Santa brought, and brought, and brought some more, and now the post-holiday toy hangover is bigger than you expected. If your kiddo’s toy box is overflowing with everything they don’t need and don’t use now that January has rolled around, you might be tempted to purge. And while taking your little one’s prized possessions away is a major no-no (unless you want to deal with the tantrum to end all tantrums), you can creatively declutter while doing good. Before you start tossing toys into the trash, check out the charitable ways to deal with the excess. And bonus: Your kid will get a lesson in giving, gratitude, and helping others.

Box of toys on floor

1. Donate to a charity. Along with national charities, there are plenty of local organizations and groups that will gladly accept new or gently used toys. While those well-worn stuffed friends are probably a no-go when it comes to donation, charities will take the barely-played-with plush toys that were discarded in the post-Christmas toy rush. Let your little one help you to choose toys to donate, and make them a part of the charitable do-gooding.

2. Give to a friend in need. Do you have a friend, neighbor, coworker, or family member who could use a hand? Whether she’s a pregnant mama who just lost her job, can’t afford the latest and greatest toys for her littles, or has some other temporary buying-power issue, the gift of a toy or two will bring some smiles. Again, have your child help you during the toy selection process.

3. Make a hospital delivery. Hospitals and medical centers that cater to children often need toys for their pint-sized patients to play with. Talk to local hospitals and doctor’s offices and ask what types of toys they need and if there are specific guidelines for donating gently used items.

4. Brighten a shelter. Homelessness isn’t easy for anyone — especially children. Young kids who live in women’s and homeless shelters with their parents need a sense of normalcy, and toys can help to provide this. Your child’s excess can turn into something majorly meaningful for a child who could use a boost.

5. Regift anything that’s still new. The cavalcade of toys that the holidays brought means that some of what arrives won’t ever get to play with. Instead of letting those new, still-in-the-box toys gather dust in a closet somewhere, regift them. Not only does this tactic help you declutter your space, but it saves you money.

6. Have a yard sale. When the weather finally gets warmer, set up a sale! Ask your kiddo to help pick out playthings that they don’t or won’t use. Put them to work, making price tags for the items or arranging the toys in a stylish table display. Your child’s first yard sale job isn’t just a way to get rid of the excess. When the money starts coming in, hand it over to your child. Now they have something to add to their piggy bank!

7. Community playgroup giveaway. Your local playgroup has maxed out on the same ol’ toys. Clear out the excess with the gift of giving — to your neighbors. Bring the toys along to the next scheduled playtime and ask who wants what.

8. Disaster relief donation ideas. Bottled water and blankets aren’t the only things that disaster victims need. A fire, flood, or other similarly devastating events can take away everything that a child has. While nothing will replace their lost lovies, your child’s toy donation can brighten a seriously dark time.

9. Friends in different stages. Having a baby, toddler, or big kid is expensive — even for parents who seem like they have plenty to spend. Toys that aren’t exactly on par with your kiddo’s current developmental level often go unused. Match these leftovers with a friend’s child’s needs and give those excess items away.

How do you help your child to understand giving? Share your ideas and tweet us @BritandCo.

(Photo via Getty)