Green Tip #242: Sharing Toys

Anyone who has looked after kids knows that they have short attention spans. Moreover babies grow at such a rapid pace in their first year that a toy that was intriguing and difficult to manipulable one month is easy and boring the next. So you go through a lot of toys, keeping them entertained and aiding in their development. You can spend a lot of money on 1st year kids toys.

SPF and I have bought toys both new and used and received others as gifts for lil’ SPF.

I was recently very happy to discover a toy library in town recently. It is part of a government subsidized family resource center which hosts drop in playgroups every week, teen parent support suppers, baby massage and sign language classes among many other great services. Kids can rent 2 toys and 3 books per month. Lil’ SPF and I have taken out a couple of toys now and he seems to enjoy them.

Not every town has such a program but if you don’t you could start one! Either through an existing family center such as ours or a church group. Or perhaps even simpler, set one up with some other parents you know with kids around the same age and trade toys. The kids will be happy with these “new” toys and you won’t have to spend a ton of money.

Added bonus as always with our Green Tips: less resources, production and shipping which helps our environment. Back to the good old days.  Win-win.

Would you think of using or creating a toy co-op?  How about borrowing toys from the library or trading with other Moms?

Check out our 365 Green Tips Series!

17 comments to Green Tip #242: Sharing Toys

  • My sisters and sisters-in-law all have young children very often trade toys, clothing and books. The only time there’s a problem is when visiting another household one of the children spies something that “used to” be hers and tries to take it back. That often leads to tears and hair pulling. It’s a great money saver though!

  • Amy

    Great project. I guess the key considerations could be the cleanliness of toys, their safety or hypo-allergenic standards and other concerns. Aside from toys, perhaps kids video rental may be a plus.

    • All good points Amy, the toys are supposed to be cleaned by the previous user but I give them a quick scrub before lil’ SPF uses them but I don’t fret too much about it, a little dirt never hurt anyone if anything its good for kids. As for safety, the resource centre staff look them over when they are returned as do I when I take them out. Video rental is a good idea, our library has kids movies but for now no video for lil’ SPF.

  • I love the idea. However, I agree with Amy – my concern would be how clean those toys are? Are they being cleaned on a regular basis. Other than that, I would be all for a toy co-op!

  • This is an awesome idea. A toy co-op would be huge money saver for parents and it’s green too. I don’t have kids but when I do I might just have to start one of these up. A little disinfectant is all you need.

  • Several years ago we gave our neighbor a doll house my daughter had grown out of. He had a granddaughter who visited often so it was a perfect toy to have. A co-op is a great idea but I would want to make sure they were clean before I would let a youngster play with them.

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