This is a guest post written by Tom Hardy, co-founder of Toy Advisors.
You should be wondering how you can reduce and save money on toys. Children most at times tend not to care where you get money. All they need is a new toy, teddy, dolls etc. Here are five ways on how to save money without affecting the play activities of your child. Let your child play without having to break the bank!
1. Make kid toys by yourself
Children are undoubtedly the craftiest group. Given opportunity, they can make several toys using the already utilized household items. You can save big on money if you know the art of making toys. You can even make a balance bike for about $10! Here are some other fun ideas that can give you some inspiration to make play things out of what you already have at home.
a. Old socks – Instead of throwing away an old pair of sicks that is worn out or has holes, or even a sock who is missing its pair, you can instead make a simple toy or doll from them. Take a look at this Sock Doll Bunny pattern for an idea!
b. Toilet/kitchen rolls – You can make a child’s binoculars and let your child play the spy. Simple. What do you need? Nothing. Just reshape the roll to your desired look and you are good to go. Or even make something like these Toilet Paper Roll Snowmen!
d. Used Coffee Can – Upcycle a coffee can into a fun pair of stilts for the kiddos to walk on!.
e. Magazines/ catalogs – Make some paper beads and let your kids make some jewelry!
(Pssst….these homemade ideas might be better as projects you make with your kids, rather than wrap them up and give as gifts.)
2. Teach your kids about saving
You are wondering when your child will understand that these items are costly. Children will use a toy briefly and throw it away or tear it into pieces. You swear not to buy another one again? But inevitably, you get them a new toy anyway. But it’s not always healthy for parents to keep spoiling their kids in that fashion.
Children think that parents have unlimited money. So the next time your child wants to get a brand new toy from the store, have them do some chores to earn and save money so that they can purchase the toy themselves.
3. Trade and borrow toys
The monotony of an item or activity is why kids eventually ignore the toys they already have. Instead of constantly buying new toys, develop a cycle of borrowing or exchanging and trading the dolls, toys, puzzles, etc within a circle of friends. You can make a toy library when 3 or 4 families join in!
4. Never Pay Full Price for Toys!
5. Transform household items into toys
Make a “box-o-fun” by putting in spatulas, tongs, pots and pans, Tupperware containers, or any other non-breakable kitchen gadget into a box and let your kids use their imagination on how they can use those items for play! You can create a similar box out of old clothes and dresses for your child to play dress up!
Kids don’t need expensive items to have fun. They just need a few items that can spark the creativity that is already inside them. As parents, we can foster this without spending money on the latest trendy gadget that will be ignored by our children a few weeks after they get it!