Share this Post

Letting Go and Finding a Second Life for Old Toys

toy-lineup
A child with her stuffed animals. Photo: Donna DeForbes

A child with her stuffed animals. Photo: Donna DeForbes

What Do I Do with the Old Toys?

Recycle

Typically, toys are composed of several different kinds of materials, which makes recycling a challenge. Check plastic toys for any recycling identification number. You might disassemble items into recyclable components: metal or cardboard pieces, fabric from doll clothes, etc. Electronic toys can often be recycled as e-waste.

And with more toy companies taking eco-friendly steps, the next time you're buying toys, you may be able to find items that can be easily recycled later.

Donate

Many places will accept gently used toys as donations. Here are a few options. (Be sure to clean the toys and remove any batteries first.)

  • Donation Town (They accept gently used, complete toys, from stuffed animals and dolls to sports equipment and puzzles. They’ll come to you and pick it up for free.)
  • Local shelters, daycares or children’s hospitals
  • Local thrift stores
  • Freecycle
  • Stuffed Animals For Emergencies (SAFE)
Other Options
  • Regift toys or books in good condition.
  • Hold a toy swap with your friends or community moms.
  • Have a yard sale, or sell your items on craigslist or eBay.
  • Upcycle toy parts into crafty creations like this cool lamp (pictured below) made from plastic characters "climbing" the base.
A lamp made of recycled toys. Photo: Janie Ellis/AnythingButPlain.com

A lamp made of recycled toys. Photo: Janie Ellis/AnythingButPlain.com

  • Edgar Thomas

    Sell your toys and use that money to start a savings for your kid. Especially if the toys are older, do your research and you will realize that some of them might be worth a lot, and also donate some of them that aren’t worth selling.