Don’t know what to do with old toys? Here are 25 Ways to Recycle Toys this Global Recycling Day, so you get more use out of something you would have tossed!
Kids today have something we didn’t as kids – loads of toys! And parents today have a problem our parents didn’t have – too many toys! With kids stuck at home for over a year now, we probably bought them more toys and games to compensate for everything they were missing out and now it’s out of control!
Even if you don’t have too many toys, it’s inevitable that kids will outgrow their toys at some point, or that they’ll become unfit for use. This is specially true of toys that come in sets, and missing a few pieces can make the toy difficult to play with.
If too many toys is your problem, we suggest toy rotation. Keep 5-6 toys out and hide the rest. After a month or two, bring out another set of 5-6 toys and hide everything else. Doing this will keep old toys fresh, and kids are more likely to play with their toys when they aren’t overwhelmed with choices.
If you are certain that your child will most certainly not play with a toy anymore and its still in good condition with all the parts, consider donating it. You can give it to someone in your neighborhood, like your maid or security guard or send it out to an NGO. Always make sure to clean the toys and remove any batteries before donating. Involve your kids in this process, so they get used to the idea of giving.
Now if you’ve exhausted all options and there is no way out but to throw the toy away, stop! There’s always a way to recycle and upcycle old toys, whatever it may be. Today, we’ve got 25 creative ways to recycle toys, especially since this is the month of Global Recycling Day. Let your kids join in and get in the spirit of reuse, reduce and recycle!
25 Ways to Recycle Toys this Global Recycling Day
1. Minifigure Clock
If you’ve had play sets of which only the little people are left and you don’t have the heart to throw them away, do what Derien Madame does, and turn them into a clock! This is also a cool way to give an old clock a cool makeover!
2. Toothbrush Holder
If your kids have trouble getting into a proper brushing routine, maybe trying out this trick from Kids Activities Blog will help. If you have some oversized toy animals or dinosaurs and really don’t want to store them, just drill some holes and turn them into a brush holder.
3. DIY Bow Holder
If you have a little girl or boy who’s a hoarder and simply can’t let go of her favorite toys, Makely has the solution for you. Put them all together on a single frame, and turn that frame into a hair accessory organizer – win-win!
4. Dinosaur Bookends
Here’s another awesome solution for large size plastic animals or dinosaurs – book ends! While this requires sawing the animal into two, you can soon put them together with the help of these plywood pieces. Get the instructions over at Doodle Craft Blog.
5. Toy Train Shadow Box
The Trendy Tree House has a great idea for toy trains that also works well for die cast cars, which let’s admit it – you have a whole lot of ! All you need is a frame that’s a little deep to use as a shadow box, and the right size for your collection of cars.
6. Animal Drawer Pulls
How gorgeous are these drawer pulls from Apartment Therapy? No one would think that they’re cast aways from your child’s toy collection! Take those plastic animals, spray paint them in gold paint and stick them on to give your drawers a new lease of life.
7. Toy Wreath
If you’ve got a random assortment of toys and you don’t know what to do with them, you can put them all together to make a toy wreath, as shown in Infarrantly Creative, and use it to decorate your child’s room.
8. Lego Key Hanger
Legos are generally something that don’t have an end age but if for some reason your child isn’t so much into it, you can use them in many useful ways around your home. Studio Felix shows us how to use Legos to make a simple key holder.
9. DIY Puzzle Piece Magnets
Puzzles are an excellent toy for kids, but kids outgrow them soon enough. If you have puzzle pieces that are made of wood or a thick, durable material, do what Momtastic has done, and turn them into fridge magnets.
10. Board Game Art
We’ve all had board games in our home at some point in time, and soon enough the pieces get lost and the board becomes redundant. Unless, of course, you turn it into a framed art piece, as shown in Infarrantly Creative.
11. Action Figure Vase
With all apologies to He-man, this idea from Gadgetsin is pretty clever! If you’ve got action figures who’re past their prime, just spray paint them a bright color and hand them a flower or plant to hold on to – quirky and custom decor!
12. Plastic Animal Jar Lids
Plastic animals seem to be the most versatile toys around, as this project from Mason Jar Crafts Love proves! The smaller ones work great as lids for mason jars. This makes sure that your old jar lids get reused, and in a fun and cute way.
13. Cross Stitch Tennis Racket
Maybe your child’s tennis racket has gotten old, or the pandemic has simply relegated it into the corner. In any case, Sadie Season Goods shows us how to turn an old racket into something gorgeous, which you can even give out as seasonal gifts.
14. DIY Toy Photo Frame
Sometimes we find our homes crowded with teeny tiny toys, many of which come with restaurant meals or inside chocolates. Art & Almonds has a solution that’ll make use of all those bits and bobs in a clever solution – a gilded frame!
15. Neon Animal Push Pins
If you have really tiny plastic animals, why not attach push pins to them and give your message board a complete makeover! Go neon like A Bubbly Life has done or spray paint the animals gold.
16. Upcycled Puzzle Art
If you’ve got a boring puzzle that the kids are tired of making, go the Alisa Burke route and turn your old puzzle into a beautiful piece of art – which also works as a brand new puzzle for your kids!
17. Truck Pin Cushion
Your kids’ toys may just turn into something useful for Grandma! Just Something I Made shows us how to turn an old toy truck into a cute little pin cushion that Grandma will always have as a reminder of her precious grand kids!
18. Playing Card Notebook
Most families have playing cards of which a card or two are missing. If you find yourself in this same situation, go ahead and turn them into little notebooks! Find the instructions over at Finding the Thread.
19. Jenga Necklace Holder
Jenga is a fun game, but once you start losing blocks, not so much. Brit.co shows us an interesting way to take some Jenga blocks and turn them into a lovely necklace organizer. You can even fit it inside a cupboard door.
20. DIY Mirror of Happiness
We just love the name of this project – mirror of happiness! It’s the perfect name, considering it’s made from all your child’s precious toys collected over the years, and connected to many memories. Check out the tutorial over at Be a Fun Mum.
21. Toy Animal Planters
If you’ve got some large size animals that your child is too old to play with anymore, turn them into planters, as shown in Oh So Lovely. Most of these animals are hollow inside, so once you cut off the top, you can easily use the inside to hold a plant.
22. Lego Minifigure Cable Organizer
With online classesonline classes in full swing, every member of the family has multiple devices and of course, many cables. Sugru shows us how to keep those cables organized the fun way – with the help of Lego minifigures! Their little hands are perfect to fit in a mobile or tablet device charger.
23. Board Game Coasters
Board games are a great way for the family to bond together, but soon enough, they start showing signs of wear and you’re tempted to throw it out. But wait – DIY Everywhere has a way to turn them into cute and quirky coasters you can use.
24. Scrabble Letter Globe
This project from Setting for Four uses up two different belongings of your child – a globe that’s worn down, as well as old Scrabble tiles. The result is a glamorous looking piece of art that’s worthy of sitting in your living room.
25. Retro Domino Clock
This is a fun way to tell the time – using Dominoes! Cleverly shows us how easy this is, and all you need is a little clock device and you can use any frame you like as long as its big enough for the dominoes.
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