I volunteered to get gifts for children represented by our local Guardian Ad Litem program, which represents abused and neglected children in the court system. I was assigned 11 year old boy/girl twins. They just joined the program and were in a shelter as of last week. Because they are new, all they could tell me about the kids is their age and race (AA). My kids are younger and I am struggling with ideas, esp. for the boy. Clothes are out since I don't know sizes. I also feel like I can't get music, since I don't know about Mp3 or CD player access. I am not sure about books, since I don't know their interests or reading level. I am meant to buy 3 gifts for each of them.
For the girl, I am thinking about a set with lotions, lip gloss, etc, maybe a nice purse and a diary? I am stumped for the boy. Sports stuff? I hate to be so gender-biased! We live in a town that is NUTS for our college football team, so I think for most kids anything with our mascot on it would be ok. Otherwise, all I can come up with is video games, which I am not sure are affordable.
Any help is much appreciated. I volunteered last minute and need to buy this stuff today!!!
I have a 11 year old boy, and right now he's into tech-decks (those little skateboards), science/crafts kits (you can find these at Target/Walmart for about $10), Wimpy Kid books, cool shoelaces, and hand held games.
Another thought is rubik's cube, art supply set, socks/hat/gloves...
I like your ideas for the girl!
Scarves/hat/mittens aren't too bad with sizing issues.
Ditto to the pp's suggestion of art supplies, maybe a nice sketch pad, colored pencils & drawing pencils, or one of those art kits that contains everything you need to make XYZ?
Pillows? Maybe that sounds silly but I did this "Pillowcase Project" thing once for kids that were in foster homes, we decorated pillowcases for them because it was something special that was all their own, and they could tote around their clothes etc. in the pillowcase when they are moved to another place (which is a very sad thought...) A nice hand-decorated (or store-bought) pillowcase & maybe a good comfy throw blanket to cuddle up in.
You could do books like the Chicken Soup for the Soul style with short inspirational stories... because even if they couldn't read it on their own, those kind are good books to read aloud from.
I also like the idea of rubik's cube & similar single-player games (or things like playing cards, Jenga, pick up sticks, etc.)
You can get inexpensive MP3 players and pre-load them with a variety of songs from your own music collection.
I think all these could go either gender (which may be best since you don't know if the girl is a tomboy or the boy is into traditionally 'girl' things etc.)
Comic books would probably be liked by either kid in that age - something new, or older compilation (like calvin & hobbes or snoopy), or even the comic format done stuff of classic books.
Candy - a little thing of jelly beans or something similar.
Thanks for all the great suggestions! I ended up going shopping in a panic, and the new system isn't notifying me of thread replies, so I shopped on my own. I did end up going a little girly for the girl. My own daughter (8) is a bit of a tomboy, but she still likes things she perceives as "grownup", so hopefully it will be ok. Here's what I got:
Knit winter hat with our university mascot
Tabletop table air hockey game
Bookmark with a timer (all the kids around here seem to have 20-30 minutes of required reading per night)
A pencil sharpener shaped like a dinosaur that is wound by sharpening a pencil. Supposedly it then walks.
Small "How to Draw Dinosaurs" craft kit which comes with colored pencils.
Set of 3 pretty bags: a change purse, a bigger one that could be a pencil case and one big enough for toiletries. In the biggest bag I put a set of different brightly colored nail polish, a tiny notebook, cool looking pencils and a chocolate bar.
A set which includes shea butter body cream, shower gel, shower pouf and sparkly lip balm.
Bookmark with timer
Friendship bracelet making kit
Blank journal with super cute cover
I'm off to wrap!
Crunchy_mommy: I love the pillowcase/throw idea! I will keep that in mind for next year.