As seasons start back up again, new cheerleaders are adjusting to the world of cheer and, as a veteran, you are chosen to mentor a ‘Little’ on your team. Or, perhaps your squad pairs up with a Pee Wee or Pop Warner team who are literally LITTLE! Either way, it is your job to help your Little feel welcome, and to show them the ropes of their new team. It is a lot of responsibility to be a ‘Big’: you want your new Little to feel like they are welcome and part of the team, yet you also want to set them up for success by showing them the ropes. You’re now the person they should feel comfortable going to if they have questions. It is always a little scary being new, but by being their Big, it makes the transition onto a new team much easier. Here are some gift ideas to welcome your Little to the team.

1. Something sweet.
Sweet treats, drinks, and food are always a hit when it comes to a gift bag. Who doesn’t like food? As someone who has a slight addiction to Dr. Pepper and gold fish crackers, I too have received gifts involving both of those foods–and it is the BEST! You cannot go wrong creating a simple care package with your Little’s favorite treats and snacks. It can be difficult to find the perfect gift for someone you don’t really know very well though, so a gift basket filled with a bunch of goodies is simple and a perfect welcome gift that is not only inexpensive, but will be a big hit.

2. Bow crazy.
One thing you do know for sure about your Little is that the love of cheer brought them here. We also know that cheerleaders love bows! Why not get a Bow Pro® for your Little to help them organize all their bows? To personally customize a bow just for your Little, buy a basic bow and bedazzle it with your Little’s name or create matching ‘Little’ and ‘Big’ bows. There are tons of pre-made iron-ons available online for purchase, or–if you are creative enough–make a screen-print of your own. To complete the gift, you can get mini bow keychains, since everyone knows that cheerleaders are not complete without their bows!

3. Loud and proud.
Many Littles and Bigs become really good friends. You form a bond with your Little, so what better way to show it than with ‘Big’ and ‘Little’ matching t-shirts? You can buy Little and Big shirts, or make your own. The options are endless: you can make personalized Little and Big water bottles, hair bows, necklaces, keychains–and they are all so cute and fun! I have even seen some really cute personalized picture frames, too.

Gifts for your Little does not have to be expensive or super extravagant. Remember being a Big is not about the gift; it is about being a good mentor and friend to the new member of your squad. Even if your gift is making a sign or decorating your Little’s locker, your Little will feel special and welcome–which is what being a Big all is about! Whatever you decide to do will publicly show everyone that your Little is now part of the squad and a cheer family. To all those brand new Littles out there, welcome to the team! 

What did you gift your Little? Show or tell us in the comments!