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Re-Using Old Cuddly Toys

By: Sarah O'Hara BA (hons) - Updated: 22 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Cuddly Toys Teddy Bears Re-use Money

As your children grow older, you may end up with lots of cuddly toys that they no longer play with. Discarded cuddly toys such as teddy bears add to landfill waste. As well as this, they are often just too cute to throw in the bin.

Here are some ways you can re-use old toys.

Selling old toys

Sometimes children are given so many toys, they just don’t get used. If this is the case, you may be able to make some money back on toys that are still in good condition. Consider eBaying them or selling them at a car boot sale. Make sure you wash them first.

Give them away

Of course, the simplest alternative to chucking out a teddy bear or toy is to give it a good wash and pass it on to a new good home.

Some charity shops will take old cuddly toys but others won’t due to fire and health and safety risks so it’s worth checking with individual shops in advance. You can also give toys away on Freecycle. It may be easiest for you to give a batch of toys away together, rather than one at a time.

Ask around to find out if a toy library is running in your area. Toy libraries will usually welcome any donations of usable toys.


Old toys can also be stripped for parts (ouch!). Eyes, noses and other parts are useful additions to craft boxes and can be used in a wide range of projects.


If the toy is ripped or losing its stuffing, why not remove the insides and use the toy as a glove puppet?

Make something new

You could try to make something new from an old teddy bear, such as a pyjama case or a rucksack.

All you need to do is make a slit in the teddy’s stomach, remove the stuffing and insert a zip. You may need to do this by hand, unless you have a sewing machine that can handle the thickness of the teddy’s material.

To make a rucksack, just add straps in a strong fabric. Add some interfacing too where you attach the straps to strengthen the fabric.

Buy fewer toys

If you’re concerned about not creating more waste with unused toys, you may also want to consider ways to reduce the amount of toys your child has. It can be difficult, but here are some tips:

  • Find out what your child really wants and observe what toys they play with the most. Buy them toys they will love, cherish and look after.
  • Impress upon your child the importance of looking after toys, rather than allowing them to treat toys badly and replacing toys every time they get unnecessarily broken or damaged.
  • Ask for alternatives to toys as gifts. This may be swimming or cinema vouchers, music lessons, books or days out.
  • Set yourself a budget for Christmas and birthdays so that you don’t go overboard on unnecessary gifts and toys that your child doesn’t need.

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