As parents, it’s easy for us to get swept up in the holiday madness, on a mission to fulfill every item on our little ones’ wish lists. Though there’s nothing wrong with some good-natured holiday spoiling, we can’t forget the many kids who may not be as fortunate as our own.

Organizations and charities are always in need of donations, and there are so many ways to give back. The Toy Insider team is lucky enough to donate toys to kids nationwide year-round, and we always keep in mind a few factors as we ship them out. Gender-neutral and low-tech toys, or toys that require little or no battery use are important to keep at the forefront of every donation. Before boxing up an item to give away, check out some of our favorite toys to send along and why they make such great options for donations.

Finger Puppets (Folkmanis)

From alligators to bears, turtles to birds, this collection of mini finger puppets has something for everyone. Each adorable little friend has a spot for one or more fingers, and kids can insert and wiggle their creature to life. Whether kids use them as puppets or mini plush pals, they’re affordable enough to gift a bunch so that kids have a wild array of tiny friends to join them on a safari, into the jungle, or under the sea!

ALEX Play All Day (Alex Brands)

This set will keep a kid busy all year long thanks to its endless play value. With seven different creative and engaging activities available, boredom will never be an option. Little ones can tell a story with blocks, match and count numbers, create emojis, and more. Best yet, everything fits into the confines of the convenient cardboard carrying case, so kids can take it with them on all their journeys to and from home. It’s the one-stop shop for fun!

Justice League and Marvel Figures (Schleich)

Schleich makes beautiful hand-painted figures with tiny details that let kids play out their superhero dreams and encourage them to participate in imaginative fun. Depending on your budget, these figures are available to purchase alone or in an assortment. Additionally, toys like these are great add-ons to other action figures or dolls that kids may already have, so they can use them to extend their play. Super fun!

Mini Arcade Games (Basic Fun!)

Mini Arcade Games are a blast from the past that give kids their own replica arcade games in handheld form. The machines are small and compact, shaped like the original contraptions with a teeny joystick to control movement and buttons to start, mute, and fire. Now gamers don’t have to spend the big bucks on a gaming system and accompanying accessories, because they’ll get all the thrill they need from these charming, throwback games. Start it up!

Clue Suspect Card Game (Winning Moves Games)

The classic murder mystery game gets a modern look and new way to play. Players use their hand of cards to determine the suspect, weapon, and location of the crime. Kids will get lots of play value, as they can play it over and over again, gathering different clues and conclusions each time. Once they are done playing, they can neatly store it, packed away inside the tiny box. I suspect that this will be a hit!

About the author

Stephanie Grassullo

Stephanie Grassullo

Stephanie Grassullo is an associate editor at Adventure Publishing Group. In addition to handling toy and licensing news and updates for The Toy Book and The Licensing Book, Stephanie also writes toy reviews and commentaries for the Toy Insider. When she’s not binge-watching old episodes of Gossip Girl, Stephanie is always game for Boggle tournaments—she’s the titleholder Boggle champion in her family, and proud of it! Stephanie firmly believes that there is no awkward moment that can’t be remedied with the help of Bop It. To get to know her better, follow her on Twitter @steph_grass.