, cups, nesting animals Baby blankets
Wrist and foot "jingles" Bibs
Baby brushes Baby gyms
Pajamas Little Tykes piano
Crib mobiles Blankets

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Laminated cardboard books Toys with lights & noises
Stuffed animals (brand new) Shape sorters
Toy phones Duplo sets
Action figures Simple puzzles
Viewmaster and slides Bubbles
DVDs (G-rated) Crayons and coloring books (toddler size crayons)
Fisher-Price/Playskool/Discovery Toys cars, trucks, school buses, etc.
Color Wonder kits
Baby dolls - all plastic, no hair

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Stuffed animals (brand new) Hotwheel cars
Small jars of Play Doh Paint sets
Silly putty Small craft kits
Yo-yo Action figures
Bubbles Barbies
Lego sets Slinky
Hair accessories Puzzles (24-70 piece)
Nail polish & remover Baseball gloves
Joke books Models (snap)
Stickers Fuzzy posters
Kids' magazines Small packages of Model Magic
Bionicles DVDs (G, PG-rated)
Travel size and regular size Etch-A-Sketches, Magna Doodles, Connect Four, Operation, Sorry, Guess Who? Crayons/markers/colored pencils/coloring books/activity books
Computer games

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Teen magazines Yo-yo
Small packages of Model Magic Model cars & wood building kits
Small craft kits Nail polish & remover
Art supplies and plain scrapbooks Deck of Cards & UNO
Blank journals or sketch books New Release DVDs (G,PG,PG-13)
Plastic mazes & puzzle games Bead kits
Bath & Body Shop lotions, shower gels, creams
Mad Libs
Gum (sugarless & regular) Movie passes
Gift cards (Wal-Mart, Subway, Bath & Body, Claire's, Best Buy, Amazon, iTunes) Joke books
Plain white T-shirts (to decorate) Compact mirrors
Travel toiletry bags Small picture frames
Lounge pants Sports apparel
Perfume & aftershave samples Watches w/ alarms
Travel size and regular size Etch-A-Sketches, Sorry, Simon, games, Life, Monopoly, etc.
Small handheld electronic games (Battleship, Connect Four, Yahtzee, etc..)
Markers/colored pencils/activity books/crossword books/word search books

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In General
Colored tissue paper
Wrapping paper & gift bags: holiday, birthday, and generic

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    How you can help, contact the UMCH Child Life Program at 410-328-1241.

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