The rundown

There’s a lot that’s changing now in the toy industry. Amazon and other online stores have now challenged the longevity of one of the biggest toy retailers of the 21st century, Toys R Us.

However, there’s a lot Toys R Us has to offer that Amazon doesn’t, and that’s the experience of bringing kids to a toy store and having them look, touch, and feel excited about toys. Whereas with Amazon, it’s as simple as looking up the item you know the child wants, click, type, click, done!your order will be received in x amount of days!

Not to mention, whenever you bring a kid into a toy store, you’re essentially setting yourself up for number of battles. Not only do you have to argue the child out of expensive toys you know they won’t want in two days (or two hours), but you also have to bargain with yourself over when it’s appropriate to say no and when to make them happy.

All in all, shopping for toys with kids can be either a joyful experience, or a stressful mess in which nobody leaves happy.

But what if toy shopping didn’t have to be stressful? What if you actually looked forward to shopping for toys?

Why thrift toys?

First of all, although we already said it, kids get over toys. Fast. This can depend a lot on the age of the child, mind you, as most young kids can get a kick out of a cardboard box.

School used to be the first moment in a child’s life where their exposure to classmate’s toys would spark their need for certain toys. Before that, there were toy commercials, but those typically don’t have a lasting impression with kids attention spans.

So how do you cope with the turnover of toys, the high prices, and the accumulating pile of toys in your house? Simply put, thrifting for toys is an excellent alternative.

It certainly will not solve all problems you encounter when shopping for toys with kids, but consider this: when you buy a thrifted toy, you can always donate it back once the child is over it. By doing so, you contribute to a cycle that keeps plastic toys out of landfills and gives back to your community by keeping toys in the donation cycle.

Not only that, but thrift toys are completely cost-effective. This is pretty obvious, but something that might not be so obvious to either parents or kids is that thrifted toys are more often than not just as good as brand new toys – affordable doesn’t always mean the quality of the toy is affected.

Every op-shop (thrift store) in your neighbourhood will more than likely diligently ensure all products that come in and out of the store are properly sanitized, in case cleanliness is a major concern for you when it comes to thrift store shopping.

Not convinced thrifting toys is for you?

If you’re not convinced that buying thrifted toys is for you or your child, then consider donating previously-used toys you have instead of throwing them out. If you live in the Hamilton-Halton area/region, consider donating to a Goodwill Store or Community Donation Centre near you!

In truth, the realities of the toy industry are that it’s a $22 billion industry, and 90% of toys produced are plastic. So the more we produce, the more we waste. That’s why Goodwill supports a donation cycle that keeps toys in the hands of kids and out of landfills (to see a full list of donations Goodwill accepts, click here).

When you shop, or donate to a thrift store, you may also find that you inadvertently instill environmentally-conscious behaviours in your child. Not only environmentally-conscious, but also community-conscious, since donating toys also reminds kids that their once-beloved toy can now be enjoyed by someone else.

At the end of the day, toy shopping shouldn’t be stressful for parents or children. A couple arguments here and there are to be expected, but having a shopping experience where you and your child can feel good about buying and giving back is definitely worth a try.