Where To Donate Toys At Christmas – 5 Places To Consider

Christmas is special holiday and ones who truly enjoy it the most are children. This is why it is a great idea to donate toys at Christmas, so less fortunate kids can enjoy it too.

If you are new to this practice, you might wonder where to start and where can you donate toys during Christmas. Here are some ideas that will guide you through this process and help you put a smile on someone’s face!

What toys should you donate at Christmas?

First of all, Christmas donations should be looked at as gifts for other kids. And this is why you can’t donate toys without considering few points.

If you truly want to make a child happy you have to use your empathy. Try to walk in their shoes in order to figure out what they would like to receive. Simply donating toys that your child doesn’t like anymore is not the best criteria to follow in this case.

Here are the most important things to consider!

  • Donate toys that are in a good condition

    It might be tempting to donate toys that your child doesn’t play with anymore. The reasons might be that they are too old to enjoy such toys or they simply got bored of them. But make sure that the toys you donate are functional and in good shape. This is a form of respect for the one to whom you are planning to donate it.

    Sometimes, you might find that the little imperfections of the toys you want to donate can be easily fixed. Maybe one of the teddy bears can use some sewing. Or maybe one of the metallic toys or legos could use some paint. These adjustments can be done without a lot of investment and they can make the toys look much better!

  • Split your donation boxes on different ages

    Donating toys at Christmas is a beautiful thing to do but it can be quite useless if you donate the wrong toy to the wrong child. Always make sure to check the age of the child and the age that the toys are intended to be used at. There should be a strong correlation between the two, in order for it to be a successful donation.

    If you donate toys meant for 6 years old to 11 years old child, you will only be wasting your time. You have to pay attention especially to toys donated to younger kids or babies. Make sure these toys don’t present any potential danger to them and that they do not cause any choking hazards. Swallowing pieces of toys is the biggest danger when it comes to toddlers!

baby in hands

  • Clean the toys before donating them

    Even if this point might be common sense for many donors, it still deserves to be mentioned. Check out our toy cleaning guide here. Most likely, the child that will receive the toy will start using the toy right away without cleaning it. So, it is really important for you to donate clean toys and ready to be used by any child. This is also a matter of respect for the children that you want to make happy on Christmas.

Where to donate toys at Christmas?

Now that we know what type of toys we can donate and how they should be, let’s see where you can actually make the donation! There are many options that you can choose from but it primarily depends on your area of residence.

1. Local Shelters & Children’s Centers

The best place to donate toys at Christmas is a local shelter or a children’s center. Most of them are more than happy to accept toys as donations, especially during Christmas. But it might be a good idea to give them a call ahead of time. Before you actually send your donation box it might be a good idea to figure out the age group of the children in the shelter.

Also, make sure to find out the schedule when they receive donations because some of them are not open 24/7 for such donations. If you want to make quite a cute scene out of your donation process, you can dress like Santa Claus and give them the toys in a surprise visit to the center. Children will be more than happy and you will have a lot of fun doing this, as well.

2. Church Charities

Most likely you have a church around your residence. You can bring your donation boxes to the church that is near you and talk with the pastor about donating the toys to the right kids. This can be done regardless of your religion or the type of church that you are going to.

And since churches are tax-exempt organizations, you can always ask for a tax deduction for such donations. Some churches have nurseries or they offer daycares to less fortunate people and they are always in need of such donations.

3. Preschools & Nurseries

Even if donating toys at Christmas to a preschool or nursery won’t bring you a tax deduction, you can still help some kids out. If you visit such a preschool you might notice the needs that it has and try to fulfill as many as you can. It is important to talk with the employees there before making the donation. Ask for details regarding the types of toys they accept and under what conditions or circumstances. They will be happy to give you the right guidelines that you can follow to complete your donation.

4. National Charities

Sometimes local charities don’t accept such donations at Christmas and in that case, the national charities are a great alternative. The Ronald McDonald House is a famous one and it can be found in different countries around the world. They are in a continuous need of toys and games as they take care of many children. The Ronald McDonald House also donates toys further to different hospitals. They are also trained to respect the hygiene guidelines for children.

All you need to do is find the nearest Ronald McDonald House in your area and see how you can contribute to this cause. Depending on where your residence is, you might find other national charities to join.  So, it is always a good idea to research your options.

5. Find Children In Need Near You

Finally, you do have the option to simply donate toys at Christmas to children in your area. You might be able to observe the less fortunate ones and bring them some joy on holidays. It is important to respect all the donation norms such as cleaning the toys before you give them away to those children as well. So, just because you are donating them to individuals instead of institutions or organizations, doesn’t mean you can neglect those aspects. There are children who will be more than happy to receive your donation at Christmas time everywhere in the world and sometimes they can even be your neighbors. Open your eyes and make a child happy this Christmas!


The fact that you decided to give away some toys for Christmas is a very noble act. And if you follow the donation process correctly, you will become and feel like a Santa for a day! After all, this is what the Christmas spirit is all about: make others happy by giving them from the little that you have! By donating toys at Christmas we can all be part of the holiday’s magic and bring some smiles on faces of lovely kids.

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