After The Holidays:
What To Do With Unwanted Toys
One of the hardest parts of the holiday aftermath is hearing your kids don't like a gift from a family member. We know our parents, aunts, and uncles go to a lot of trouble and spend a lot of money on those toys, and we don't want them to go unappreciated. But if your kids don't like certain gifts, you probably can't convince them otherwise. You have to figure out how to put them to use. Here are 4 ideas for what to do with unwanted toys.
Re-gifting holiday toys is acceptable if you do it right. Because kids are sometimes painfully honest, you might not want to wrap that stuffed bunny your son got from your parents at Christmas to give to your son's best friend on his birthday, because he might just tell on you. However, if you want to give your son's gift to your daughter's friend or to the child of one of your friends, you may be able to fly under the radar. You should also make sure the tags are still on the gift with no wear -- it's OK to re-gift as long as no one knows.
Your kids are probably not the only ones who didn't like every gift they got this year -- why not get all the unwanted goods together for a swap party? With the holidays over, there isn't much to look forward to in January and February; a swap party could be the perfect winter break. Gather your friends and kids to display all of their unwanted items to trade for treasures that suit them better. You may be able to unload that hot pink sweater from Aunt Sally to your neighbor in exchange for the doctor's playset your daughter can't live without.
Though toy drives dominate donations during the holidays, they disappear as soon as you sit down for Christmas dinner. However, there are other ways you can give back to the community with your toy donations. Donating to charitable organizations with thrift stores may not put toys into a child's hands for free, but it makes toys affordable to families in need, as well as keeping veterans, people with disabilities, and those with criminal backgrounds employed.
Another place where unwanted toys are needed is a hospital. A hospital's use for toys goes beyond teething remedies. Donated toys brighten a child's day after treatments and help celebrate birthdays. However, there are rules that come with donating toys to hospitals. Typically, they have to be new and wrapped to prevent germs and bacteria from entering the hospital. If hospitals are not an option, day cares, schools, and doctors' offices may be good homes for unwanted toys.
The guilt that comes with giving away or trading holiday presents may be unbearable for some people. If that's your case, try thinking of ways you can repurpose or craft toys and unwanted items you found under the Christmas tree. Collect tiny toys and action figures to make a big wreath, turn rubber ducks into garden planters, or start on next year's holiday decor by making a Christmas tree out of building blocks. Re-purposing gifts makes unwanted toys wanted, and no one feels guilty.