What to do with all those toys after Christmas?

Christmas has come and gone. The kids are happy with their new toys. Now you are ready to clean up the house and start the New Year with a clean slate. There is only one problem… toys, toys everywhere!

As a mom of two young kids, I’ve come up with a few strategies to try to tame the invasion of toys throughout the house. Here are four basic tactics I use to deal with all those toys:

Keep them

If your kids are actively using them, you will want to keep them handy. However, I have found that my kids go through cycles. To keep the toys fresh, I box up toys that they still want but aren’t currently playing with and store them. Every so often I take those toys out and box up the toys they are done playing with. Cycling through toys is a great way to keep them fresh and renew your child’s interest in them.

Once a child outgrows a toy, you can determine to store it away for a future generation or use another strategy outlined below. Keep in mind, classic toys like Legos, Match box cars and Barbies never lose their value.

Recycle them

If a toy is broken or worn out, it should go to the recycling center. If it still has use, here are some suggestions to give new life to old toys:

  • Pass them down to family members or friends with younger children
  • Use them in arts and crafts projects (for example, spell out names with scrabble pieces)
  • Use them for outdoor toys
  • Recycle the stuffing from a plush toy into a new teddy bear or pillow
  • Try to fix or sew broken toys

Donate them

Not all places will take toys but there are still plenty of opportunities to pass them on to people who would love to use them (always ask first before you donate):

  • Give games to Senior Centers, the Boys and Girls Club or Community Centers
  • Donate clean, complete toys to daycares, preschool and nursery schools
  • Find a nearby Freecycle site and donate them to local families
  • Donate to Goodwill or the Salvation Army
  • Give them to local shelters and children’s centers
  • Donate them to your local church or Boy Scouts yard sale
  • Give worn out stuffed animals to dog shelters to use as dog toys

Sell them

Once you have sorted, recycled and donated your toys, you can determine if any are worth selling

  • Sell classic, valuable or vintage toys on ebay or other auction sites
  • Have your children sell their toys and stuffed animals at yard sales or flea markets
  • Use online services like Facebook and resale apps to sell used toys

If you have ideas, we would love to hear them!

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