Discount. That word perks anyone’s ears up. If you’re caring for children and looking to save money, it sounds even more appealing. You’re probably
always on the lookout for discount preschool toys. You not only want to save money, but you want to make sure your small child is gaining a positive educational experience while they play. You want something that’s durable, safe, and won’t break the bank.
Summertime is a great period to look for discount items. Sales and fairs are popping up everywhere. Keep in mind some helpful information while you’re on the hunt for the right toy at the right price.
Think Outside The Box
There are rare occasions when you can hit the jackpot with older toys. While you don’t want to go too far back, there’s a good chance there are good toys right under your nose for a very low price or even free. Do you have a large family? Some of your cousins or nieces and nephews may have recently outgrown
some toys that may be perfect for your child now. You can also ask around at work, church, clubs, or anywhere else you frequent. Friends and family may be a great source for toys you’ll child will love for years to come.
Other places to look are garage sales, flea markets, and even fairs and festivals. Sometimes you can kill two birds with one stone by finding great, unique toys on your family outings. Craft shows and handmade fairs may feature original toys that you won’t find anywhere else.
Speaking of handmade items, Etsy is a great place to shop for toys. You can find toys that are crochet, wooden, or personalized especially for your child. Just because a toy is handmade doesn’t mean that it isn’t educational. Wooden toys can include Montessori and Waldorf-inspired nesting toys, a felt-stuffed alphabet, or a personalized wooden-jigsaw puzzle.
Toys don’t always have to be the traditional kind. Remember some of the best fun you had as a kid? Did it always involve toys? Personally, I remember spending a lot of time in my laundry basket. It wasn’t a toy exactly, but I had so much fun pretending it was a car, spaceship, house, etc. What better discount than allowing your child to exercise their imagination with items you already have lying around the house?
Are you crafty? Could you be? Isn’t it so much fun to explore new experiences with your kids? Even if it’s not in your nature to sit at a table and make something, you will enjoy seeing what you’re made of while sharing laughs with your kids. Also, your kids will show a greater appreciation for toys they made themselves.
Stumped about what to make? Visit your local library (with the kids of course) and check out some craft books. You can also find tons of ideas online. Try starting here. You can also explore Pinterest for countless ideas.
You don’t always have to spend a lot of money on supplies. I made some paper airplanes for boys in my class and they spent nearly an hour flying those things! Even when it was time to put them away, they were still asking about them.
Remember, your kids don’t require much to have fun.
Discount Toys in Stores
There’s a reason I put this section towards the end. Sometimes, you have more fun exploring new ways to find cheap toys. Still, there’s nothing like a visit to the toy store! Luckily, there are some great places that you can find toys at a reasonable price. Even with the closures of popular toy stores in recent years, there’s still no shortage of places to find toys.
The next time you’re in your neighborhood drug store or dollar store, take a stroll down the toy aisle. It’s amazing the things you’ll find there. Oftentimes, it’s great quality at low prices. My local drug store carries art sets, board games, and dolls. If you’re visiting the dollar store, I highly recommend Dollar Tree. Not only is everything in there actually a dollar, but you’ll find real toys like costumes and play-doh.
Of course, many discount stores such as Walmart carry toys but make sure you do some comparison shopping before making a large purchase. While Walmart has some great deals, sometimes you can find the same thing or something similar for a better price online or at another store.
Another place that people tend to overlook are the clearance racks. When I walk into a store, I tend to head straight to the back, which is usually where the discount items are. Don’t assume that just because something is on clearance that there’s something wrong with it. Usually, stores mark down items just to make room for new inventory. Other items may have been returned. The great thing about clearance items is that every store has them.
Don’t Sacrifice Safety For Price
This is a no-brainer. Just because something is offered at a lower price doesn’t mean it’s unsafe, but keep some things in mind. Remember that just because it’s marketed to kids doesn’t mean it’s safe. Depending on where you purchase, a toy may be too old or it may be offered at a lower price because it’s faulty.
For younger children, you’re concerned about small parts breaking. You also want to make sure that the toy is age-appropriate.
According to KidsHealth.org , toys are monitored by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision. Thier regulations state that toys made or imported into the United States after 1995 must comply by their standards.
When searching for safe toys, consider these guidelines:
- Lead-free paint should be used for painted toys
- Art materials should say non-toxic
- Stuffed toys should be washable
- The fabric used in toys should be flame-retardant or flame-resistant
- Crayons and paints should have been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials. Packing would read ASTM D-4236
Today, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a toy in the store that doesn’t comply with these guidelines, but it doesn’t hurt to check twice. If you’re purchasing toys outside of the store, such as at a garage sale or a hand-me-down, double check that it’s safe for your child. Not only are older toys more likely to break, but what may have been considered safe 30 years ago may not be today.
Now that you have some basic information, you can have a blast finding toys for low prices or next to nothing. Toys are everywhere, and you can find great ones in places that you would least expect. You can also save a lot of money (and have lots of fun) by making your own toys. If you look around, you can find low prices and great toys in your favorite stores. Even though there are lots of ways to save money, don’t forget to make sure your toys are safe.
You and your kids will have lots of fun while saving a ton of money.