Smart Ways to Save on Toys
This post is brought to you by American Express.
As parents, we are aware of the challenges and tremendous rewards that our children bring into our lives. Above all else, we want to provide our kids with the very best, even when that means cutting back on some of the other luxuries in life. We also recognize the importance of play and how children learn through play-activities. However, toys can be expensive! The following nine suggestions provide some smart ways to save on toys for the kids.
Use Coupons, Promos and Credit Card Points:
Coupons and promos offer great ways to save money on more expensive items. When you use your credit card for payback points it’s possible to save a bundle. You can also take advantage of discounts and rewards offered by your credit card company.Watch for specials, shop the sales, use coupons, promos, and whenever possible take advantage of great payback rewards!
Activities at home that don’t need store bought toys:
Use your imagination and help your children use theirs! Set an example by thinking outside the box… or by using one like box painting. A discarded large-appliance box can provide hours of fun simply by turning it into a rainforest.. The same box can also be turned into an art studio. Help your child draw pictures on the sides, cut out a door and windows and you have a ready-made playhouse, store, or clubhouse for your kids! Drape a blanket over a table, throw in some pillows, and sit back while your kids play.
Craft sessions can be turned into toy making session:
Make your own toys out of fabric remnants, plastic spools, paper-rolls, and boxes. Most children love puppets. A mismatched sock and a few buttons can be turned into any character or animal. How about using paper rolls to make castles and airplanes for them? Coffee cans into an ice cream play set? Turning a craft activity session with your child which in itself is enjoyable into a toy making session makes it enjoyable for the kids. Check out the all our craft ideas here. You can find tons of upcycled “toys” here.
Buy Used Toys:
Used toys can be purchased online and in second-hand stores for a fraction of the cost. Often these cast-offs are in excellent condition, just make sure to wash and sanitize them before placing them in your child’s hands. Amazon, eBay, and used-book stores are great places to find deals on children’s books and goods.
Exchange Toys with Friends:
Set up a toy-swap with your friends, either in one of your homes or in a local park. Many times children grow tired of their own toys and welcome a change. Additionally, children tend to outgrow games and activities long before they wear out, Take advantage of items that are still in good condition by exchanging them with friends. This is a wonderful way to get together with other adults and your kids will benefit from this practical way to socialize! (Note: If it’s difficult to get out, host an online toy-exchange on an online social-networking group.)
Even though our children may grow tired of their own toys, they often have more than they need. Take half of their toys, games, and books and pack them away. Then every half year or so, exchange the stored items with the others. This saves on space, prevents wear and tear, and helps preserve the novelty of special toys. Here is a wonderful post on toy rotation.
Sell Toys Online:
Sell outgrown toys online, at a yard or garage sale, or on a local website. This is a wonderful way to clear out toys, games, DVDs, videos, and books. Any profit can then be used to purchase new items for your children that are suitable for their current needs.
Go Green with Toys:
Why not go-green with your children’s toys? Not only are organic products safer, and eco-friendly, they generally tend to last longer and preserve the planet for future generations! Talking about “going green” why not make nature your big playroom? Use nature bits as your “toys” Go old-school and play with sticks, stones, leaves? Getting the kids outdoors gets them moving and pushes them to think creatively. Here are some ideas for natural playscapes.
While toys help children learn about the world, form interactive social skills, and develop cognitively, there is no substitute for human interactions. One of the smartest ways to save money on toys is by teaching him or her that less can be more. Teach by example, donate outgrown items to other children and help your child create toys from household items. You are your child’s most important teacher! Make household tasks enjoyable, turn on some music, wash dishes together, teach your child a craft, and enjoy the thrill of simple pleasures such as picnicking in the back yard, reading, and blowing bubbles!
More ideas for making toys can be found at Babble Dabble Do
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