Some tips on helping your kids donate toys

Your kids may have gotten some new toys over the holidays -- which means parents are probably ready to clear out some of the old ones. Rebecca Michelsen with Penfield Children's Center joins FOX6 WakeUp with some tips on helping your kids donate toys. 

Helping your Child Donate Toys 

1.    Talk about sharing and empathy

  • Charity can be a strong motivator for kids who value fairness. Teach them about the concept of donation and passing their old toys on to new kids for the toys to be loved again. 
  • Helping kids understand that their old toys can benefit others who may not have access to toys can start very young. Keep conversations simple sharing and fairness are the relevant themes to focus on. 

2.    Have children help identify broken and outgrown toys 

  • Help your children differentiate between toys that can be donated and toys that need to be thrown away. If parts of a toy are broken or falling off, or if there aren’t enough pieces to play with a toy properly, it should go in the discard bin. 

3.    Limit storage space and rotate toys 

  • Manage what toys come into the house and how they are stored. Limit the space that children have to keep their toys. Limiting toy storage forces kids to be a bit more conscientious about what they keep around. If a new toy is coming in, then something old has to leave.
  • Parents can also try toy rotation. Instead of allowing all of the toys to be out all the time, rotate sets of toys that are available for your child to play with. When a toy no longer makes them happy when rediscovered, or doesn’t get much use, it might be time to donate it. 

4.    Give children control over their toys

  • If children are resisting donating their toys, it may be more about feeling a lack of control than actually wanting the item. 
  • Have your child pick out which items they would like to donate. Ask questions like, "How many toys would you like to donate today?", and "Where would you like to donate your toys?"
  • Before donating the toys, hold them aside for a bit to give your child a buffer period. If your child doesn’t ask for the toy again, then it is okay to drop off for donation. 

5.    Reward your children for their efforts 

  • Offering acknowledgment, praise and hugs, or a small treat when children agree to pass along some of their items will keep them motivated and open to donating more items in the future.")