The best way to get free toys for kids is to appeal to people’s sense of charity. At Christmas, for instance, people want to help all children have a better holiday, so they dip into their pockets or buy toys and donate them to the organizations that are giving away free presents. The more volunteers you can get involved in the project of getting free toys for kids, the bigger your stock pile will be. Alternatively, if you don't want to get involved with a project and are looking for free toys for your kids to play with, there are a few things you can try.
Find Toys for Children in Your Community
Draw up a free toy target. Make a list of how many free toys you want and what sorts of toys are appropriate. Toys for preschoolers, for example, are different from the types of toys you ask people to donate for fifth graders.
Advertise that your group or organization is looking for free toys. Put the word out by sticking up posters, sending out notices through the school and announcing it on the Internet. Ask the local newspaper and radio station to give you coverage about collecting free toys for kids. Explain to people how your organization will give the toys to children, whether it be for holidays, as donations to kids' clubs, etc.
Set up a toy-collection point. Find someone with an empty garage or a warehouse with space and let people know where to drop off the toys. Specify the days, hours and location in all your literature.
Solicit free toy donations from local businesses. Provide them with options. In some instances, businesses may prefer to donate money and have volunteers do the shopping. Another choice is to give them a list of specific toys that you would like them to buy and how much they cost.
Collect used toys and clean them up. A bit of soap and water, mixed with a bit of elbow grease, can transform a previously loved toy into a "new" one.
Find Toys for Your Children
Check out garage sales and flea markets. Ask the people having the sales if they would be willing to donate any toys that aren’t sold.
Become a toy tester if you want free toys for your kids. Toy manufacturers want their toys tested and assessed, so try contacting them directly. Another route to find free toys for your kids is to sign up with a non-profit organization that wants toys tested in everyday surroundings. You are required to fill in a report on each toy, which takes about an hour or so.
Check to see if there is a toy library in your area. In some places you can sign out a toy just like you can sign out a book. This is a good option as kids often get tired of their toys, and when they do, you can go to the library to exchange them for another one.
Ask friends and family for hand-me-down toys. Too often toys end up in the garage or the basement, but if you remind people, they just may come across with some free toys for your kids.
- Canadian Toy Testing Council: The Canadian Toy Testing Council Welcomes You
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Jody Hanson began writing professionally in 1992 to help finance her second around-the-world trip. In addition to her academic books, she has written for "International Living," the "Sydney Courier" and the "Australian Woman's Forum." Hanson holds a Ph.D. in adult education from Greenwich University.