These days, you can get free toys for babies, toddlers, and even bigger kids. It’s just a matter of where and when to find them.
- Daily Goodie Box - Grab a GIANT box of free samples from some of the world's most popular brands.
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As you may have noticed with my baby-related posts, like free diapers, you can actually stretch your budget if you develop a system of obtaining free stuff.
Toys are the hardest to find since “toys” typically fall outside the basic necessities like food or clothing.
But you can get free toys.
Here Are 5 Ways to Get Free Toys
1. Become a Toy Tester or Toy Reviewer
The most effective way of product development research involves reaching out to your target market. Popular brands like Nike, Reebok, Revlon, MAC, and even newer app companies do these kinds of product testing all the time. Sign up at sites like Product Testing USA and SurveyJunkie to maximize your chances of getting an invite to test new products.
Toy companies also know the importance of product research and use kids as toy testers (and their parents as toy reviewers), so if you’re interested in getting free toys, here’s what you should do:
- Follow your favorite toy brands on social media. Follow just a handful, or go crazy and follow them all. It’s totally up to you.
- Find official groups and join them. Most of these are free and anyone can register to become a member.
- Join newsletters of your favorite toy brands. Sometimes, toy companies may send announcements of toy testing programs to their newsletter subscribers. Indicate that you want to join toy testing if the opportunity arises.
If you can, be an active follower by commenting on posts, sending inquiries, and even leaving feedback on toys your kids already own.
When you are sent an invitation to test a product, the company will ship it over directly to your home, wait for you to review it (you could create a video, complete a survey form, or leave a testimonial). In exchange for this review, the company will let your kid keep the new toys.
For those who have super-active social media pages (Instagram, YouTube, and so on) or who maintain a parenting blog, toy blog, or similar sites, it’s likely that toy brands would just send free toys over for you to review and post about.
Here are also some sites that are offering free toys for testing:
2. Hunt Free Toys on Freebie Sites
Freebie sites organize items that are being given away by certain companies. These sites can either have a ton of categories (clothes, pets, babies, house, and so on) or focus on only one category.
Note that the toys usually listed on these sites are not full-sized, but sample-sized toys. Even so, these toy sample still works as their full-sized counterparts.
Begin your hunt on Google and search “free toys” and “free toys by mail”. In most cases, you’ll have to fill out a form to request a free toy and then wait for it to be shipped to your address.
Remember: Never give away sensitive personal information, such as your social security number, account numbers, and so on.
One example of a freebie site is Freecycle.org, an organization aiming to keep items out of landfills by providing a platform for members to list unwanted items they would like to give away for free.
3. Browse Through the Free Sections of Local Buy and Sell Sites
There are local buy and sell sites and apps that have a category for free items, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: it lists items whose owners simply want to get rid of quickly that they’re willing to give these items away for free.
Search for terms like “free toys,” “baby and kids,” or “toys and games” to start you off.
Here are some sites you can look at:
4. Gifts from Non-Profit Organizations
Many organizations collect toy donations and choose recipients based on certain conditions. For some organizations, the recipients would have to fall below the poverty line or be a member of a household whose head of the family is serving the military.
The Toy Foundation, for example, collects millions of toys from toy companies and distributes them to thousands of children’s charities around the globe.
Mattel, the makers of Barbie, also has its own toy donation program.
Your local Life Care Centers, which help struggling moms or moms-to-be, may also have a toy donation program.
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5. Toys for Tots and other Christmas Gift-giving Programs
Founded in 1947 by reservist Major Bill Hendricks, Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve. The main role of this organization is to distribute toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas.
Other organizations that lead toy donation and gift-giving programs include:
- Operation Christmas Child
- Make a Wish Foundation
- United Way Christmas Bureau
- Salvation Army
- Prison Fellowship Organization
- Christmas Spirit Foundation
- and many more.
Know that most of these organizations send free toys only to those who really are in need. For example, kids of parents who have lost a job recently, kids whose parents are trying to succeed in drug rehabilitation, or other specific eligibility requirements set by the organization.
Other Ways You Can Get Free Toys
You can also take a chance at traditional sources, such as garage sales in your neighborhood or your own church. You’ll never know when people want to dispose of old toys, so always be on the lookout.
Have you considered toy swapping? This activity involves exchanging toys from your household with another parent/kid. The toys you receive could look “new” to your kids, even if they’re actually pre-loved toys.
Do you know more sites and resources that give away free toys during Christmas (or even on regular days)? Please leave me a comment below!