One of the biggest mistakes parents make, especially in the time when their family is young, is to over spend and buy more toys than children can possibly play. I know this is an issue in my house. When children are in a play room, overflowing with toys, they often will retreat, feeling there are too many to choose from, and will not play with any of them. It is important to purchase toys that will last for a long time, too. Fewer well made toys will be a much greater gift than more toys that are made without lasting quality.
Children, who are already feeling that they don’t have any control over their environment, will just become more frustrated when a toy breaks in their hands because it is poorly made. Always keep in mind the age and physical development of the child when buying a toy. There is nothing worse than a child picking up a toy that is out of their age-range and they end up breaking it because they’re not developed enough to regulate their hand strength. Children are not capable of making the right choices for their own age group, so it is up to the adults to do that for them.
Think Before Buying
When buying gifts and toys for holidays and celebrations, remember to take a deep breath and know that what you end up buying will be played with, probably in a rough manner, , so you’ll want it to last. What’s the sense in spending money on something that is made so poorly it falls apart after the first time out of the box? (I guess you could always revert back to the box-idea and give them that to play with!) But the toys that last are usually the ones that are made from good, solid materials; like wood. Wood is such a great material to make things from and as long as it’s FSC-certified, you won’t have to worry about harmful toxins coming off when the child is teething and the bonus is that it could last for several generations (reinforcing that reuse idea, all the more).
Gently Used Toys
You may even be able to get some of the original money set out for the product by selling it on Craigslist or eBay. If you’re thinking of selling it at a yard sale, just know that you won’t come close to getting the “value” of it because the yard-sale-mentality is to get what you can for as little as possible, but you still can get something monetary back if you do this.
Find toys that will last for a long time and can either be passed down through the generations or re-sold for a little pocket money. Keep in mind that when it comes to children and toys, more is not better and making informed purchases based on the child and the quality of how the toys are made, are in the hands of adults. Most toys and games come with an age range printed on the packaging and it is important to not buy gifts that a child will not be capable of playing with for a few years.
One thing we like to do in our house is that for every new toy you get, you must go through your toy box and get rid of one. One great thing to do it keep them in a box (up high were they can’t later get it out) and every month or so take them to the Goodwill or children’s place that might use them. I ask my daycare center if they can use them first and then look at shelters that can use them. This is a great habit to start. I think it helps the kids feel their toys are going to someone who will use them rather than the garbage.