Many children in Spain have so many toys that most end up forgotten in a drawer, either because they have gone out of style or because they no longer arouse any interest. However, despite this, many parents continue to invest between 100 and 300 euros each Christmas in new toys for their children. This consumer trend seems to have been established in recent decades and makes children quickly lose interest in their “oldest” toys in pursuit of new entertainment that never stops arriving.
Obviously, the best way to solve this problem would be to reduce the purchase of new toys at home, but if both you and your children are very excited about buying new toys, another option is to donate the oldest ones. Encouraging children to donate their used toys is an excellent way to teach them to share and get rid of material things, while helping them become more aware, sensitive and supportive adults with those around them. Maslow’s pyramid to work on children’s motivation.
However, to donate children’s toys it is not enough to pick them up and take them to a donation point, it is important to prepare the children for that moment and make them participate in the whole process since, after all, it is their belongings.
Prepare children to donate their toys
Most children tend to have a special attachment to their toys. Some toys they simply love and others can become emotional support tools that help them manage their fears and sadness. That’s why it’s important to prepare children to part with old toys, even if they’re no longer in use. Failure to do so could backfire and lead to a strong sense of loss. To do this, it is convenient that you follow the following steps:
- Explain to them why they should donate their used toys. Most children are very sensitive and supportive by nature, so they will surely understand that by donating their toys they are giving other little ones with fewer resources the opportunity to play and have a good time. You can explain to them that not all children have the same opportunities and that one way to change this reality is by donating the toys they no longer use to those most in need. A simple gesture that costs very little and with which they can brighten the life of another little one.
- Organize a toy collection and let them choose the ones they want to donate. When the children are ready to donate their old used toys, organize a collection. Get all the toys out of the cupboards and drawers and ask the kids to select the toys they want to donate and those they prefer to keep. You can place three boxes, one for the toys that the children want to keep, another for those that they are going to donate and a third for those that still do not know what to do with them. That third, you can check it again a few days later.
- Invite them to join you the day you go to donate the toys. When the children have already decided which toys they want to donate, invite them to accompany you to take them to a collection point. In this way, not only will they feel part of the process, but they will be able to see that many other children also donate their old toys and that together they are part of a beautiful community that believes in a better and more equal world. They may even have the opportunity to meet other children who will also be donating toys and make new friends.
Where to donate used toys?
One of the biggest obstacles parents face when donating their children’s used toys is finding collection points. Although there are specific campaigns that are advertised on social networks or television where they explain how to donate toys and where to go, the truth is that not enough information is usually published about it.
However, in reality there are various NGOs and organizations dedicated to collecting donation toys that do a beautiful job and that can be easily accessed in practically any Spanish town. In addition to the Red Cross and Caritas, here are other organizations that organize toy collection campaigns.
1. Play therapy
Juegaterapia is a foundation aimed at improving the quality of life of children with cancer. One of its most popular campaigns is the collection of used fixed and portable consoles, which are sent to children from children’s oncology wards to help them go through their treatments in a more enjoyable and fun way. On their page, they explain step by step how to get these toys to children with cancer through Envialia completely free of charge.
2. Bicycles without borders
It is an association focused on making life easier for people at risk of social exclusion, giving them a bicycle so they can get around more easily. The foundation accepts both adult and children’s bikes, making it a perfect means of providing a means of transportation or entertainment to poor children in various countries. To make your work easier, the foundation has different collection points throughout Spain.
3. Value Foundation
Fundación Valora is a non-profit organization that collects all kinds of second-hand accessories, including toys, to send them to the most needy families. The organization has a website where you only have to upload the items you want to donate and they will contact you to organize the collection. In this way, you can take advantage and not only donate the children’s used toys but also any other object, accessory, furniture or clothing that you do not use at home.
4. No child without a smile
It is a non-profit association that was born to bring smiles to children during Christmas, but today it organizes toy collection campaigns throughout the year. Based in Madrid, the organization collects all kinds of used toys to take them to the kids who need them most. Of course, they are not usually open every day and have their own rules for donations, so it is advisable to find out on their page before going to the headquarters.
5. Share and recycle
Share and recycle is a solidarity campaign that facilitates the collection of toys to donate them to Spanish charities. With collection points at El Corte Inglés, Hipercor, Supercor and Toys R Us, it accepts all kinds of toys, which it reviews thoroughly and allocates to a charitable organization that is in charge of getting them to the most needy children or, in the case of are not in good condition, is responsible for their recycling.