Making Toy Donations to the Child Life Department

Child Life Services Holiday Information Line

Play and expressive activity experiences can help children to cope and adjust to illness and hospitalization. Play and expressive arts are ways that the Child Life and Volunteer Services Departments at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC meet the developmental, psychosocial, emotional and educational needs of our patients. 

You can help by donating new toys, games and other play, art and diversionary supplies. Donation questions and arrangements can be directed to the Child Life Department at 412-692-5022. Donations are also accepted at the Welcome Center in the main lobby from 8:00 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. daily.

Donating Guidelines

In a hospital setting, safety, age appropriateness and infection prevention are just a few of our priorities. To help ensure all of these for our patients, please keep the following guidelines in mind when donating:

  • All donated items must be NEW and in the original packaging.
  • There are some items that we CANNOT ACCEPT:
    • USED toys/plush animals
    • Toys stuffed with shredded foam, small pellets or beans
    • Items that have been stored for an extended period of time (no longer clean/fresh)
    • Items that have a strong odor or scent
    • Remote or friction powered toys
    • Items with marbles or magnetic pieces
    • Toys with detachable parts (like button eyes) that could be removed, swallowed or inhaled
    • Toys made of glass or fragile toys that can break into small pieces with sharp edges
    • Toys or craft kits with toxic paints or glues
    • Toy guns and other violent toys
    • Any item that may pose a potential safety/choking hazard

Most Used, Requested, and Needed Items

The list is not exhaustive, and we are always looking for new ways to help provide comfort and normalcy to our patients and families. 

Please feel free to contact the Child Life Department with any questions or concerns you may have regarding donations: 412-692-5022

Thank you for thinking of the children and families at Children’s Hospital. Your donation is greatly appreciated.

Donation suggestions, include:

All Ages/Abilities

  • Gift cards – iTunes, Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Barnes and Noble, Giant Eagle, etc.
  • Event tickets – sporting events, theater shows, concerts, etc.
  • DVDs, books, magazines, video games

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Infants and Toddlers (Items labeled for ages 0-2 years)

  • Infant gyms - i.e. Little Tykes 5-in-1 Adjustable Gym ®, Chicco Duo Gym ®
  • Infant seats – i.e. Bumbo ®, Bebe ®
  • Crib soothers/mobiles *plastic* - i.e. Fisher Price® rainforest, jungle, ocean, etc. 
  • Activity, light-up, and/or musical toys
  • Rattles, teethers, small hand toys, links, pop beads
  • Stacking rings, star stackers
  • Books: Soft vinyl, hard cardboard, musical 
  • Baby dolls, various ethnicities *plastic* 
  • Stuffed animals with embroidered, non-button eyes
  • Step 2 Push Around Buggy ®

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Pre-school Age Children (Items labeled for ages 3-5 years)

  • Puzzles – i.e. wooden, peg, sound, 24-piece
  • Blocks: simple stacking, Duplos ®, Mega Blocks ®
  • Books: pop-up, musical, popular characters
  • Pretend play – i.e. toy cash register, kitchen, tools, etc.
  • Medical play kits
  • Play Doh ® and Play Doh ® Toys
  • Baby dolls, various ethnicities *plastic* 
  • Stuffed animals/Pillow Pets ®
  • Larger cars and trucks *non-remote controlled* 
  • Popular characters – i.e. Thomas the Train ®, Sesame Street ®, Disney ®, etc.
  • Little People ® Activity Sets
  • Animals, dinosaurs, people figures, etc. 
  • V-Tech ®, Fisher Price ®, Baby Einstein ®, Step 2, ® Little Tikes ®, etc.

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School Age Children (Items labeled for ages 6-12 years)

  • Cars and trucks *non-remote controlled* – i.e. Matchbox ®
  • Barbie ® dolls, including Ken ®, various ethnicities
  • Doll house furniture and people 
  • Action figures, super heroes *non-violent*
  • Blocks – i.e. Lego’s ®
  • Musical instruments – i.e. keyboards, guitars, drums, etc.
  • Puzzles – i.e. wooden, 60 – 500 piece
  • Coloring, crossword or word search books
  • DVDs, books, magazines, video games
  • Popular characters – i.e. Webkinz ®, My Little Pony ®, Littlest Pet Shop ®, Batman ®, Spiderman ®, etc.

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Teens (Items labeled for ages 13 years and older)

  • Gift cards – i.e. Best-Buy, I-Tunes, Target, Wal-Mart, etc.
  • Kits – i.e. craft, model, building 
  • Scrapbooks and accessories, journals
  • Hair accessories, nail polish sets, etc.
  • DVDs, books, magazines, video games
  • Flip-flops, slippers, socks
  • Pajama, sweat pants
  • T-Shirts – all sizes
  • Table top sports/games – i.e. air hockey, pin ball, etc.
  • Sports – i.e. Steelers, Penguins, college, etc.

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Games (New, in original packaging)

  • Card games – i.e. UNO ®, Skipbo ®, playing cards, etc.
  • Sorry, Connect Four ®, Trouble ®, Guess Who ®, Memory ®, etc.
  • Operation®, Apples to Apples®, Taboo®, Pictionary®, Jenga®, Scategories®, Life®, etc.

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Arts and Crafts

  • Gift cards – Michael’s®, JoAnn Fabrics®, etc.
  • Crayola® Color Wonder
  • Paintbrushes and paint – i.e. fabric, acrylic, tempera  
  • Plain canvas tote bags, pillowcases, bandanas, etc.
  • Scissors: safety, regular, scrapbooking, fabric, etc.
  • Scrapbooking supplies – i.e. albums, paper, embellishments, etc.
  • Beads, lacing, pompoms, foam shapes
  • Craft kits - i.e. jewelry, foam, wooden, ceramic, suncatchers, etc.
  • Paper: computer, colored, sketch, tracing, cards, etc.
  • Canvas boards (for painting)

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  • CDs – i.e. lullabies, Kids Bop, popular artists, etc.
  • iTune® gift cards
  • Portable CD players
  • iPods®/MP3 players
  • Vinyl headphones

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"Big Ticket Items" (These items must meet hospital regulations, please call 412-692-5022 with questions.)

  • Digital cameras, portable photo printers, printer ink and photo paper
  • DVDs (G, PG and PG-13 rated only)
  • Portable DVD players with case
  • X-Box 360 and games
  • Nintendo Wii and games
  • PlayStation 3 and games
  • Nintendo DSi/3D and games
  • PSP and games
  • Game tables (pool, bumper pool, air hockey)
  • iPad and protective screen covers
  • Tablet (Droid)
  • iTune cards to purchase apps
  • Cricket machine and kits

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