Care Package Ideas for Children in Hospital

Care Package Ideas for Children in Hospital

Today, Baby Ike is a healthy, active, curious, inquisitive, social and happy little boy. This certainly helps me to reflect on first few weeks with some positivity.

Exactly one year ago, Baby Ike underwent surgery and had approximately 10 centimetres of his bowel removed. It was a terrifying experience trusting doctors with our newborn son, just 5 weeks old at the time.

Baby Ike in recovery_My Little Bookcase

Although he looked pale and groggy when we met him in recovery, it was such a relief to see him, touch him, kiss him and know that the surgery had been classed by the surgeons as a best case scenario.

Two weeks earlier, Baby Ike had been in a newborn intensive care unit, known as the Butterfly Ward at the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) in Melbourne. Even during a harrowing time of fear, uncertainty and heartache, there was something that brought us great joy and emotion.

It was this library bag and book that had both been made by Tahlia, another patient within the hospital. When a handful of library bags were delivered to the ward a week before Christmas, Ike’s nurse specifically chose this one for him as she believed he had the traits of a tortoise; although his progress was incredibly slow she knew he would come out of this life hurdle a winner.

Library bag gift set made by patients at RCH_ My Little Bookcase

These library bags and books had been created specifically for the babies on the Butterfly Ward by older children in the hospital as part of the learning program offered by the RCH Education Institute.  I love that the children were given the opportunity to develop a story, create illustrations and learn how to use technology to publish their own books.

Care packages for Children in Hospital_My Little Bookcase

These items will forever be treasured by Baby Ike and our family. The library bag is already well used during our library visits. I truly wish we had been able to thank Tahlia personally.

A First Library Bag_My Little Bookcase

Although our experience wasn’t all smooth-sailing, I am thankful every day for the care provided to my Baby Ike by the doctors and nurses at the RCH. As I reflect on Ike’s surgery, I can’t help but shed many tears for the unfortunate children who must undergo any time in a hospital, whether it is for a day stay or for ongoing treatment. I find it heartbreaking to think of seriously ill children who are confined to a bed when other children their age are active and playing.

I wanted to share the importance of this library bag and book for us, and how powerful items like these can be for a child and their family when in hospital.

I wanted to share some ideas with you for creating a care package for children in hospital. This list of ideas is not definitive, but each item here can be used when confined to a bed, and helps a child to use their imagination, while providing them with the opportunity to play and create without exerting too much energy.

How to Create a Hospital Care Package:

1. Start by decorating your own library bag (if you can’t sew your own calico bag, you can find them at craft or haberdashery stores). Try:

2. Fill your library bag with fun and engaging items. Here are some age-appropriate ideas:

For Babies and Toddlers:

Care Package Ideas for Toddlers in Hospital_My Little Bookcase

For Pre-schoolers:

Care Package Ideas for Young Children_My Little Bookcase

For Children in the Early Years of Primary School:

Care Package Ideas for Children in Hospital_My Little Bookcase

For Children in the Middle to Upper Years of Primary School:

Care Package Ideas for Older Children in Hospital_My Little Bookcase

  • Non-fiction books on topics of interest
  • Short story compilations
  • Books from series
  • Activity or interactive books
  • Books that have been adapted to film
  • Brain teasers
  • Notepads or journals
  • Gel or metallic pens
  • Magazines
  • Magnetic or travel games
  • Board games (e.g. Scrabble or Balderdash)
  • Postcards or letter writing sets
  • Magic tricks

Purchase the books:

Below you will find affiliate links to the books shown in this post. They are all available through Booktopia.

Remember you can also download our bookplates for free, which are perfect for writing a personal messages inside the books you give as gifts. - Australia's #1 online bookstore

Peter Rabbit-Let’s Cuddle

What’s the Time Maisy?
Once Upon a Time
Inside Outside

Nurse Clementine

The Curious Explorer’s Illustrated Guide to Exotic Animals

Noah Dreary
Hide and Seek
Owl Know How
My Big Photo Activity Book
Let’s Make Great Fingerprint Art
The Big Book of Australian History
The Journey
Harry Potter
Postcards from Puffin
About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase

Care Package Ideas for Children in Hospital


  1. What a wonderful post and great encouragement to do something for others. It’s so good to know that little Ike is doing well.

  2. What a special gift. I am so glad your little man is happy and healthy now. He is certainly adorable :)

  3. Such a special post Jackie. I can only begin to imagine how difficult it must be to have a new baby need medical help like baby Ike did ~ so lovely seeing him healthy and happy. And thank you for the care package ideas, so thoughtful.

  4. Jackie this is so incredibly special and such an important way to support parents and children in these situations. I read this with tears in my eyes and thankfulness in my heart. I’m so glad that this is all behind beautiful Ike xx

  5. What an amazing post. Thank you for sharing and inspiring others to create their own care hospital care package for children. Will remember this idea.

  6. What a scary experience for you Jackie! I’m glad he cam out of it OK. The care packs look so practical and thoughtful :-)

  7. A fantastic idea for something that slips many people’s minds. Putting this on my list of things to do with my boys!

  8. A lovely post, Jackie and the bags are a great way to take little minds off big problems.

  9. What a fantastic post! Baby A and i had to stay 4-5 days in hospital extra and it wasn’t the nicest memory. a care package would’ve been lovely.

    PS: thanks for linking up with the #pinitparty

  10. Oh Jackie, this is an amazing post.its so awful when babies and children are sick. It just doesn’t seem fair.
    My daughters was in NICU for five weeks. She has also has numerous hospital visits and procedures. She’s a preschooler now and she is really into stickers. I take a sticker book with us to appointments. As a newborn, a little journal would have been lovely.
    Your post is amazing. Thank you.

    • I’m sorry Rebecca, to hear that you’re little one was also in NICU. Five weeks is a long time, and it is an incredibly hard time for new parents. I hope all is okay now. Stickers! Why did I leave them off the list. Perfect suggestion.

  11. What a gorgeous gift for baby Ike and I can understand why you treasure it now. I can just imagine how lovely receiving something like this would be after such a tough time, especially those older children in hospital for a while. Thanks for the inspiration and I hope baby Ike is doing well now.

  12. Aww, Ike is so stinking cute!

    This is a fantastic idea and making a care package like this for a child that is not well would brighten the day and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  13. Thanks Jackie,
    We are in hospital at the moment and books, pens, pencils and paper have been very well used. She’s been hooked up to an iv a bit this time so your post came at the perfect time.

  14. I absolutely love this idea. A great way to spread love and teach children about the importance of doing for others. Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea!

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Care Package Ideas for Children in Hospital

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