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Encouraging DD to donate old toys

(14 Posts)
ImogenTubbs Wed 16-Nov-16 21:29:06

I was thinking about encouraging DD to donate, say, three old toys to a kids charity this Christmas. Firstly, she has too many toys and secondly I think it would be good to get her thinking about being generous and helping others. DH thinks she is too young to grasp the concepts and having to give up her toys would just upset her. She is three years and three months. Anyone done similar or have any thoughts?

perditalost Wed 16-Nov-16 21:33:20

She is too young and wont understand it.

Maybe buy a new gift together and go to the local crib service (or equivalent) where you give the gift to a charity.

Wayfarersonbaby Wed 16-Nov-16 23:47:44

She's probably a bit young to really understand it and you risk tears afterwards when she realises the toys are actually gone. What about choosing something at the supermarket to take to a food bank? Our local supermarket has a food bank box and my 3 y o DD liked choosing some items to put in it.

ArriettyMatilda Thu 17-Nov-16 02:05:27

I did this with my 2.10 year old about three months ago. Then the toys got left in a bag for at least two months and she only got them out once or twice in that time before they made it to the charity shop. She has not asked for one item since. I think when they have too many toys you need to be ruthless as it means they won't play as well because there is just too much choice. I gently encouraged her to get rid of lots of battery operated toys, as they were the ones that would keep her attention for a only a few minutes.

Your dd might be different, but if there are things she's not played with ask her of she'd like to give it to children that don't have any toys. Dd seemed to respond well to that. We also go through her library books each week so she is used to making those decisions. I did try again with soft toys this week and she wanted to keep them all despite not even having a favourite and never asking for any of them

ImogenTubbs Thu 17-Nov-16 07:36:37

Nice ideas, thank you.

busyrascal Mon 21-Nov-16 21:44:46

We do this with our dc... On St. Nicholas' Day (Dec 6th) the dc put a box of outgrown toys outside the front door before they go to bed, along with their empty shoes. In the morning, St Nick (Santa) has taken their toys and filled their shoes with sweets.
We started doing it when dd1 had just turned three. She totally understood it straight away, was very pleased that Father Christmas would have some of her old toys to give to some younger children and, without prompting, decided to leave her dummies there for him to take too!

SpringerS Mon 21-Nov-16 23:27:30

Not only is she too young to understand it but to be honest it's something of an empty gesture anyway. The rules governing the sale of secondhand toys are really, really strict for charity shops and the market for them is paltry. The vast majority of toys given to charity shops end up in landfill (at significant cost to the charity, who pay commercial rates for disposal). Some shops will take a chance on selling them in order to avoid throwing them away, but it's a risk on the part of the staff that could end up extremely costly to the charity.

I managed a number of charity shops in the past and as a result, I will never, ever donate toys to a charity shop though I do my best to buy from them, even if just to get them out of the hair of the people running the shop. The only sure way to make old toys be of use to charity is to sell them yourself, as there aren't really any restrictions on private sellers, and then donate the proceeds to the charity.

traviata Tue 22-Nov-16 09:09:06

springer why is that?

is it to do with electrical rules or does it apply to other kinds of toy?

BiddyPop Tue 22-Nov-16 10:10:58

DD is now 10 and will agree to donate a few (very few) things to the school fair as they have a toy stall. These are in good order and will be happily bought by others for their pocket money (all the parents groan how we just get rid of some few items TO the fair, and the DCs buy a load of tat with their few € to replace it!).

When she was that age though, there was no way she'd donate things. I used to just do a clearout when she wasn't looking, and mostly things went to school fair or DCousins or the odd really good thing to charity shop. Anything broken was binned.

She has always been happy enough though to pick out a new toy and buy that for someone who doesn't get as many toys as she does - which we give to the local Lions Club appeal.

SpringerS Tue 22-Nov-16 10:59:28


It has to do with safety rules and that the charity will be liable if a child gets hurt. So there is a strict list of criteria a toy must meet before it can get on to the shop floor. And even then it is unlikely to sell as charity shop customers seem to avoid children's items. In most of the shops I've managed I literally could not give kids' stuff away. It's not so bad in shops with communities of recent immigrants but other than that, people don't want children's items from charity shops.

It's bizarre as second hand children's items sell really well in other outlets. At/on baby-markets, school stalls, ebay/gumtree, etc there is a really good market. So when I had a great volunteer team and the time and space to deal with it, I'd save kid's stuff and meet with local schools to arrange sales days, where we'd set up a sale in the school hall. And then we could sell stuff no problem. But it's not a realistic way to sell items donated to the shop on an ongoing basis.

winterisnigh Tue 22-Nov-16 12:18:59

I also think too young I just get rid of stuff they have never ever played with and have grown out of. I think one needs to be careful about pushing such an action as it can make dc go the other way and think its unfair.

winterisnigh Tue 22-Nov-16 12:20:41

busy thats a sweet idea!!!

Getnakedorgohome Tue 22-Nov-16 12:22:41

This year I gave my 4 yo and 2 yo a carrier bag and told them to fill it with toys they didn't play with. When it was full I swapped it for a little packed of sweeties. I then vetted the bag that evening to take out anything I knew would be missed but I was surprised that they actually did really well. They liked the idea of it going to other children.

traviata Tue 22-Nov-16 13:35:57

Thanks Springer. It's a shame to hear that.

I think there are differences in approach. Round here there are a lot of charity shops, including one which was nearly 100% toys and children's items (it has had to close recently). This is a community with a big range of incomes and demographics, but my sense is that there is no suspicion and no 'shame' about used items for children - it taps into a 'green' mentality which is very strong hereabouts.

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