What to Do with Your Kids’ Old Toys
The arrival of fall means the holiday season is around the corner! It’ll soon be time to check off the items on your kids’ wishlists. But in the meantime, you might be wondering, “How will we have room for all these new toys?” Well don’t fret, because we put together a list of what to do with your kids’ old toys that they outgrew or just don’t play with anymore. From recycling programs to charitable donations, these suggestions will help ensure that the toys that brought your little ones so much joy will continue to do so for others.
What to Do with Your Kids’ Old Toys
This company has so many popular toys, including the famous Barbie! Its PlayBack program allows you to ship your kids’ Mattel toys–specifically Barbie, Fisher-Price, Matchbox and MEGA toys–back to the company, where they are then recycled and reused as contents in new products. (We know, it sounds sad, but it actually helps keep toys out of landfills.) To participate, go to the website and fill out a short form to receive a free prepaid shipping label. Package your toys, and then send ‘em on out.
Mr. Potato Head. My Little Pony. Playskool. These are just a few popular Hasbro brands that you can send back as part of the company’s Toy Recycling program, which is a partnership with recycling company, TerraCycle. Once you send back your toys, the company recycles them into new materials and products, including play spaces, flower pots and park benches.
Recycling is a popular suggestion on what to do with your kids’ old toys. Spin Master toys, which include PAW Patrol and Rubik’s Cube brands, can be recycled through the company’s free recycling program. The company, like Hasbro, does its toy recycling program in partnership with TerraCycle. Once you send back your Spin Master toys (you can see a full list of toys on its website), they’re cleaned and melted into hard plastic that can be remolded to make new recycled products, such as park benches and picnic tables, instead of ending up in a landfill.
Your kids aren’t playing with their stuffed animals anymore, but it might seem horrifying to think of these beloved plush companions winding up in the trash. Well there’s good news: They don’t have to! You can purchase a TerraCycle Zero Waste Box (prices start at $110), fill it with your stuffed animals and send them out. The toys are then sorted and processed into raw materials that are used to make new products.
If your kids are ready to move on from their LEGOs, you can pass forward these much-loved toy bricks to kids in need. Just box up your bricks, print out a label and ship them out. Kids will get a box filled with a variety of bricks and elements to play with, as well as a cool activity booklet with some fun building activities to try out!
What to do with Your Kids’ Old Toys: Giving Back
If you’re looking for more answers on what to do with your kids’ old toys, consider donating them to charities! Many charities such as Goodwill and The Salvation Army will resell your donated items and use the money to support their causes. If you have a new, unwrapped toy that you’d like to give, Toys for Tots is another option. It’s run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, and their mission is to collect new, unwrapped toys and distribute them to less fortunate children at Christmas.
Homes and Shelters
That adorable teddy bear and plush bunny, and those beautiful dolls in your child’s old toy chest will almost certainly bring joy to children going through a difficult time. Consider calling local children’s and women’s shelters to see if they’re accepting toys, and if so, how you can go about donating.
Churches, Synagogues and other Religious Organizations
Consider contacting these organizations to see if they know of any families in need who can use toys.
This wonderful organization provides comfort for children in traumatic or emergency situations through donations of stuffed animals, blankets, books, children’s clothes and baby items. This beautiful mission gives you the opportunity to donate these beloved items so that they can be used to comfort kids who need them, and not thrown away.
Ways to recycle other items
Now that you have a few tips on what to do with your kids’ old toys, here are a few bonus ideas for recycling other household items, too:
Umbrellas. Broken or unwanted umbrellas can be upcycled into tote bags. The metal spokes can be recycled at a scrap metal facility.
Pet food bags. Dry pet food bags, once empty, can be used as trash bags or upcycled into tote bags.
Paint. Through the PaintCare program, many stores accept unwanted paint for paint recycling. Check out paintcare.org for a store locator and instructions on how to make your donation.
Wanna read more stuff like this? Get our newsletters packed with ideas, events, and information for parents in Staten Island.