I know we all want to give our children the best, but sometimes buying the newest toy is not the best decision financially. Not only that, but so many of us use our hard-earned money to buy our kid a toy, only for him or her to tire of playing with it a day later. I heard this statistic somewhere: by the time a child reaches kindergarten he or she will be given 10 times his weight in toys. Shocking! Of course, we all want to shower our child with love and toys. Buying new toys seems like the first logical step, but I hope you reconsider after you’ve read some of my suggestions on how to save money on toys and reduce toy clutter (because you won’t feel bad throwing away toys you didn’t spend a lot of money on!). If you have any more suggestions, I’d love to hear from you, so please post a comment below.
This is such fun! I would not recommend doing this with your child present, at least the first time, because it could become a crazy crying fest. Get 4 or 5 friends together who have children about the same age and gender. Bring only “good stuff” and sticky notes. Give each mom a different colored sticky note. Display all the toys on a table and if there is an item you would like, put your sticky note on it. Once everyone has gone around the table, if there is only one sticky note on a toy, the mom who chose it gets it. For a more popular toy with multiple stickies, put the notes in a hat and draw. Fair and square.
Used Toys from A Thrift Store or Garage Sale
Garage sales and thrift stores are great places to get gently used toys for your children. Make sure to wash toys with warm soapy water and a toothbrush. Wooden toys have great repair possibilities. If there is a piece missing and you have a handyman in your life, have them make a new piece.
Oftentimes game boxes are beat up even when the contents are new. These boxes can be spruced up with paper and rubber cement or contact paper.
Fisher-Price toys are remarkable rugged, but they tend to show their wear as the stickers become dirty. Luckily, these stickers can be completely removed using nail polish remover. The toys can be left plain or you or your kid could add new stickers. Minor scuff marks on plastic can be removed with scouring powder.
Make Your Own
I must say that I am blessed to have a dad that is a woodworker in his spare time because he has made some great toys for my children throughout the years. They hold up so well that we have saved them for the grandchildren (no time soon)! You can also make less-complicated toys yourself, like a colorful rubber band ball for the slightly older kids.
Household Objects as Toys
I think all of us at some time or another are amazed at how much fun our children have with items that are not toys and wonder why we have filled their room with anything else! From pots and pans and a wooden spoon, to plastic-ware that they can stack, the items are endless and don’t cost a penny because you already own them.