Tag Archives: toy exchange

Toy exchange

24 Apr

Anyone partake in an Earth Day activity?  Please leave us a comment – we’d love to hear about it!

Today we thought we’d re-share a helpful blog about hosting an exchange party for kids toys.  Many parents nowadays are trying to avoid plastics, and keep their children’s toy collections to a minimum but the pile inevitably grows.  We’ve blogged before about clothing exchanges so why not host a toy/book/child exchange – just kidding, don’t trade your children!

We came across this post from Dawn Friedman (shareable: Life & Art) here a few excerpts:

On the spur of the moment, I sent out an email inviting friends to a used toy exchange. I know my friends and I know that the siren song of de-cluttering and getting a deal was likely to lure most of them in.The basic details were this:

  • Bring your gently used toys, clothes and books to share out at my house the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
  • Expect to rummage through everyone else’s stuff, too.
  • Anything left behind would be donated to Goodwill.

As people began to leave (most of them loaded down with toys for their family and for friends who couldn’t make the exchange), they made me promise to have the exchange against next year. I promised to make it an annual tradition. Everyone agreed that a give away is about ten times more fun when you get to do it in person.

Once everyone was gone, I surveyed the room—we only had a single large box of toys to take to Goodwill. And me? I not only had cleaner closets and a stronger sense of holiday spirit, I also scored a fabulous bag of finger puppets to add to our collection.

Some tips to pull off a toy exchange:

  • Invite a variety of ages. People with babies won’t have much to give and people with older kids might have more trouble finding stuff to get, but having a wide age range promises that most people will be able to find something.
  • Have bags and boxes available so that people can pack up easily.
  • It’s easier to exchange without kids, but it’s likely some children will be there, so have something for them to do elsewhere so their parents can “shop” more easily.
  • Don’t worry about one-to-one trades. The goal isn’t to barter so much as it is to get the goods out of your house and to the people who want them.
  • Be prepared to take care of the leftovers. One of the pluses for my guests was my promise that they wouldn’t have to take any of their old toys back home with them.
  • Don’t forget the tiniest toys, which seem to multiply at the bottom of toy boxes and underfoot. They make great stocking stuffers for someone else.
  • Baggies are useful for keeping toys with lots of parts together. Building toys like Legos or K’Nex especially are more appealing when packaged up, ready for the new owners to wrap.

You can read her full post here.

Not only does this provide helpful de-cluttering and re-distributing but also: puts less pressure on toy manufactures to make new toys, it minimizes the packaging, encourages the investment in high quality products that can be passed on instead of single use disposable toys, and hopefully it starts a trend of collaboration!  So get your exchange on this spring and host a gathering in your community.