Are the holiday toys getting old yet? If you need to renew the toy box, you can lend, borrow, or trade with parents in the same situation. Create a toy trading circle to keep your child’s toys new.
I don’t know how often a child needs a new toy—really NEEDS a new toy—but I found it worked best to vary the time between new toys. Surprise new toys were wonderful! Surprise old favorite even more so.
Now that they have more control over their own possessions, my children still trade toys with their friends. I don’t think there is an age limit on the idea of toy trading.
Set the Rules with the Parents
Talk to parents at play groups and in the neighborhood to see if they are experiencing a similar toy fatigue. Whether you involve the children depends very much on their age. A two-year old is very unlikely to give up any toy in their hands, but a few years later you might find your child intrigued by the idea of a trade. Set the rules of the trade with the other parents.
Be sure to clean the toys well. If the toys can’t be put in the dishwasher, at least find a non-toxic toy cleaner to clean them up for the next family. Usually, vinegar and warm water will do.
Buy and Sell Toys on Consignment
If you haven’t found a circle of friends to trade toys with, create your own circle with a consignment store.
If you have enough toys in your own family, you can rotate toys out of the toy box into the attic. When I found that my children had too many toys and too little time to appreciate them, I created a toy retirement program. Put one away to get one back out. It was interesting to see which toys they chose once they had to give it some careful thought. You might learn something you didn’t know about your child’s real preferences.