Crafty Ways to Reuse Toys

Recyclones Carnival

 Do you want to help your friends, family, and neighbors get rid of old, unused toys that might find their way into the trash?  Host a carnival!

Kids quickly grow out of their old toys.   Our goal is to keep as many toys as possible out of the trash.  We asked our family, friends, and neighbors if they had any toys they were planning to throw away and collected them to use as prizes for our carnival.  You can do the same!  Host a carnival in your neighborhood!
How to Host a Carnival:
  1. Gather a group of friends who want to help reduce the amount of toys going into the trash each year.  Solicit toy donations from family, friends, and neighbors.  Sort toys according to value into bins. 
  2. Create carnival games out of recycled material.  We used mainly cardboard.  Be creative!  Have fun!  Some of the games we created were skeeball, skill crane, target games, mini golf, plinko, and ring toss.
  3. Find a back yard or space to host your carnival.  Make tickets to give away after kids play games.  Kids use tickets to "purchase" a donated toy.
  4. Advertise your carnival.  Create posters and flyers to put around the neighborhood.  Invite neighborhood kids.
  5. On the day of the carnival:
    • Set up a concession stand to increase funds raised. 
    • Set out prize center with bins labeled and sorted by ticket cost.
    • Put on big smiles and get ready to make some kids really happy!
  6. Carnival Time!  Kids come and play your games.  They can pay with any coin amount to play each game.  Kids earn tickets depending on how they do in the game.  The goal is for kids to get lots of tickets so they go home with lots of donated toys!

Building Cardboard Skeeball


 Kids go home happy because they have new toys to play with and parents are happy because their kids didn't spend very much money on the new toys.

Donate money collected to an organization of your choice.  We chose the Minneapolis Toy Library because they are a mobile toy lending library that believes in the importance of reducing waste, fostering development, and creating community for families in Minneapolis.  


More Ideas
  • Create a new toy, like this Skee Ball game we made for our Carnival.
  • Stuffed animals make great bookends.  Just replace the stuffing with dried beans to weigh down the toy and create a sturdy bookend.
  • Another thing I like is using Scrabble pieces to make a coaster!

  • Glue lego pieces together to create picture frames. 
  • lego frame
  • Build a planter out of an old toy truck. 
  • Create a planter out of a plastic toy.
          duck planters
  • Always keep track of your keys!
         lego keys

          Find many more ideas on how to make toys out of trash here!