Toy Closet Program

A hospital stay can be scary and lonely for a child. The goal of the Toy Closet Program is to provide pediatric patients with comfort, enjoyment and support while they are receiving care  at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital. Toys are given out 365 days a year.

The program was started in 1993 by News 8 anchor Ann Nyberg and the Yale-New Haven Hospital Auxiliary, led by Marjan Wackers. Since then, the program has proven to be an enduring success. It has wide-ranging support from the hospital staff, civic and service organizations, school and university groups and local businesses and benefits from numerous individual and family donations.

Toy Donation Suggestions

The toys listed below are suggestions by age group. Contact the Auxiliary office for advice concerning items of greatest need. All toys must be new and unwrapped. Plush toys are not accepted due to hospital infection control standards. Toy sizes should not exceed 24” in length.

Infants and Toddlers (Newborn to 3):

  • Baby and toddler books
  • Light-up musical toys
  • Baby mirrors
  • Crib mobiles and toys
  • Baby rattles Shape sorters
  • Teething rings
  • Push/Pull toys
  • Soft baby dolls
  • Stacking toys
  • Musical instruments
  • Wooden puzzles
  • Pop-up boxes
  • Toddler trucks and cars
  • Soft balls
  • Blocks
  • Teethers
  • Toddler play toys with people or animals

 School Age Children (Age 4-12):

  • Art supplies
  • Building toys and kits
  • Cars & trucks
  • Coloring books
  • Sticker books
  • Activity books
  • Craft kits
  • DVDs
  • Games
  • Sporting goods
  • Books
  • Dolls


  • Gift cards (iTunes, Subway, etc.)
  • Advanced art kits
  • Advanced building sets
  • Books
  • Cosmetics
  • Jewelry sets
  • Music players and CDs
  • Nail polish
  • School supplies
  • Sporting goods
  • Games
  • Advanced craft kits
  • Video games/hand-held games

Toy Safety Guidelines

We appreciate all toy donations but request that the toy safety guidelines are followed to ensure the safety of our pediatric patients.

• To protect our patients and follow infection control guidelines, we can only accept new, unwrapped items. We cannot accept used toys.

• Size should not exceed 24” in length to accommodate the dimensions of the Toy Closets.

• Toys should have manufacture/store tags or labels attached.

• Toys should not have small parts that can be removed or swallowed. Toys should not have sharp edges or protrusions or be made with brittle glass or plastic.

• Electrical, spark producing or friction producing toys cannot be accepted.

• Movie tapes in VCR format are not acceptable.

• Due to hospital infection control standards we cannot accept plush toys.

• Painted toys must be non-toxic, any glue or paint in craft kits must also be nontoxic.

• Toys representing violent themes cannot be accepted. (War figures/soldiers, guns etc).

• Due to varying dietary restrictions food and candy cannot be accepted.

• All toys must meet established safety standards for recommended ages.

• Prior to bringing your donation, please complete the Donation Form and bring with the donation.

Donate to the Toy Closet Program

We give out toys to pediatric patients 365 days a year. Your donations make that possible. We'd like to thank you for your generosity! 

There are lots of ways to participate in the Toy Closet Program – from making donations and delivering toys to kids, to hosting a toy drive or becoming a volunteer. No matter the level of involvement, we sincerely appreciate your support!

The success of our program is not just based on the donations we receive, but on the dedication of our volunteers. Click the link to sign up to become a volunteer for this important cause.

Sign Up to Help