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21 Gifts for Grieving Children to Help them Heal

Kate Tran
Last updated

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This is our review of the best Gifts for Grieving Children in 2023.

Losing a loved one is difficult for most, let alone a child who is so dependent on their parents. Flowers and kind words are lovely but they may not resonate as much with grieving children. Young minds process loss differently – they take time to respond to death and need support to understand what has happened. 

We have reviewed psychologist recommendations and grief forums to form a list of comforting gifts for children who have lost a parent. These sympathy gifts aim to help kids to cope and say goodbye in a way that distracts them from trauma.

Check for Requests

Before you go shopping, consider giving the parent or carer of the child a call (if you aren’t the parent). They may have suggestions for a gift based on the child’s interests or needs. It will also give you a chance to check in and express your sympathies.

Charitable Donation

If there was an illness or incident that resulted in the death, a donation to a suitable charity can be a heartfelt gift for a grieving child. This gesture can be “gifted” by providing a handwritten card to the child that explains what you have done on their behalf.

Comforting Blanket

Grieving children often become clingy or show anxious behaviors after a death. A very young child (less than 3 years) will struggle to express their feelings around loss and can find great comfort in tactile items. This glow-in-the-dark blanket may promote calm and ease, particularly when draped or wrapped around the body. If appropriate, you can tell the child that the glowing stars represent their lost parent in the sky!

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As another option for sensory comfort, this Jellycat is a well-known item within parenting circles with many kids refusing to go anywhere without their toy. Young children can find great solace in the soft fabric of this plush. They also come in different colors and animal types so pick one that the child will likely warm to.

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Special Time

Sometimes the best gift for a grieving child is to show them that they are surrounded by people who love them. Instead of a gift, take them out for their favorite food or somewhere fun such as a zoo or arcade. This not only distracts them from their loss, but it provides their carer or remaining parent with some time to focus on their grief. Even in the depths of sadness, you can show a child that there are still joys in life to look forward to.

Coloring Book

This sympathy gift for kids not only promotes mindfulness through a coloring activity but also provides subtle guidance about loss. Many of the positive reviews spoke about how this helped children to process their emotions.

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Care Package

While sympathy care packages for adults usually contain calming candles and tea, they aren’t suitable for children as those items resonate with mature audiences. Think about the child’s favorite things and compile them into a special care package. These canvas bags form great reusable hamper cases to fill with books, snacks, and toys.

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Snack Box

If you’re struggling to think of items for a care package or are just short on time, then this snack box may be a welcome gift for a grieving child. Please ensure that you check for allergies or dietary preferences before sending. While the contents aren’t super healthy, sometimes it’s okay to eat a little badly when things seem so dark.

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Heart Locket Necklace

This beautiful pendant heart necklace allows grieving children to wear a close reminder of their lost parent. The locket is engraved with an initial outside of your choosing, while the inside contains rooms for keepsakes such as pictures or even hair. With an adjustable chain, this gift is suitable for children of different ages. 

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The benefits of writing to ease grief and loss are well documented, having both a positive effect on emotions and physical health. Consider gifting a journal to the grieving child so they have an outlet to express their loss. 

Photo Scrapbook

Younger children who have lost a parent may not be literate enough to write in the journal. A good activity to work on with them is to make a scrapbook of photos. This allows them to be hands-on in building a tribute.

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Keepsake Box

Children love to keep trinkets and memorable items in a “secret place”. This keepsake box provides a safe place to hold treasures and letters, or even an offcut of clothing from their lost parent.

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Memorial Tree Kit

Sometimes the best way to explain loss to a child is through nature and the concept of life cycles – the death of a loved one coming to life in another form. This memorial tree kit (for use with cremated ashes) allows the grieving child to participate in a planting activity and watch something grow.

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Counselling Session

With the consent of the child’s carer, offer to fund a session or sessions with a qualified counselor or therapist. Grieving children often withdraw following trauma and express anger toward who they are closest to. Allowing them to confide in an independent person can help with processing grief in a manner that isn’t destructive.

Memorial Wind Chime

This wind chime is a special present for the youngest of minds. Let the child know that their lost parent is still with them, and when they hear the chimes it means that they are not alone. The gentle chimes also act as calming white noise that encourages relaxation.

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LED Candle

This memorial candle is a warming reminder of the deceased and a symbol of their presence. Placed on a mantle next to some frames and portraits, the candle forms a centerpiece of a mini shrine. This allows grieving children to have a physical space at home to remember their lost parent.

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Hand Painted Angel Figurine

This sculpted remembrance figure is a beautiful gift that inspires comfort and healing. Let grieving children know that the angel represents their lost parent watching over them. 

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Memorial Christmas Ornament

The loss of a loved one hits particularly hard over the festive season. This angel wing ornament engraved with “A piece of my heart is in Heaven” forms a symbolic gesture for children to know that their parent is remembered. 

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Children’s Books About Grief

Storytelling is a great way to support children in processing a loss. These books help to normalize grief and allow young minds to understand healthy coping skills. The characters in each story explain the permanence of death and show that it’s okay to feel alone as this is normal.

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Memorial Picture Hanging Board

This decorative hanging board allows grieving children to be hands-on in creating memories of their lost parent. Help them to pick their favorite pictures to display that best celebrates their loved one. 

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A Prayer for My Mom/Dad Frame

Research studies show that spirituality can aid in coping ability and promote emotional health. For those children who find comfort in prayer and their faith, these frames capture loving blessings that can be recited. 

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Kate is a qualified psychologist (M.A. Psych) by day and writer in the late evenings. When she is not trying to configure websites, Kate can be found walking in nature with a coffee firmly in hand.