Brighten the day of a child patient: Donate a toy

News Archive January 04, 2012

Brighten the day of a child patient: Donate a toy

The Child Life Services team at the Ronald McDonald Children's Hospital always appreciates small gifts and prizes for the children in our care. Keeping these gifts portable helps us share them with more children in more areas of the hospital.
Families sometimes approach us asking what kinds of toys they can donate. The following list of suggested toys, organized by age for infants, toddler/preschool, school age and teens.

Please contact Child Life Specialist Megan Gertz at (708) 216-3161 for all donations. You can email her at

How do we use gifts?

We use your generous donations of gifts in multiple ways, all year round. For example, children are often given the chance to pick a prize after a particularly hard day or on a special occasion, such as a birthday or after a round of treatment.

Suggested small gifts and prizes:

  • Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars
  • Small popular cartoon characters or figurines
  • Mini Lego kits
  • Card Games
  • Handheld games
  • Small jewelry or bead kits
  • Small DoodlePro
  • Key chains
  • Finger puppets
  • Fancy pens
  • Decorative pencils
  • Plastic Slinky
  • Small conainers of Play-doh
  • Silly Putty
  • Small kaleidoscopes
  • Balls of any size
  • Super balls

More suggestions, by age: infants (0 to 18 months)
Especially needed are infant/toddler crib toys, rattles and teethers.

  • Rattle and teether toys, crib links
  • Crib toys, musical toys
  • Musical and light soothers
  • Shape sorters, stacking rings, cubes, cups, activity blocks
  • Mobiles
  • Duplo blocks
  • Books, especially board books
  • Bouncy seats
  • Crib mirrors
  • Activity gyms
  • Baby Bjorn

Toddler/preschool (18 months to 4 years)

  • Cause-effect toys (child’s actions cause sounds, lights, music or movement)
  • Cars and other vehicles
  • Role play toys, like kitchen sets, play food, doll furniture or tool sets
  • Play medical kits
  • Baby dolls (all ethnicities, both genders)
  • Pillow Pets and other stuffed animals
  • Duplo Blocks
  • Little People sets by Fisher-Price
  • Popular characters toys/figurines (Toy Story, Dora, Thomas)
  • Pull/push/roll toys
  • Shape sorters and linking toys
  • Musical tables, toys and instruments
  • Bubble machines
  • Peaceful aquariums
  • Books (English or Spanish), musical, interactive books, pop-up books
  • Recordable books
  • Puzzles (24 pieces or fewer), giant floor puzzles
  • Bubble tumblers (non-spill)
  • See 'n' Say

School age (5–12 years)

  • Portable DVD players
  • Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars
  • Popular cartoon character toys and figurines (My Little Pony, Toy Story, Dora, Thomas)
  • Bionicles, Lego kits
  • Plastic dinosaurs and animals
  • Trains, cars, trucks and other vehicles
  • Barbie dolls and accessories
  • Pillow Pets, other stuffed animals
  • Handheld games
  • Nerf Ball games
  • Fisher-Price Kid Tough Magna Doodles
  • Play-doh Fun Factories
  • Beads and jewelry-making kits
  • Craft, model kits, Crayola Color Wonder
  • Board games (Sorry, Life, Clue, Checkers, Chess, Let’s Go Fishing)
  • Card games (Uno, Blink)
  • Books (English or Spanish), activity books (Where's Waldo, Eye Spy), musical, interactive
  • Recordable books
  • Coloring books that are nonviolent
  • Puzzles, 25 to 100 pieces

Adolescents (13 years and up)

  • iPods
  • Headphones
  • Portable DVD players
  • Hand-held game units
  • Itunes cards
  • Fun toiletries (nail care, brushes, combs, pins)
  • Backpacks, tote bags, toiletry bags
  • Make-up starter kits
  • Magazines (teen, fashion, sports)
  • Diaries, stationary, notepads
  • Bionicles, age-appropriate Lego kits, Transformers
  • Word search books, sudoku books
  • Books (English, Spanish or Polish)
  • Playing cards
  • Picture frames
  • Jewelry kits
  • Key chains
  • Stress squeeze balls
  • Model Kits (age appropriate – challenging)
  • Teen oriented puzzles (up to 150 pieces) – music bands, movie stars etc.

Movies, music and video games

(Please note that we do not currently have a need for VHS tapes, but DVDs are welcome.)

  • Portable DVD players
  • iPods and other mp3 players
  • Headphones
  • DVDs: newest releases with G or PG-13 ratings, nonviolent, movies for teens are especially needed.
  • Video games (nonviolent) for the following gaming systems: Xbox, Xbox 360, Wii, Playstation 2, Playstation 3 and Game Cube

Arts and crafts supplies

  • Art kits
  • Crayola Color Wonder markers
  • Crayola Giant coloring pages (all ages)
  • Coloring books (all ages)
  • Crayons (regular, jumbo for toddlers, Twistables)
  • Washable markers
  • Watercolors and washable tempera paints
  • Do-A-Dot Art paints
  • Glitter pens and glitter glue
  • Play-doh (2 oz. containers)
  • Glue (glue sticks, multi-purpose glue, Tacky Glue)
  • Foam shape stickers
  • Construction paper
  • Pipe cleaners, pom poms
  • Paint brushes and sponges
  • Self-drying art clay
  • Beads
  • Glitter/sequins, google eyes, feathers
  • Craft sticks
  • Safety scissors

School supplies for school services

  • iPads
  • Dry erase crayons
  • Mechanical pencils
  • No. 2 pencils (especially "fun" decorated pencils)
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Erasers (especially "novelty" erasers)
  • Folders
  • Pencil cases
  • Skill-based workbooks

A note about stuffed animals, blankets and other plush items: We welcome donations of newly purchased stuffed animals with tags. Unfortunately, we can't accept stuffed animals that have been on display or stored in a way that may have gathered dust and allergens.
We also welcome hand-made blankets. Fleece "no-sew" varieties are popular. Please gently launder your blankets after they are made before delivering.
To prevent transmission of household allergens and other contaminants, please transport and deliver fabric items in plastic trash bags that are tied at the top.

Gift Cards 

  • Target
  • Walmart
  • iTunes
  • Michaels   


Office of Media Relations

Marketing Department

(708) 216-3200
Office of Media Relations

Marketing Department

(708) 216-3200
© 2011 Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division. All rights reserved.  &npsp; Privacy Policy   Privacy Policy