22 answers

What to Get for Care Package for Nephew Who Will Have Surgery

My almost 10yo nephew will be having surgery next week for a tethered spinal cord. He'll be in the hospital for 4-5 days and bedrest for the next week. What should we send to help entertain him? I was thinking maybe activity books and reading books and maybe a new set of pajamas, but what else???

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for the ideas and kind words. He had gotten lots of books from his teachers so I sent movies, snacks, magazine, PJs... He loved getting the package. He's doing great now. The surgery was a success and he has fully recovered. Thank you again for the kind words and prayers!!

Featured Answers

Has anybody mentioned the "I Spy" or "Where's Waldo?" book series? I teach sixth grade and my students love these! Those books will keep them occupied forever...

There are people and organizations who sit and play games with or entertain (clowns). We have a group of police officers who visit the hospitals then homes and develop relationships with these kids. There are a lot of people willing to help a child feel better while recovering!

More Answers

I know someone that went through that with both her girls at around the same age. We always made care packages for them as well so it's really nice that you are doing this and I know he'll appreciate it. My suggestion is comic books, hand held games, games that can be played by just speaking, some new movies (??) such as the new Shrek the 3rd, Meet the Robinson's, etc..., snacks and word games if he likes those such as crosswords and seek and find for kids. Hope this helps and that he comes through the surgery and recovery with flying colors!
P.S. One other thing I wanted to mention. Don't forget Mom. She will be spending most, if not all, her time there with him. A little care package for her with teas, new slippers, etc... would be greatly appreciated I know!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi R..
Maybe some crossword puzzles he can do with a family member. He can help guess and they can write the answers down for him, until he is able to do it himself.
Take Care!

He'll probably be on a lot of painkillers and may have a hard time moving his arms if they're operating on his spine. You might get him some fun DVDs as well as easy (not too much thinking) activity books. Get some cozy pajamas!

How about some easy cross word puzzles or search a words? You can also buy some cool fuzzy posters that you marker on, all of these things are sold at the dollar tree if you have one of those. Oh, you might also try small puzzles, modeling clay and magnetic travel games.

My kids had surgery for Arnold Chiari Malformation 1 in 2003 when they were 10 and 11......due to IVs etc you might want to get sleep pants that he can wear with hospital top.........socks! cards especially Uno, Game Boy and Game Boy games, we have portable DVD players with DVDs.....CD player with CDs.......kids bounce back very fast and do not seem to experience the problems of adults.........oh, and a stuffed, soft fuzzy friend was most welcomed by my kids.......good luck and you are awesome to do this for him!

The Dangerous Book for Boys by Iggulden is sure to be a hit. My son takes hisith him everywhere!

books, definately. Does he like Army men? Does he have a gameboy or something? Maybe some sort of art kit that won't make a big mess? Maybe a new movie?
HTH! Good luck!

When my SIL (13-14yo at the time) had back surgery, she and my MIL discovered that several little (3-4" round) pillows were extremely helpful for comfort. They were so helpful, that for about 3-6 mo. after the surgery, they made and delivered 100s of these pillows to the children's hospital. They are very easy to make, and if you don't sew, I'll be happy to make them free of labor, if you buy the materials. :) I need about 2 days to do it. They could be shaped like a football just as easily as a circle.
God Bless your family!

What about:
an etch-a-sketch, mad-libs,comic books, drawing pads and colored pencils,
travel size games (monopoly,yahtzee,operation,etc. all come in smaller travel sizes),
a deck of playing cards, a slinky, silly putty (he can mold it or use it to make imprints of comics), a journal, an autograph book (he can get signatures of Doctors, nurses, and friends he makes during his stay)

Does he have a personal music device - with head phones? (Ipod, cdplayer, etc) - if so you can get books on tape/cd/downloads or different music collections.

If he has a personal gaming device (Gameboy,PSP,Etc.) a new game for him to master could be fun (you can get used games at GameStop pretty inexpensively)

If he has or you have access to a personal DVD player/viewer, you could rent, loan, or give movies for him to watch.

I would absolutely go with books! True Adventure chapter books, maybe crossword puzzles or soduko, Usborne has a Puzzle Adventure series that he might like (have to answer a question /figure something out on each page). What about handcrafts? Maybe origami books and paper to do it with?

fuzzy posters are great and they are not messy. Movies are also good such as spiderwick chronicles and Alvin and the chipmunks. Also you could get a simple MP3 player at big lots for 20.00 dollars and download his favortite songs to it. My son is 10 years old and he loves arts and crafts, music,a nd movies along with many other things but theses are the things your nephew could do while recovering. A nice gif for his Mom/Dad would do them some cheering up to. I know that must be really hard for your child to have to go throug so i am sending all my thoguhts and prayers your way. God Bless and Good luck!!

How about some of those handheld video games. I just recently had surgery and play my Yatzee and Simon all the time. It helps to keep your mind off the pain.

Can I ask what symptons your nephew exhibited that resulted in him being tested for a tethered cord? My son has some symptoms and he had an MRI - they said his cord is not tethered, but I am suspicious that something was missed.

Snacks! You can also include crackers, cookies, chips, granola bars, juice boxes...anything he normally eats (or his parents allow). Hospital food isn't the greatest! :)

Maybe like a rubics cube or other mind bending games. A deck of cards; bubble gum; a set of cool markers;

Sounde like he will not be mobile for a while. I would get some DVD's for sure, Ebay has some great Lots that are inexpensive for a bunch or half price books also carries DVD for a decent price.

for his age a good movie is Fire house Dog and the Santa Clause movies and other movies in the family catagory. My kids LOVE the ELF movie that is a great family movie. We also liked Evan Almighty (great message in that one)


Does he have any hand held games like V.Smile or Leapster? If so you could get him a new game he doesn't have and if he doesn't then you could get him the game. You could also go to the library and check out book on subjects he's interested in and once a week switch out those books for him.

Has anybody mentioned the "I Spy" or "Where's Waldo?" book series? I teach sixth grade and my students love these! Those books will keep them occupied forever...

There are people and organizations who sit and play games with or entertain (clowns). We have a group of police officers who visit the hospitals then homes and develop relationships with these kids. There are a lot of people willing to help a child feel better while recovering!

Video games! Some places like rent a center type places lease them for a week or month at a time...or even a laptop as well.

Just a thought...

I have no idea how expensive these are (my kids are too young), but those nintendo handheld games are very popular with kids that age. They have games for it that are very educational. You could go in on it with other family members so its not so expensive. Thats a tramatic experience for him to have at such a young age. Its a time he will probably always remember.

He may be on meds. and have a hard time focusing for long books, so what about simple modle making/painting. He could put it together at the hospital then paint it at home. Model projects can be as varied as cars to jedi fighters. Also the use of a phone (borrowed) or the $20 one at target to call friends or family to break the boredom. I also might try a little hand held massager for sore spots from being in bed; Fry's has some cute ones as well as cool games and science stuff. Hobby lobby has alot of things to keep anyone occupied. Pjs are always nice.We will be praying for you all. -T.

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