Monday, February 29, 2016

Toys and Consumerism

When I'm out shopping (or shopping online) I often run across things I know my kids would love.  Sometimes I buy them and stash them "for later".  As I've been cleaning up around my house this winter I've consolidated all those for later items and discovered I have a whole box full of toys for the kids, especially for the girls, that I don't know when I'm going to give them to them!

Starting tomorrow it's birthday month AND Easter so I have opportunity for present giving, but I actually already have specific birthday presents for the girls.  We do small Easter baskets with chocolate and usually a small toy and I had something in mind to get for those, but now I realize I don't really need to buy anything, yet I still want to. 

We don't typically give our kids new toys just whenever except for once-in-a-very-rare-occasion.  We want them to value new things as special and also consider waiting for birthdays/Christmas or saving up their chore money to buy it themselves.  But finding all these toys I've stockpiled is making me realize that I'm the one who's bought into the "gotta have it" mentality.  Oops.  Apparently it's hard for me to pass up a good deal.  Especially when it's something I know they would enjoy.

The other thing that makes this a problem is that we also like to give some toys and some experiences.  Things like passes for a day at the local waterslides in the summer make lifetime memories.  I know all these "remember when" posts on Facebook about toys from the 80's take us all back and remind us of the toys we had, but without that how many of us would actually remember most of our toys?  I know I remember just a few things and perhaps that's because my mom saved those few toys so I would run across them every few years in the attic and now my girls play with them at her house.

I'm not saying all toys are bad, far from it!  They can be creative and entertaining, especially on cold rainy days when you don't want to play outside. However not all toys are created equal. You know there are some that inspire hours of creative play while others are played with a few times and then just sit in the toy box until they are discarded.  What a waste.

What if there was a way to try out new toys and not worry about whether your kids like them?  Pley* might be that solution for you.  It's a toy rental program that lets you choose from a wide variety of handpicked toys that are always kid pleasers.  They've recently added a bunch of new toys beyond the great supply of Legos that they already stock.  The biggest category is for preschool toys, but they've even added some robotic toys for older kids and dress up outfits for 18 inch dolls like American Girl.

Kids absolutely love to get things in the mail and what a fun idea to pick out something new every couple of weeks (especially in the winter!) without breaking the bank or contributing to an overload of toys in the house.  Pley lets you try as many toys (or Lego sets) in a month as you want on a one at a time basis for one low fee.  Make a new Lego set and then send it back instead of adding it to the giant collection of Legos that most of us have already. *wink* It's almost a toy and an experience all wrapped up in one!

Gift certificates are also available and make great gifts for relatives that might not know exactly what to get for special occasions. 

Do you have a good balance of toys at your house? How would you feel about trying a toy rental service?  Would this help kids learn to appreciate their toys more?

*This is a sponsored post and there are affiliate links where I will make a small percentage if you sign up.  All opinions are my own.

1 comment:

  1. Our two oldest are outgrowing toys, more into technology, arts and crafts, and music. We have a very small space so have limited toys (or special things) to 1 large bin per child, and have a big bin of LEGO and DUPLO blocks. Renting toys would be awesome...except I would be terrified of losing tiny pieces! :)


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