Mattel brings us Playback time – #TAPTOREBOX

Encouraging parents to declutter, donate and recycle Mattel have launched this nifty campaign called playback. After undertaking a survey over Xmas they discovered a few things, namely;

  • On average UK children have received 10 new toys this Christmas with 57% of parents worrying what will happen to their pre-loved toys after Christmas gifting*
  • 64% of parents wish they had more opportunities to recycle their kids’ toys
  • Three quarters of British parents will be decluttering kids’ bedrooms during the Christmas break
  • Half of British parents will make a New Year’s Resolution to live more sustainably in 2022 with recycling the #1 way the plan to achieve this
  • Professional Declutterer and Life Coach Kate Ibbotson has top tips for parents to help them recycle, donate and declutter this Christmas
  • Parents currently recycle 18% of their child’s outgrown toys, with programmes like Mattel PlayBack offer easy solutions to help parents recycle more

Delving further into the research it appears that children will have received on average 10 new toys each this Christmas, with over half of parents worrying what to do with their preloved toys. So it is #TaptoRebox time with Mattel PlayBack; a toy takeback programme for Barbie, Matchbox and MEGA so you can extend the playtime of your Mattel toys when you’re done and donate them.

Kate Ibbotson, professional declutterer employed by Mattel says “If you didn’t manage to declutter before Christmas, now is a great time to start as we look ahead to a New Year. Encourage children to donate toys to charity which they don’t use or have outgrown or use the Mattel Playback scheme.


The A Tidy Mind team all donate and recycle items on behalf of their clients and are determined that nothing should go into landfill if it can be avoided so I am a big supporter of the Mattel PlayBack programme I have found that children are passionate about donating and recycling their toys and it can develop their sense of empathy and social responsibility.”


To get involved in the PlayBack programme get along to, print a free shipping label, and pack and mail your toys back to Mattel.The toys collected will be sorted and separated by material type and responsibly processed and recycled.



  1. If you didn’t manage to declutter before Christmas, now is a great time to start as we look ahead to a New Year. While your child is excited by their new toys, pull out some of their older toys and consider what is no longer useful or past its shelf life. Encourage children to donate toys to charity which they don’t use or have outgrown.
  2. To avoid getting overwhelmed, declutter in small bite size chunks i.e. one drawer or shelf at a time. Or decluttering by category is ideal because when you gather together similar items, it’s easy to identify duplicates and make decisions. When it comes to toys, you can subcategorize and go through each systematically i.e. dolls, building blocks, vehicles.
  3. Decide where you are going to store each category of toys (preferably near where they will be used) whilst considering the space available.
  4. Be prepared with donation bags, tape for broken boxes, small bags or boxes for cards & other little toys, elastic bands to hold paint brushes and so on. Keep a box to hand for random pieces which you find which belong to a game or toy you can’t locate right away.
  5. It’s up to you if you involve your little ones, depending on their age. But as a default, it is better to give them some control. You may want to involve them for some categories and not for others. Children love to give to other children who are less fortunate than themselves & that can be a meaningful conversation.
  6. Involve them in the process of donating to charity or recycling. Discuss why other children might need their toys. By passing some of their toys on, you will empower them, make them feel good about themselves and send an important message. It is well documented that doing things for others makes us happier in the long term and it’s never too late to start.
  7. Companies like Mattel are offering parent solutions to live more sustainably. Mattel PlayBack is a toy takeback programme that recover and reuse materials from old Mattel toys that are at the end of their life. Consumers can visit, print a free shipping label, and pack and mail their outgrown Barbie®, Matchbox® and MEGA® toys Mattel toys back to Mattel to be responsibly processed and recycled.
  8. If decluttering without the child present, think about which toys they really love playing with. As a parent you’ll know which are special to them. If you’re unsure on a particular toy keep it to one side & ask them – this also builds trust. Don’t throw away a beloved possession or something you’re unsure about or clear their bedroom without their permission as this can could cause a breach of trust or even contribute to hoarding tendencies in later life.
  9. Label everything. This will help your children to tidy up & anyone else who is helping like a grandparent or nanny. If your child is too young to read, you could use photographs of what’s in that storage area.
  10. Remember your child doesn’t have to have 100 of everything, it’s about quality over quantity.

About Hannah Jenkinson

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