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Mumsnetter tips for recycling old toys

© Disney/PixarWhether you're a Ninja mum - getting rid of old toys under the cover of night or a hoarder, who can't bear to get rid of Mr Fluffalump for sentimental reasons, at some point every family home reaches tipping point, literally.

We asked Mumsnetters to share their cunning tips and tricks for getting rid of toys sending old toys for a long holiday in the countryside.


© Disney/Pixar

  • 'We donate most to charity. The ones we don't, we sell and our son has a percentage of 'profit' to buy new toys!' morethanyoubargainfor.
  • 'I take the more robust toys to the local children's hospital.'  belledechocolatefluffybunny

  • 'To get them out of the house is either a cover-of-darkness job or a case of saying 'Right, Santa won't bring you any toys at Christmas if he thinks you already have too many, so we need to clear some out.'  BitterAndTwistedChoreDodger

  • 'I freecycle anything that hasn't got an immediate new home with family or friends. Choosing what to get rid of is always done alone or the house would be stuffed solely with old toys and there would be no room for people. The throw away choice is based on:
    1. observation of how often it is played with
    2. the age range of said toy and relative age of child (but this isn't strictly adhered to)
    3. how annoying the toy is in relation to noise, parts/pieces, arguments caused.' SrStanislaus

  • 'I find that moving house on a regular basis enables things to "go missing" in the move.' purpleturtle

  • 'School has a toy sale at their Summer fair. Amazing what you can get rid of without them noticing. You do however run the risk of them buying it back or worse, as dd did this year, getting some hideously huge soft toy instead.' weblette

  • 'In our family there's an ongoing rule that noisy electronic items are returned as a re-gift to the deluded friend responsible for giving them to your child in the first place. The friend will, ideally, have been childless at the time of purchasing the gift, and now be in possession of a child of the right age to properly appreciate the re-gift and make the most of its many profoundly irritating and repetitive sounds. For best effect, package with fresh long-life batteries.' zeno
  • 'Put them in the attic for when you have your own children (aka take to Oxfam when the children are at school).' renaldo

  • 'I ebay the good quality ones in bundles so the buyer does end up getting a good deal and I get rid of heaps of stuff at a time. Anything that is not worth ebaying goes to the charity shop.' heymammy

  • 'We recently recycled a lot of small toys by putting them in our son's 4th birthday party bags! He never noticed as we handed them out as the party finished.' GoldenGreen

  • 'We bought a shed which is now full with the overflow of toys from the loft. I really do need to part with some of them but I'm a sentimental fool and they have fond memories attached.' asdx2

  • 'One of the families along the road from us recently put out a load of great toys in front of their house with a sign 'Free to a good home' which I thought was a good idea.' summery

  • 'I had an unwanted Woody - he was given to my son... So I sold him to a fellow Mumsnetter for her son's birthday. I sent them special delivery (even though this meant I ended up making about £2 on the deal!!) because, it just felt like the whole point of toys is they should be owned by someone who loves them. And, her son DID love him!!' Harimo

  • 'Toys with batteries - particularly annoying ones - have been known to break and are sadly placed in a box to go to toy hospital. Unfortunately toy hospital is a very long way away and so the toys have to go and live on a farm once they are fixed.' whomovedmychocolate

  • 'Some we take to a car boot sale with the kids responsible for pricing and selling. When they did this last they made £50 each for their holidays. (I think this teaches them the value of money and that what they don't love some other child will).' jools115

  • 'We are in contact with a Trustee for the local Women's Refuge so we contact her and she takes them for the children there.' ihavenewsockson

  • 'The best thing I did was with my son's old trike (the sort with a rigid plastic thing that goes around the child, and with a plastic basket thing on the back. I put a large pot with a fuchsia plant in it on the seat (well supported by the rigid thing) and planted an ivy plant in the basket, which grew up the parent handle. Modern art at its best!' BuzzingNoise

© Disney/PixarSee Toy Story 3 and raise money for Great Ormond Street

The creators of the beloved “Toy Story” films have re-opened the toy box, bringing moviegoers back to the delightful world of Woody and Buzz in Toy Story 3. In this third instalment, Andy is preparing to depart for college, leaving his loyal toys troubled about their uncertain future.

Disney∙Pixar's Toy Story 3 is released in UK Cinemas in Disney Digital 3D & IMAX 3D on July 19, 2010. Click here to find out more about the film.

The Walt Disney Company Ltd will donate £1 to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity for every ticket purchased to see Toy Story 3 in the Empire Leicester Square. To book your ticket - and do good at the same time - go to the Empire Leicester Square booking page here.
© Disney/Pixar

To find out more about the Disney Appeal for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity visit www.gosh.org/disney

Last updated: over 3 years ago