Make your toddler toys interesting again (without buying new ones) with these easy tips.
If you know you have too many toddler toys at home yet your toddler still seems bored, try some of these tricks to make the old toys fun again.
Is your house overflowing with toys? Mine is! We have a small place and it seems that despite having lots of toys I'm always hearing "I'm bored!"
I used to think that buying more toys was the answer to this but quickly realized that this didn't really solve the problem.
Then I discovered that the average toy spend, per child, per year is $1000! That's each child! I'd love to think that that figure didn't apply to me, but in reality, I'm sure it does.
Before you begin these strategies I would also recommend trying to organize and store your toys in a way that works for you. We asked our Facebook group for their real-life toy storage tips and you can see their great ideas (with photos) here.
This Christmas I'm on a mission to sort out our toys, and aim to keep them fresh and interesting - but without spending more! A few ways I aim to do this are:
Introducing Toy Rotation
One of the biggest reasons kids get bored with their toys is because they have constant access to them.
Simply by splitting up the toys into big boxes and rotating which toys they can play with, you will find that they are suddenly interested in them again.
There are many different ways to do toy rotations - random boxes each week, by theme, by type etc.
I like to try and swap the toys every week. I also keep a rainy day box for those days where you've been stuck inside for way too long and just need something fun for the day!
Organise a toy swap
If you have friends or family with similar-aged children, try to organize to swap toys for a few weeks.
The chances are that their kids are bored with their toys as well and some fresh new toys will be great for both families. I did this with my nieces and it worked out really well (and saved us a lot of money!)
Ask around at playgroups too - I'm sure many other parents would be keen to give this a try.
Toy Swap Party
You can also host a toy swap party (these are fun!). Each child donates a number of good quality, working toys. They are all placed in the middle of the room and then each child takes turns choosing a new toy that they would like to take home.
They'll walk away so excited about their new toys that they won't realize that they have lost some. It is a good idea to limit the new toys and donate the toys that are left over.
If you don't want the kids to be involved, make it for parents only and keep the 'new' toys for birthday or Christmas gifts.
If you are lucky enough to have a toy library near you this is always a good option. I've never lived close enough to one to make it convenient, but it can be a great free or low-cost option.
Try searching in your local area and if you are in the USA you can find a list of toy libraries HERE. If you run a playgroup or a church group you could always start your own from donations. I've also seen neighborhoods do these in a similar style to the neighborhood books libraries - you take a toy and you leave a toy!
Keep toys for later
If your toddler gets too many birthday or Christmas toys, instead of letting them have them all at once, hide them away and slowly introduce them throughout the year. This way they'll be new and fun (and you won't have a mountain of toys taking over your living room!).
This is an idea that I wish I had know about when my oldest child was born. There are quite a few places that rent toys - a good way of using them for a while and then sending them back. This is a really good idea if you are on holiday and don't want to take toys with you. One of the major companies offering this is BabyQuip.
I hope these help you to make your toddler toys interesting again (without buying new ones). If you find you have too many toys you may want to look into our tips for decluttering toddler toys.
Why not join our Facebook group for more toddler tips and activity ideas.