What You Can Do with McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys

Disclosure: I am a brand ambassador for McDonald’s. I am being compensated for this What You Can Do with McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

For many of us, the occasional fast food stops are a must for surviving a busy week. For me, weekly stops are part of my working mom survival plan. And I know plenty of stay-at-home parents who need fast food meals to get through the week, too.

Ideas for Using Happy Meal Toys - The Gifted Gabber

The other day, some friends and I were discussing options for utilizing the toys that often accompany kids’ meals. Some parents think it is great for their kids to get a little surprise treat here and there. Other parents look for ways to use those toys in more creative measures.

4 Ideas for McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys

1) Allow your child to enjoy the simple happiness of childhood with an occasional surprise with their food.

Ideas for using Happy Meal Toys - The Gifted Gabber

Ideas for using Happy Meal Toys - The Gifted Gabber


2) Save the toys for stocking stuffers.

This is what we are doing this year. I do allow the girls to instantly receive their Happy Meal toys part of the time. Other times, I save them in a secret spot to use for stocking stuffers later in the year. They will be happy to receive them – no matter when. I have stockpiled quite a collection! This method works best for younger children who may not already expect to recieve a toy with each Happy Meal.


3) Use them as part of a reward system.

My friend Tiffany at Single Mom Warrior wrote a post earlier in the year on how she uses the McDonald’s toys as her chore chart rewards. She has another post on using them as incentives for a reading program at home. We started doing a similar system several months ago with a “happy chart” for Scooter Britches. She gets to choose a prize from a treasure box when she has received so many stickers on her chart.


4) Use them as additions to “shoebox” gifts during the holidays.

If you find yourself with extra toys that maybe your own children don’t need or if you wind up with duplicate toys, use these as extra treats for shoebox gifts during the holidays. For instance, at the school where I teach, one of the staff members holds a shoe box gift competition each December. The students are asked to bring one shoebox gift to be sent to Mexico for children in an impoverished community there. Imagine how exciting a little extra toy in the box will be to children who seldom receive toys.

No matter what you choose to do with your Happy Meal toys, there are plenty of cool ideas for using them!

As you can see here, the girls can’t even keep their hands off of their favorite toys long enough for me to even get a photo of them!


Did you know that McDonald’s donates a proceed to Ronald McDonald House Charities for every Happy Meal purchased? That is something to feel good about!

Do you have any other creative uses for Happy Meal toys?



  1. Summer Simmons says:

    My friend saved all of their happy meals toys for an entire year (She has 4 kids) and then had a treasure hunt/pirate birthday party and used them as treasure. The kids had to find the treasure that was hidden all over their home and yard. It was one of my kids favorite parties ever.

  2. Ninz says:

    Great idea and super useful tips. I try to avoid McDonalds as much as I can but my son has collected so many Happy Meal toys throughout the year so these ideas were super helpful!


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