5 Gift Ideas for Grieving Children from a Therapist Mom
Updated: Dec 15, 2022
Whether it's for the holidays, "just because," or you're wanting to support a child after a recent loss, it can be difficult to know what to gift a child who is carrying the weight of grief on their shoulders.
If you're like me, I like the gifts I give to not only come from the heart, but to be things I know are purposeful and helpful, especially when I know someone is going through a trying time.
Every child is different, so I created this list not an exhaustive list of gifts for children in grief, but as a thoughtful list to get you started in considering how you might support the child in your life. This list was thoughtfully curated to include items that kids will enjoy and appreciate AND will help them on their journey of processing their grief with special emphases on items that can help children work on processing their feelings, stay connected to their loved one, and build a new life in the wake of their loss - all of which are incredibly important steps in the grieving process. I hope you will find it helpful - and as always, feel free to add your own ideas or comment with any questions!
5 Gift Ideas for Children in Grief
1. A book or journal
Books and journals are wonderful ways to help children learn about the world and the way things work, and can be incredibly effective tools in helping children (and adults) work through difficult times and process emotions. There are many phenomenal books and journals available on grief and loss for children. Here are two I often recommend in my practice:
2. A tree or seed packet
A gift that helps a child to stay connected to their loved one can be such a powerful healing tool. Planting a tree or gifting a packet of seeds to plant in honor of the child's loved one can allow a child to stay connected in a lasting way and can even be turned into a tradition (think: planting sunflowers every summer). Sunflowers and fruit trees are my favorite recommendations (see below), but it can be fun to take a trip to your local nursery and spend time together learning about what will thrive in your area and find a tree or plant that carries special meaning to your child.
3. An art kit
Art and creative expression are well-documented ways to work through and process all kinds of emotional experiences. See below for open-ended art kits I recommend for different age groups as well as some general arts and crafts kits that are great for helping kids get creative and get expressive.
4. Memory Stuffed Animal or Blanket (Made from their loved one's clothing)
If you're good at sewing, a memory stuffed animal or blanket is such a special gift to hand-make, but if you're short on time or just not skilled with a sewing machine (aka, me), you can find someone local to help you craft an animal or blanket or check out The Patchwork Bear Company - they will make one for you! This is another gift that can help a child feel connected to their loved one and become a keepsake item for years to come.
5. A special memory or experience (including your undivided time)
One of the most special
gifts for children can be your unoccupied time where you spend time with or alongside them (whichever way might work best for them). A special day or memory can be as extravagant or as simple as you like. This gift helps children build important connections while working towards creating a new life with positive memories in the wake of their loss. Both of which are important steps of the grieving process.
With warmth and gratitude and the hope for a peaceful holiday season,
Disclosure: I only share resources I highly recommend and would use myself. All opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links on which, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.