Toys for Tots Gift Ideas
Many of us are so willing to give, and when the giving season arrives, we head straight to the stores! However, we all too often get stuck staring at the shelves when it comes time to actually pick something out, especially for children we’ve never met. If you’re wanting to give to Toys for Tots this year, check out this list of great Toys for Tots gift ideas! We’ve even included a helpful printout you can bring with you when you go shopping!
Because Toys for Tots accepts nearly any toy donations and they encourage a broad range of gift ideas, there’s not many guidelines to go off of when trying to choose a toy for a child. If you’re like many and struggle to find the perfect items, you probably need some direction! Go through this list of gift ideas and use our helpful printout the next time you go to the store.
Some Toys for Tots locations only accept gifts for ages 0-12, but some accept up to the age of 16, so we’re including all ages here just in case!
0-2 Years Old
The best baby toys are ones that are engaging and help them learn and develop their motor skills. Rattles, building blocks, sensory books, and musical toys are all great examples of this. Babies also explore with their mouths so having a safe teether to chew on is always a good idea. As babies 0-2 are also learning to walk, a toy they can push and hold onto, like a stroller, is also a great option. All babies need to be warm and cozy as well, so you can never go wrong with gift sets that include clothes, socks, blankets, hats, and gloves. To keep them even more warm and cozy, get a warmie plush animal. These stuffed animals can be warmed up in the microwave to provide a soothing warm atmosphere to any baby.
3-5 Years Old
During ages 3-5, children are full of energy and nearly perfected their motor skills! Now’s the time to get them those fun toys they can begin making memories with. If you’re looking to go big with your gift, a bike with training wheels would be a great gift for a 3-5 year old child. Children this age also love to dress up, so help them explore their fairy princess or super ninja reality with some fun costumes. Children this age like to play pretend as well, so gifting a baby doll, a playhouse, and animal figurines is perfect.
3-5 year olds are still learning, so you can never go wrong with gifting books, toy clocks, counting cards, problem-solving games. As mentioned, their fine motor skills have improved tremendously, and they’re likely ready to start coloring. It might be a while before it’s inside the lines, but a coloring book and crayons or markers would be a great gift idea. They’ll also be starting pre-school soon, so you could also gift a small backpack.
6-10 Years Old
6-10 is a wide age range, but there’s no denying all children between these ages want cool, fun toys! Some toys that are really cool that can also keep their attention for a while are building sets. This includes Legos, transformers, and other simple model sets. If you want a real throwback, you can’t possibly go wrong with Lincoln Logs! In conjunction with building sets, a puzzle might also be a great gift to get them thinking hard.
Since kids this age won’t usually have cell phones, walkie talkies could be a great gift idea as well. This age is when kids really begin finding their talents and discovering hobbies they enjoy, so gift sports equipment including footballs, soccer balls, bats, gloves, baseballs, a volleyball set, or something similar.
Some children would love nothing more than to be gifted a dollhouse and a few dolls for Christmas! If you want to go big, gift a bike! These gift ideas would make any 6-10 year old very happy!
11-13 Years Old
11-13 year olds are beginning to phase out of the toys that once brought them so much enjoyment. They’re now moving into more mature hobbies such as making jewelry for their family and friends, or spending their time painting, coloring, or drawing. Gifting a jewelry-making set or art supplies is a great idea for 11-13 year olds. While some love making jewelry, some may rather just wear it, so gifting necklaces, rings, and bracelets might be a fun idea as well. You could also gift a journal or diary for them to doodle their thoughts in.
There’s no denying they still want some cool toys at this age too though. Remote control cars, handheld video games, and more mature board games are great ideas as well. If you want to go really big for this age, a rechargeable motorized scooter would be an awesome gift.
13-16 Years Old
Teenagers may be the hardest age to shop for! Don’t worry, we’ve found some great ideas that will make any teen happy! As they begin to get older, they may want to begin experimenting with makeup. Fun eyeshadow palettes, lipstick, mascara, and contouring kits could be a great idea. Another great idea is gifting a purse, as teenage girls especially need a way to carry around their belongings.
Some other fun ideas for this age group include Spike Ball, a fun game to play with their friends, and more complicated model cars, airplanes, boats, and more. If you’re looking to go big for this age group, you could gift a guitar or other musical instrument, or even a rechargeable drone! They’re sure to spend hours on end enjoying any of these fun gift ideas.
What to Avoid
While there aren’t many stipulations for gift ideas, Toys for Tots specifically mentions a couple. It’s best not to give any realistic-looking weapons or any gifts containing food. It’s also a good idea to stay away from any gifts that may need additional supplies. This includes things like an Easy Bake Oven where the children would need more baking mixes, a polaroid camera where they would need to buy more photo printouts, or video games where the household would need a console or remotes. They also may not have internet access, so games that require internet connection should likely not be bought either.
Huntsville Toys for Tots
Garrison & Garrison proudly takes part in Huntsville’s annual Toys for Tots campaign every year! In 2021, all Huntsville Toys for Tots locations were able to gather and distribute 31,408 toys! We’re looking to do even better this year and need the help and support of our community to do so! Our dropbox will be located at 4922-A Moores Mill Road, Huntsville, AL 35811. Please follow along with us on Facebook and Instagram for more information on when our drive begins and ends.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting our Madison County community!