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Do you know what I used to say about my kids?
How incredible it was that none of them had ever broken a limb.
I mean, if you’ve ever seen my kids, you’ll understand why. They are always climbing things, jumping off things, swinging on things, pushing the boundaries of what might be considered safe and secure.
And it’s all of them!
How did my safe husband and I produce these rambunctious little beings? They’re not even all blood-related, and yet they ALL love the Crazy when it comes to physical activity.
I told you that this was what I used to say about my kids. People would watch them walking along a high fence or going wild on the trampoline, and marvel at their no-fear attitudes. And I would reply with:
“Yep – and amazingly no one has ever broken anything. I think they’ve probably learnt how to assess risk.”
Gulp. Spoke too soon. What is it they say about pride coming before a fall?
Last summer, Missy broke her arm. Actually, technically, she broke both arms. And do you know what she was doing? Not cartwheeling, not front-flipping, not playing monkey bars on a cycle rack installed over concrete.
Missy was on a swing. Not even going particularly high at the time. She was actually coming down from the swing, got to a low point where usually it’d be safe to jump off and jumped off.
Except her legs didn’t come with her.
It was a hot and sticky day (yep, even in a British summer), and she was wearing a short dress, so her thighs ended up getting stuck to the seat, meaning she landed on her elbows.
Missy, the girl who regularly took her life in her own hands with all sorts of dangerous stunts, had managed to hurt herself doing something very innocent – which just goes to show us all (proud me, especially) that accidents are simply accidents: they can happen anytime, and they’re not usually someone’s ‘fault’.
I’ll spare you every gory detail about the angle Missy’s arm was in for the next few hours, but suffice to say she’d broken her right arm (her strong side) in two places, and had also fractured her left arm, meaning that, for a while, she wore two slings, with no use of either arm.
It was a pretty sad time, and we were super grateful for the friends who popped round to visit and entertain her.
But what to get for a kid with a broken arm? Each time friends were due to visit, I’d receive a message, “What can I bring her? What can she do?”
The answer was: very little.
At least with one broken arm, you can use the arm other to colour, do jigsaws or hold a book – although these things are still challenging, as you don’t have use of your steadying hand.
But Missy, with two broken arms, couldn’t easily do any of that (although she and her friends were creative and found ways round – aren’t kids great at adapting like that when needed?).
If you know a small person who’s had an accident recently, you may also be wondering, What can I buy for a child with a broken arm? A surprising number of usual gift ideas depend on our arms to make the most of them!
In actual fact, Missy was given some awesome presents – our friends did super well! But they had to give it some thought.
So I thought I’d jot down 20 care package ideas from our own experience and a little research, in case you need inspiration about what to get for a kid with a broken arm.
20 Care Package Ideas for a Kid with a Broken Arm
Of all the things you can buy a kid with a broken arm, sweets are the simplest idea, yet probably the one most gratefully received.
Missy certainly enjoyed all the chocolate and treats that people gave her after her accident! There were so few pleasures she could enjoy in those early days, that having something sweet to eat (and being allowed to eat it at any time of the day or night!) really boosted her mood.
Slippers are an absolute must in a care package for a kid with a broken arm! Unless you’re in Arizona in the summer, if you’re going to be sitting still for a large part of the day, feet will get cold.
A fun pair of novelty slippers would be a lovely yet practical present for a boy or a girl – go with the invalid’s interests! My daughter was gifted a pair of unicorn slippers which she treasured long after her accident.
3. Streaming service, e.g. Disney+ or Amazon Prime
OK, so it can’t be wrapped up, but if the child you’re visiting is going to be off school and bored for a few days or weeks, paying for a streaming service could be a really useful gift.
Of course you’ll have to check with his/her parents as to what they already have, but buying one month of a new streaming service could be just the novelty your young friend needs to get them through a difficult season. (You may even get the first month free anyway – so double win!)
These make a great gift for a girl with a broken arm (or a boy with long hair!). Missy loved the clips and hair extensions she was given. Focusing on the parts of her appearance she could control helped her feel less self-conscious about her bandage and sling.
Drinking plenty of water will aid the healing process, so why not treat the child to a new drinking bottle? It’s a practical gift, especially if you buy a bottle with a spill-proof lid.
Again, go with the child’s interests, whether that’s football or Disney or Harry Potter, and buy them something which will make them smile every time they take a sip.
6. Soft toy
Which child doesn’t love soft toys?! This is an excellent gift for a girl or boy with a broken arm, as it doesn’t require working limbs to enjoy, and will offer tons of comfort when visitors have left.
Once the child in question has a cast, a lovely gift is some adhesive gems with which they can decorate it! OK, they won’t be able to do the actual decorating themselves, but having a glamorous cast will bring a lot of happiness to an injured child.
8. Nail varnish
Another fun way that the child in question can show some pride and joy in his/her appearance is to have funky-coloured nails – so why not give them some colourful nail varnish?
One of these fun T-shirts could be a great inclusion in a care package for a kid with a broken arm, if they have a slightly warped sense of humour!
However, you’ll need to first check whether they can actually get a T-shirt over their cast. Because Missy broke both arms, it was nearly two weeks before she could get into regular T-shirts, and they had to have pretty wide necks. She survived on halter-neck tops and all-in-one playsuits which she could step into.
If the T-shirt idea isn’t a go-er, then how about a…
10. Funny cushion
Cushions are practical gifts when you’re sat up in bed or a sofa all day, still feeling sore from the accident. You can get pretty much the same slogans as you can get for the T-shirts, but with no putting-on-over-a-cast problems!
11. Audio books (CD or digital – check with parents)
Audio books are one of the best things you can buy a boy or girl with a broken arm, as there will inevitably be long periods of alone-time, where other friends aren’t visiting, and family members are busy with other jobs.
In addition, for a child who loves to read, a period of time when they can’t do this so easily due to their broken arm could be hugely frustrating.
Check with his/her parents as to whether a CD or digital purchase is best. We have a couple of small CD players in our kids’ rooms, for bedtime music, but increasingly many families are entirely digital and don’t have any machines on which to play CDs.
Three of my four children love temporary tattoos – one can’t stand them! So maybe check before you buy. But the vast majority of kids I know really enjoy covering their skin with pictures, and it would be a wonderful gift which a kid with a broken arm could enjoy.
13. Hair chalks
My daughter was given a set of these when she broke her arm, and they were a total hit! She was already familiar with the concept, but having us colour her hair when she couldn’t do it herself, gave her an activity she could enjoy as well as a reason to feel good about how she looked.
(And, for the uninitiated, don’t worry – they wash off!)
We love games in our household – check out our 25 Favourite Family Games here – but most of them require the use of at least one arm. And even if Missy had had the use of one arm, she might not have been able to easily get into a good position to play most games anyway.
Dobble, however, is a bit different – in fact, Missy and I played it together in hospital, the morning after her accident and surgery. As long as someone is available to place the cards, all the injured party has to do is call out the matching pair when he/she sees it.
This would make a great gift for a child aged 5 or over with a broken arm.
15. Speedy Words
Speedy Words is another game which can be played just with eyes and mouth, as long as the other player is able to turn over the cards for the child with the broken arm.
Again, I’d say it’s best for children aged 5 or over.
This would make a lovely gift for a music-loving child or teenager with a broken arm, and one month’s subscription needn’t be expensive – in fact, you can often get the first month free (just remember to cancel before they charge you!).
17. Lap tray
A super-practical present, why not give a nice lap tray? If the child is sitting for hours on end, it’s really helpful to have some kind of flat surface in front of them which won’t keep wobbling around.
Missy found books impossible when she broke her arm, as she couldn’t even hold them, let alone turn the pages. But a magazine was a much more welcome gift, as it lay flat in her lap, and she could eventually use her less-broken arm to turn the pages.
Going through a magazine was also a lovely activity for her to do with friends when they visited – she would tell them what to draw or write, and they’d obey! (Missy’s dream!)
19. Play dough
Not just for small kids, play dough makes a great gift for a child or even teenager with a broken arm, as it’s a gentle way to start exercising the fingers so that muscles don’t seize up.
You can buy it, of course, but I always make it using The Imagination Tree’s fabulous 5-minute play dough recipe – it really is super quick, uses ingredients which any supermarket sells, and feels much softer and nicer than shop-bought play dough. Plus, you can add different colours and flavours to make it extra special!
My favourites are purple lavender-scented playdough (very calming), and yellow lemon-flavoured playdough (zingy and refreshing).
If you’re putting together a gift basket for a child with a broken arm, why not make the basket a part of the present? It may sound ridiculous, but when you have limited movement, having the essentials nice and handy makes a big difference.
You can put your drinking bottle, TV remote, a magazine and some sweets all in a little basket, which can be positioned within easy reach – perfect!
There you go – 20 care package ideas for a kid with a broken arm! If you know a little person who’s had an unfortunate accident and needs cheering up, I hope these ideas are helpful.
And let me know in the comments – what else would you include?