Toys for Tots ideas

nelles_gwNovember 20, 2012

DH & I want to donate toys to Toys for Tots, however, we don't know what to get. We're childless and clueless when it comes to toys. Our budget is around $200.

I'd like to get stuff for older kids, as everyone buys for youngsters.

I'd appreciate any ideas.



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Not toys for tots but have you ever considered contacting a school? Around here the schools collect lists from kids whose parents can't afford presents. Last year my daughter got a list from a high school student and bought specifically for that child. I think the list came from the parents but it was stuff the kid liked. $200 is alot so you might want to go this route where you get a specific list for a specific child. I'm not sure that she knew the name of the child, just received some info on the child and a list.

Otherwise, I have no ideas.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:04PM
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I found this on the local website.

Q: Pre-teen/teens are groups for which shopping is especially difficult. Do you have any ideas?

The Foundation does purchase supplemental toys/gifts for our campaign sites and focuses on these age groups. In the past, items purchased for these groups have included, but are not limited to: sporting equipment/bags/balls; books, backpacks, cosmetics, purses, watch/wallet gift sets, bath gift sets, board games, radio control cars/trucks, hand-held electronics, skateboards/helmets, curling irons, hair straighteners, and hair dryers.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 8:03PM
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When you say older kids, what age range are you referring to? Our nephew is 9 and he loves Legos, hot wheels, anything you can build. We got him a toy called snap circuits from It's around $20 and it's a learning toy, so it serves a purpose. Lol. Our niece is 11 and she likes American girl stuff (it's super pricey), she likes clothes, a nail kit, Disney movies and oddly enough she wants a furry blanket from Costco. Go figure. I think that anything you buy will be appreciated by a child with so little. That's very kind of you :)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 8:46PM
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I like basic toys. Nothing battery operated because I figure they won't be able to keep up with replacement batteries. Love legos, anything educational. For older boys, football, basketball, soccer ball. Scrabble, Mexican Train, Rummy cube. For older girls, stuffed animals, a wristwatch. I know that's not what they're showing on T.V., but at least it doesn't require batteries.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 9:30PM
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Why don't you just donate the money to the organization and take the tax write off? The charity will put it where it is most needed and you get the benefit.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 11:38PM
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was going to say you can usually visit any toys are us and find a marine on duty...i'd buy sturdy toys like legos,
barbie dolls, books, games, ect..things that can be passed around from one child to next...

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 12:39AM
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Donating cash is often a good way to go since many times they have deals with stores to get discounts. It also enables them to fill in areas where they're short.

Otherwise, I'm also an advocate for non-battery items and I also suggest avoiding wall-wart powered items. They get lost and then it's useless or expensive for them to replace.

Board games, coloring books, crayons and the like come to mind. I'm still a fan of Tonka Toys type things. Boys and girls enjoy them.

Kudos to you for your generosity. You'll feel great no matter what you give. There's a use or most anything and they get the stuff to deserving kids/families. I have a lot o respect or Toys For Tots.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 4:07AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Don't forget that this is for "tots". You can't miss with coloring books and crayons, books, stuffed animals, hand puppets, board games for children, soft balls, etc. You would probably find much of what you need at the discount stores.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 8:15AM
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I have been told that Toys for Tots has a shortage of gifts for boys every year.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 12:58PM
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Thank you all for your comments aand wonderful ideas!


    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:28PM
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Great idea, nothing with batteries! Never would have thought of that.
If the parents can't afford toys, I'm sure batteries would not be easy to afford either.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 7:29AM
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