As your kids get older, they outgrow many toys along the way. Whilst it’s great to be able to donate these items to a shelter or to pass them along to another family with younger kids, some of those toys might be just too grubby for giving away, or hold sentimental value for you (baby’s first rattle, for example). Here are three ways you can keep those toys – but not in the toy box!

lego figurine toys

#1 Shadow box it

This is a great way to keep the memory alive! Simply stick or tape the toy (or toys) to one of the inner sides of the shadow box. Soft toys or small items like rattles are best for this project. Choose a nice paper as a backdrop, and add some text to it explaining the significance of the item. Perfect for your child’s bedroom wall, or out in the living room for guests to admire. Shadow box frames can be bought from Ikea or Paper Market.

For some inspiration on shadow boxes, click here.

Shadow box

Image credit: Pinterest

#2 Paint it

Jar toppers are all the rage for parties these days, and Junior’s farm animal collection, dinosaurs and toy soldiers will be just perfect! Coat each figurine with paint – gold, silver, black and white are nice festive colours that would fit any occasion – and glue to the lid of mason jars, cookie tins, virtually anything really. They make great table centerpieces too – just imagine a row of silver reindeer lining up along the middle of your dining table?

For some inspiration, click here.

#3 Print it

Keep a boxful of old toys that can be used for all sorts of creative paint escapades. Think out-of-the-box and imagine how each item can be used. For example, old toy cars can have their tyres dipped in paint and go ‘driving’ around a giant sheet of white paper, leaving behind lovely car tracks. Plastic foods can be arranged on a mat or table as the subject matter to be painted. Or squirty bath toys can spew water colour on paper with interesting effects!

By Dorothea Chow