How can I reuse or recycle parts of wooden toys?
We’ve had an email from Sarah P:
Cleaning out my boys toy box before Christmas, found lots of pieces of wooden toys from when they were little, sorting blocks, building blocks that sort of thing. Tried to get them into original sets to give away but either too many pieces missing or just not knowing what goes with what. Nice colours and shapes, shame to bin them.
As for the “not knowing what goes with what” issue, enlist the help of your sons ;)
If the pieces are from well known, popular toys, it might be worth offering them on Freecycle/Freegle or even eBay as spares – someone might want to complete their half-lost set or, as in the case of free building stuff, expand their supply. (Searching “spares” in the young children Toy section on eBay returns a lot of Playmobile/Brio/ELC HappyLand stuff so that stuff would probably go more quickly than generic building blocks or cheap toys.)
I can understand the desire to declutter before Christmas but don’t underestimate the value of random bits & pieces for future imaginative play potential – I remember having random bits of pre-school toys around until I was at least 10, using them as assorted markers or objects, reinventing them in different ways to fit the purpose.
The toys will likely to have been painted or varnished so shouldn’t really be burnt or composted and I suspect to be safe for little ones, they’ll be quite chunky – possibly too big for upcycling into fun costume jewellery. They might make a mobile or a decorative door hanger for a nursery though.
Any other reuse suggestions?