The following post is from contributing writer Kristen.
If you have children, you have probably spent some well earned money on an expensive toy that your child never played with. Or maybe he only played with once or twice. In addition, you might have toys around your house that are no longer used. Small children often loose interest in toys once they have “ mastered” them. I see this already, and my child is only 6 months old.
It is nice to save these unwanted toys for additional children, but why not exchange some of them for new toys? It does not have to cost anything! Having a toy exchange can also cut down on the amount of clutter in your house. You might be surprised at how fast things accumulate after you have kids.
It was easy for me to organize a toy exchange. I have three good friends who, like me, all had their first child towards the end of 2011. I organized a “ Toy Exchange” with them. All four of us brought 3 baby toys that we thought our kids had mastered and went home with three new toys for our babies to play with.
How to Organize a Toy Exchange
1) E-mail your friends who have kids the same age as your kids to see if they are interested in participating. The friends I asked to participate are all within the same social circle. Also, I suggest to keep this small, you don’t want to exchange all the toys in your house.
2) Decide on a time and place, where the Toy exchange will take place.
Discuss what type of toys will be exchanged. Before the toy exchange takes place, the participants should discuss what type of toys they are planning on exchanging. This way each child is getting a fair trade when they are so graciously giving something away.
3) Before the toy exchange, wash the toys you are exchanging. All Plastic non battery toys can be washed by hand in the sink or you can also run them in the dishwasher. If a toy has batteries, you can wipe it down with a soap and water rag. All Stuffed toys can be cleaned in the washing machine.
4) Exchange your toys!
5) Just incase you are not sure if the other participants washed their toys, wash your new ones.
6) Watch your child as they play with their new toys! When I pulled out my six month old son’s new toys, he got really excited and started smiling and kicking! What a great way to change up the rotation of toys without spending any money!