Birthday Box Ideas

Birthday Box

Birthday Box Ideas

Post by Contributing Writer Amy

Two little girls will be 4 years old on the 4th and could not be more excited for their golden birthday. Now that they are getting older, I am becoming more aware of the “Me, me, me!” mentality that birthdays can bring out in sweet little ones. There has been some talk about how they need golden crowns to wear when they are four. :)  Even though the princess culture is huge right now, I can’t help wanting more for my daughters. In that light, we started talking about what it means to have a heart of gold. I read Matthew 25:34- 40 with them, highlighting this verse:

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Matthew 25:40

We talked about how a heart of gold is filled with God’s love to share with others. I explained what a food pantry was and why people might need it sometimes. Once they knew that there are kids in our community who might not have a birthday cake, they wanted to start right away! I had been planning on making these birthday boxes for a while, so I had been slowly collecting the items as I saw them on sale. You could also see if your child would be up for asking birthday party guests to bring birthday box items to the party in lieu of gifts. Maybe making a birthday box or two or three could be an activity for their next birthday party!

birthday box ideas

How To Make A Birthday Box

What To Put In A Birthday Box:

  • Cake Mix
  • Frosting
  • Sprinkles, if not already included in the frosting.
  • Candles
  • Birthday Banner

Birthday Box Gift Ideas:

  • Bubbles
  • Necklaces
  • Chalk
  • Stickers
  • Crayons or other school supplies which will be on sale soon.
  • Candy
  • Get more ideas from your kids!

For putting the birthday box together:

  • Shoebox
  • Blank address labels
  • Stickers to decorate labels
  • Marker
  • Sidewalk Chalk

Instructions For Making Birthday Boxes:

birthday box

First, prepare labels for the boxes with “Birthday Girl” or “Birthday Boy” if your items are gender specific. I let the girls put stickers on the labels for fun.


birthday box

They put the sticky labels on the birthday boxes while I used chalk to make a semi-circle in the driveway of numbers and labels of the things that went in each box. The numbers helped them practice completing steps in order while the labels served as meaningful environmental print. They were also able to help me set out the items before filling the birthday boxes.


birthday box

Next, grab a box and check to see if it’s for a boy or girl. They had to use their letter recognition and knowledge of beginning sounds to make sure they were correct.


birthday box

The fun part was watching them go around the semi-circle and fill them up! Baby sister got to eat a snack in the wagon and watch. She was surprisingly ok with that!


birthday box

Once all the boxes were filled, we took each birthday box, placed our hands on it, and said a simple prayer for the boy or girl who would receive that box.

Our Finished Birthday Boxes

 birthday boxes

They are all ready to be delivered to our local food pantry! The girls’ smiles say it all. A golden crown could never shine as bright as the love overflowing from a heart of gold!


Birthday Boxes


This post was first published 2015. Updated 2019.

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Amy 125 by 125Amy is a former reading and third grade teacher as well as a mother to three little girls with big personalities. She believes joy can always be found in playing, learning, and ice cream.




  1. I LOVE this idea for so many reasons. There are too many to list here, but the first being that my oldest adopted daughter experiences a lot of PTSD and trauma related issues around her birthday. It’s a very difficult thing for her to celebrate. This would be such an amazing experience for her, as it would distract her from her own past and focus on serving others, which is something she loves to do. This is such perfect timing as her birthday is in 3 days. Lol. I seriously teared up reading this and have shared it everywhere I can! Thank you for taking the time to share such a fabulous idea!

    1. Your comment means so much to me. What some kids have been through just breaks my heart. Thank you so very much for sharing your story. May God bless you and your daughter and a very happy birthday to your girl!

  2. How precious to fill your daughters’ hearts with the kindness of Christ in a beautiful & fun way! The birthday boxes are also a great idea for families in homeless shelters, foster care children, when a disaster occurs or even for children who participate in Boys & Girls Clubs summer programs in low income areas. Thanks for sharing this wonderful activity:)

    1. Thank YOU for sharing more ideas of how to spread birthday cheer with children who need to know they are loved and not forgotten!

  3. What a beautiful idea. Very simple and totally doable. Speaks to children’s hearts too, in a concrete way that they fully understand. Its very easy for them to imagine how sad they would be, to not have a cake or celebration. We will be doing this too – I am sure that your simple idea will spread joy to thousands of children, tell your darling girls that to add to their joy of giving!

    1. Yes! I think if we could all see how just many children were blessed by these boxes, we would be amazed! I love all the great ideas added to it in the comments as well. What a wonderful community we have here. :)

  4. The cake may be difficult to make for a family that is struggling, so something else that would be nice (and inexpensive) in the future to add is a cup of applesauce (and add instruction to use it and water instead of eggs and oil), a can pf pumpkin puree (in place of oil and eggs) or a can of cream soda (used in place of oil and eggs). Will reduce the family’s anxiety even more to know they don’t have to come up with ingredients to bake the cake.

  5. Such an amazing idea; I have never thought of making a birthday box! And I love the idea of adding applesauce to the box so the family doesn’t have to have eggs or oil!

  6. I would add a package of cellophane treat bags so the stickers candy and trinkets could be bagged into favors. They have these at Dollar Tree. LOVE this project–want to do with my class. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Hi Amy, I just saw this ! What a blessed idea ! And imagining all the children that are going to be blessed by this idea ! Thank you so much for sharing ! Elaine

  8. I’ve been thinking about this idea for a long time! Thank you so much for your ideas and organizational tips! I love that the girls blessed the birthday boxes! What a heartfelt gift!

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