It might be the most wonderful time of the year, but not for some tots who don’t have new toys to play with. That’s why you should try to get your child in the giving mood by donating some of his unused toys. But sometimes, that’s easier said than done, says Robert Kline, a a pediatric psychologist from Columbia, MO. “Depending on your child, this can be an emotional subject, or it can be something very easy to do,” says Kline. Encourage your child to be a giver (and not a Grinch) with these doable donation tips.
Do it together.
Sure, those broken bits of a helicopter might look like garbage to you, but to your child, it might be a treasure. Even if you’re tempted to take a trash bag to your child’s room and do a purge while he’s in school, it’s better to wait until he’s home and do the process together, advises Kline. “We all remember a toy that was lost or thrown out and how sad it was,” says Kline.
It can feel good to give a lot, but your child might not want to give away the bulk of his toys, even the ones he doesn’t play with. Instead, have your child donate a few items at a time. That way, he’ll get used to the process and be able to donate more as time goes on.
Ditch the outdated.
New toys can be tricky to part with. Even if they’re not being played with, the shiny allure of a new car can prove to be too much to part with. So start your donation process with older toys that are gently used. Your child might find it easier to give away a toy that’s been tucked away in the bottom of the closet for the past year rather than the new LEGO set he just got for his birthday.
Explain the process.
Talk to your child about why he’s donating his toys. Explain that some children aren’t as fortunate as he is and don’t have new toys to play with. Your child will be more amenable to donating his toys rather than thinking that they might be tossed in the trash. Says Kline: “Telling a child to donate is better than throwing out. Even if you think it’s broken, often there is no such thing as a broken toy to a child.”
Inspire goodwill early by encouraging little ones to donate their toys. If you wait until they’re older, it can be harder for kids to give away their toys. Make it a family effort, and reward your child with a treat (and not another toy) for his generous spirit.