There are many families in the United States today living with such low incomes that new toys for the children are a luxury they just can’t afford. Think of the joy that your organization can bring to some of these children by simply spending a couple of hours working together to assemble items that will be donated to children in need. Participants build camaraderie and strengthen relationships as they assemble rocking chairs, rocking horses, or toy boxes. Teams also assemble teddy bears to provide a comfort item for the children as well.
As participants arrive at the event, they receive a team bandanna and head to their assigned table to meet their teammates for the activity. After a brief introduction, the emcee hands off to a representative from a charity, such as a foster home or Boys and Girls Clubs of America, who tells the group about how the toys they will assemble throughout the event will make a difference and directly impact the life of a child.
Before teams begin to assemble their toys they must first earn the items by completing various puzzles and challenges. For example, teams may have to complete a word search filled with toy and game related words. Once all of the words are crossed out teams must string together the leftover letters to reveal a secret phrase which they must tell a staff person in order to receive their teddy bears and stuffing. Teams must complete another challenge to earn the outfits for the bears.
Each team will assemble two wooden items. Some teams will work on rocking horses, some rocking chairs, and some will work on children’s desks or toy benches. Every team will also have five teddy bears to stuff and clothe in cute outfits. The outfits give a personal touch to the stuffed animals. They help the children differentiate their own bear from their siblings or others at the foster home or hospital where they are staying.
In addition to the toys, teams will also be given cards and writing utensils so they can write personal notes of encouragement to the families and children who will receive the items. After a heartfelt thank you from the non-profit representative, the group gives themselves a big round of applause for their participation in the Toy Workshop. Everyone leaves with a great feeling knowing they provided a toy and a smile for a child in need.