Decluttering toys for charity is the perfect Christmas tradition because not only do you get to simplify your life by decluttering and there is joy in giving it away to the less fortunate this holiday season. If you’re a teacher, I think this would make a fabulous class project. Thanks to Mom it Forward for the Holiday Giving: 31 Days of Service challenge and to Stacy Teet for introducing us to this and organizing it.
I don’t know how many toys our boys have broken from stepping on them because they are scattered all over the floor. We don’t buy our kids tons of gifts for Christmas but, nonetheless, it still adds to the pile. The problem with having too many toys: chances are they don’t play with all of them. My kids claim they do but the reality is they have their favorite toys: hot wheels, train track, action figures and Lego’s.
We took the challenge of decluttering for charity and to be honest it wasn’t easy. Even in light of all the giving and sharing we do it’s hard to part with your toys but just because it was hard doesn’t mean we weren’t going to continue.
Creating and instilling a spirit of giving in our children when they are young is a valuable lesson that I want to help cultivate in my boys. I know it will go a long way. I constantly fight the desire to hold on to things that I don’t need even in light of having such giving parents who were amazing models of service and sharing of their blessings with the less fortunate.
I have one child who wants to give everything away and another one who is a pack rat, he is very giving but the pack rat in him makes it more challenging. So I knew this new Christmas tradition was going to take some arm twisting. I came up with this fun way to get the kids involved and hopefully the incentive that Christmas gifts to come would help motivate them get into the spirit of giving. (right click on the printable above to copy and paste to your word document)
If there are toys that you or your child don’t want to part with then create a rotation of toys so they all get played with. Put some away and then bring them out and let them play with them and put the other ones away. Just rotate them every so often throughout the year.
Let’s get started:
Share the poem with your kids and grab a pillow case and some ribbon.
Tell them that you would love for them to be your little elves this Christmas by helping get toys in the hands of lots of little boys and girls who are less fortunate. Have them fill the bag with toys they want to share. You may want to sit in the room with them and help them for a little bit. I started off with them but then I left because of all of the griping. I said, “In this corner put all the toys you want to give away” and then I left the room. When I came back it wasn’t a big pile but hopefully we will work on it some more on another day.
Or you may want to sift through the toys by yourself and just ask them to make a pile of the toys that they definitely don’t want to give away.
You could also tell them to fill up the bag with toys they want to give as presents to other boys and girls and on Christmas morning it will have some presents for them. I would only do this when it’s Christmas since they are already getting presents from us If you declutter at another time of the year I would be careful about promising to give them toys if they give some away. It kind of defeats the purpose of decluttering.
Every child is different so do what works best for you all. Just stay clear of manipulating (which is very easy to do) and demanding them to give (also very easy to do). I am trying to find the balance and keep it fun as we work on this project, I wish I had all the answers for you in this post. I do want to emphasize as the poem says trash the broken toys that are falling apart please don’t give those away. I was smiling inside when I saw my 5 year old pick up a broken helicopter and he said “I am giving this away” and my 8 year old said “No, we don’t give broken things away.” Yes, they have been paying attention!
Then find a charity where you all can go and donate the toys. My dad would drive around low-income apartments and set the bag of food, toys etc… near an entrance and write on it Merry Christmas. We loved doing it like that as kids because when we drove by again it was gone. Find what works best for you and your family and spread the joy of giving this holiday season and throughout the new year.
How do you do charitable toy giving with your kids?