A Special Day in a Box Gift Idea

Adventure Day in a Box Gift | Mama Papa Bubba

With Christmastime quickly approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about gifts for the kids…  We’ve kept it pretty minimal for the last few years and have just done a really good stocking for each of them, plus their usual book and jammies on Christmas Eve, but at this point, even filling a stocking feels unnecessary.  Our kids are truly the luckiest and really just don’t need anything at all. With the help of my friend Crystal {of Otherware}, I’ve come up with an experience gift I’m super excited about and I just know they’re going to LOVE it.  I’ll be sure to share it here afterwards, but it’s a lot like this ‘a special day in a box’ gift idea I used earlier this year to plan a special day with each of my kiddos.

Now a little back story first… As much as I’d love to take credit for the idea, Grae was actually gifted an ‘adventure in a box’ by her uncle and his girlfriend a few years ago and I just thought it  was the sweetest, most clever gift ever!  It was presented in a little box with a beautiful ‘Adventure’ sticker on top and inside were little notes and items that explained the day.  BRILLIANT, right?! Firstly, it meant a really special day with two people she loves, and secondly, it completely avoided the addition of STUFF.  Something I appreciate beyond measure. {Plus I just really love a good DIY kid’s gift.}

Here’s a peek at how I put together my version of ‘a special day in a box’ for Grae and Sam….

A Special Day in a Box Gift | Mama.Papa.Bubba.{this post contains affiliate links}

First up, supplies…  You’ll definitely want a box (I bought mine at the dollar store) and a photo representing each of the stops on your child’s special day (I snuck out one night after bedtime, quickly went around town and snapped them on my iPhone, and sent them off for printing at London Drugs that same night).  Once those things are ready, scour your drawers for items like paper, scissors, fine liners, tape, glue, baker’s twine, tissue paper, card stock, labels – whatever you think you might need to put it all together!

A Special Day in a Box Gift | Mama.Papa.Bubba.

Alright – now to put it all together!  First up, create a label for the top of your box.  It can say anything you like – I went for ‘a special day just for you’, but ‘let’s go on an adventure’ would be cute too.  Whatever floats your boat.

A Special Day in a Box Gift | Mama.Papa.Bubba.

Stick or glue the label on the box and that’s done.

A Special Day in a Box Gift | Mama.Papa.Bubba.

Next up, write a little note to your child explaining the gift…  I did this on a tag-shaped piece of paper with a little baker’s twine through the hole at the top and went for rhyming and cheesy and wrote:


I’ve got a special day planned just for me and you,

So look in this box and see just what we’ll do!



A Special Day in a Box Gift | Mama.Papa.Bubba.

Now to prepare the activity cards…  Again, this can look however you like, so feel free to make it your own!  I had my photos printed as squares (4×4 if I’m not mistaken), then cut out card stock rectangles that were slightly larger.  When I glued the photos onto the card stock, I glued them nearer the top so the finished cards would look similar to polaroids (not that my kids would know what those are – hah!), and wrote a little note at the bottom explaining the stop and what we’d do while there.  I finished off the activity card with a number sticker in the top corner just because I had them and I knew they’d provide Sam with some good exposure to numerals {do teachers ever stop thinking like teachers?!}

A Special Day in a Box Gift | Mama.Papa.Bubba.

Here’s a look at what Sam’s special day in a box included, though keep in mind that we live in a small town with very limited options and I gifted these to my kids for Valentine’s Day, so smack dab in the middle of our cold, snowy winter…  Had we lived in Vancouver at the time – oh my gosh – the possibilities!  Or had it been when the weather was nice?  So many outdoor options!

Anyways, with that disclaimer out there, his special day included a stop at the dollar store to pick out a Hotwheels vehicle (his absolute favourite), a trip to the mall to ride those cars you put a dollar into, a stop at the bookstore to browse and select a book, and a visit to his favourite cafe to have a warm drink, play with the trains, and enjoy a baked good.

Now I will say this…  As much as I maybe felt like some of these options were a bit lame and more focused on STUFF than I would have liked them to be, Sam thought each stop was absolutely incredible and was nothing short of STOKED throughout our adventure.  I actually don’t think the activities matter a ton.  Of course you want them to be things your child enjoys, but I think it’s more about the time together and the fact that this is a dedicated ‘special day’ than anything else.  I could have told him that we were going to the park right by our house that we go to all the time and my guess is that he would have been thrilled with that too.

A Special Day in a Box Gift | Mama.Papa.Bubba.

And here’s a peek at what Grae’s ‘special day in a box’ included…  You can actually pop over to CBC Parents to read my ‘Build an Adventure Day in a Box’ post all about G’s day.

A Special Day in a Box Gift | Mama.Papa.Bubba.

A Special Day in a Box Gift | Mama.Papa.Bubba.

Alright, time to finish off the gift!  I lined my box with a strip of tissue paper, then set the activity cards in, making sure they were in the correct order with the last stop in the bottom of the box and the first stop on the top.

A Special Day in a Box Gift | Mama.Papa.Bubba.

Then I wrapped the activity cards up in the excess tissue paper, put my little note on top, closed up the box, and that was that…  A special day in a box ready for gifting.

A Special Day in a Box | Mama Papa Bubba

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3 thoughts on “A Special Day in a Box Gift Idea

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