Taylor Says

by Taylor Kovar

What Should We do With Our Children's Old Toys?


Hey Taylor - The holiday season always leaves us with a few hundred toys our kids don't want. I hate the idea of throwing these things away and wonder if you have any suggestions for what to do with an overstock of stuffed animals and plastic cars. - Darren

Hey Darren - It's hard for us parents to avoid the excess, isn't it? I totally understand what you're going through. My wife and I have tried a few different approaches with our kids neglected toys that might work for your family.  

1. Church charities. Since so many churches offer daycare and nursery services, this is a great place to send the toys you no longer need. If you go through your own church, you and your kids could still have access to the items, or at least get to see firsthand the happiness those toys bring to other children. On the financial plus side, you can also write off the donation

2. Freecycle or Facebook. If you're hesitant to donate the toys just anywhere, you can use one of these online services to post the items you're giving away. This ups the odds of finding the perfect home for an old toy and makes the process relatively easy on your end. You don't even have to load up a box - you can just take pictures of what you have lying around and post them online, then wait for interested parties to get in touch.

3. Shelters and care centers. The reason we end up with so many extra toys is because we love the look on our kids' faces when they receive a gift. You can get that same feeling when you bring toys to facilities that house children and families in need. I recommend bringing your kids along so they can partake in the generosity and see how good it feels to make someone else's day.

4. Garage sale. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to get your children to part with toys, even if they haven't played with them in years. If you propose a yard sale, the prospect of earning cash gives you a pretty good negotiating tool. Allowing your children to take part in the selling process also teaches good lessons about personal value and financial responsibility. Best of all, you can deal with the grownup toys that have started taking over the shed and guestroom, proving that mommies and daddies have to part with their things as well.

I wholly agree that you don't want to throw things away, and I urge everyone to avoid putting perfectly good toys into landfills. There are so many ways to do good with these items, so hopefully you'll find something that works for you. Good luck, Darren!