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How to Host a Toy Swap

How to Host a Toy Swap

 If you've ever been to a clothing swap, you know how thrilling it can be to find a perfect piece of apparel AND clear out your own closet. The same can be done for your child's toys. This has so many benefits.

 

  1. It can help you declutter
  2. You can access new, novel toys for free
  3. You are helping keep toys in use and out of landfills
  4. You're building relationships with other families in your community 


With these benefits in mind, we wrote a guide for our community managers to plan their Tiny Earth Toy Swaps in 2024. And we're making the guide open to anybody interested in planning a Toy Swap. We've even shared a folder full of marketing assets and planning materials! Happy Swapping! 

 

Event Planning and Organization

Our Goal

  • The primary goal of our local toy swap is to promote sustainability and community engagement by providing a platform for families to exchange gently used toys.
  • Your event can have as few as 2 people or as many as are interested! The key is keeping toys in use and out of landfills and providing new ways to access educational toys. 

Target Audience

  • The event is designed for families with children aged 0-7, focusing on toys suitable for this age range. Plan for a 2 hour event to accommodate maximum participation.

Venue Selection

  • Secure a venue with sufficient space for displaying and organizing toys, considering factors like accessibility, weather and parking. Some good locations, weather permitting, could be local parks, school gyms, a fenced backyard, local library or community center. Most will require outreach to secure permission to use the facility but most will not require any payments. 

Community Involvement

  • See if there are any local preschools or daycares who would like to attend to access much-needed classroom supplies. You can also source a few local centers (shelters, schools, etc.) to donate toys at the end of your event. 

Toy Collection and Donation Process

Guidelines for Toy Donations

Have toys that your little one is no longer loving? Let’s keep them in use!

  • Please bring 3-5 toys geared towards little ones 7 and under, wooden preferred
  • No vintage toys, or toys with missing parts or broken pieces
  • All toys should be wiped down prior to showing up
  • Bring a reusable bag or boxes for your takeaways
  • Optional: Toy Drop-Offs

    If you would like to collect toys in advance, feel free to do so! Any items not swapped can be donated.

    Event Promotion and Marketing

    RSVP

    • You can create an RSVP form using Google Forms, Evite, Paperless Post, Facebook Event or other software platform. 

    Text, email, social posts

    • See linked folder below for assets you can use to promote your event in emails, via text or on social media. 
    • Please tag us in your social marketing so we can share your event with our broad audience. 

    Local Media Outreach

    • We recommend sharing your event details with local coffee shops, fitness centers, and co-working spaces. You can reach out to newspapers, radio stations, and community bulletin boards too. Social media can also be a great resource! In our area, there’s Triangle Families Explore (IG/FB pages), and a few other social handles that advertise free family related events. Facebook groups are also a fantastic place to market your event! 

    Event Execution

    Registration and Check-In

    • Set Up a Registration Table: Create a registration area to track participants (just name and email) and exchange toys. Ask them to fill out # of toys swapped on their way out!

    Ideal Scenario

    • I arrive at the toy swap and am greeted by the host 
    • I set down the 3-5 toys I brought somewhere that’s clearly labeled, I have a few minutes to merchandise my toys
    • The host announces a kick-off within 30 minutes of the event start time
    • I walk around, and grab the same number of toys I brought
    • My toys are all taken except 1, so I drop the last one in the donation box for the host
    • Questions:
      • Toys are swapped on a first come, first serve basis
      • The event time allows for ~15-30 mins of setup, and an hour of exchanging
      • Honor system is fine

    Want access to marketing materials? Head to this folder and download resources for your swap event! 

     

    Curious if there is a Toy Swap in your community? Check out the Tiny Earth Swaps here

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