Ways To Get Free Toys for Christmas

Toys for Tots
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Fayloga

There are many ways to get free toys for Christmas and the holiday season, but for those who know that saving enough money ahead of time will be a challenge, it is important to plan ahead. 

Unfortunately disasters, illnesses and the unthinkable can happen. Christmas and the holiday season is stressful for many families who struggle with everyday expenses.  Many people live paycheck to paycheck, which leaves very little extra money, if any, to purchase toys and items for family members during the holidays.

There are unique ways to receive gifts from agencies and people within the community.

No-one wants to see a loved one, especially a child, without at least 1 gift to brighten their spirit during the holidays. 

Here are some ways families in need can get free toys for the Christmas holidays:

1. Fill out a Toys for Tots application. Toys for Tots is an organization coordinated by the Marine Corps with individual locations throughout the nation. The organization secures and sorts toys donated by the community. After filling out the application, a coordinator contacts the applicant. Toys for Tots aims to provide each child ages newborn to 14 with 1 new large toy and 1 new small toy for Christmas. Items provided are limited to toys available at the time of the request. 

2. Contact local churches. Local churches often coordinate toy drives in the weeks before the holiday. Even if they aren to able to donate a toy, they often also collect gift cards and food donations that are given to families in need, too.


3. If a child participates in services through Early InterventionHeadstart, or with other agencies in the community where they are often provided with free services due to their income, these organizations may also coordinate toy donations during the holidays, too. 

4. For parents with access to the internet, they might want to search private Facebook groups or websites such as Freecycle.org.

These online yard sale groups are full of people who have recently decluttered their play room and want to sell or donate,  new or gently used toys, often for a fraction of the original price. Many children do not notice if a toy has been gently used, they believe in the magic of the holidays will be excited to see something new and different.  

5. Coordinate a toy swap with friends. Set a date and time for friends to get together and bring toys in good condition. Draw numbers, then pick an item from the pile that your children might be interested in. 

6. Enter contests online. Bloggers and writers on the internet frequently offer contests on their websites for toys and other items provided by manufacturers, especially near the holidays. Visit websites such as Contests.About.com and Online-Sweepstakes to search for sweepstakes and giveaways by specific toys and gifts. While it can be time consuming and you may have to share your personal email, not all giveaways have a lot of entries.


Find out about giveaways and contests with toy companies directly. Search for the toys you think your child would like, then like and follow those companies on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Create special lists of these companies and check back frequently to see if they are offering their readers and fans a chance to win something new.