I could make this post all about coupons you can use and where to use them to save money on new toys, but I decided to write about the often taboo subject of buying your child used toys.  I know we all want to give our children the best, but sometimes buying the newest toy is not the best decision. 

**By the time a child reaches kindergarten he or she will be give 10 times his weight in toys**

We want to shower our child with love and toys, doing so with new items seems to be the first logical step, but I hope to get you to reconsider. 

Ways to Save:

Have a toy swap with other moms.
Shop garage sales or thrift stores
Make your own
Have them play with safe household items

Toy Swap

This is such fun!  I would not recommend doing this with your child present, at least the first time.  Get 4-5 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.  When everyone has gone around the table if there is only one sticky note on a toy, that mom gets it.  If there are many then put the notes in a hat and draw. 

Used Toys

Garage sales and thrift stores are great places to get gently used toys for your children. 

Wash toys with warm soapy water and a toothbrush. 

Wooden toys have great repair possibilities.  If there is a piece missing you you have a handyman in your life, have them make a new piece.  Plastic has an interesting property in that it can be screwed to a piece of wood.  Therefore, a new wooden piece can be made to replace or reinforce a broken one. 

Often game boxes are beat up even when the contents are new.  These can be recovered 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.  They can be completely removed using nail polish remover.  The toys can be left plain or if you are creative you can make new stickers.  Scuff marks on plastic can be removed with scouring powder.

Metal wagons and Tonka trucks can be steel wolled and repainted with Rust-Oleum.

Make Your Own

I must say that I am blessed to have a dad that is a woodworker in his spare time and he has made some great toys for my children throughout the years.  They hold up so well and we have saved them for the grandchildren (no time soon)!.

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 really not toys and wonder why we have filled their room with anything else!  From pots and pans and a wooden spoon, to plasticware that they can stack, the items are endless and don't cost a penny.

I hope you have gotten a few ideas!  If you have any suggestions, we would love to hear from you.