Saturday, June 22, 2013

Keeping the Kids Entertained: How to Save Money on Toys

This is a guest post.

When it comes to keeping the kids entertained, a new toy is always a fail-safe winner. Although common sense says you don’t need ‘stuff’ to keep boredom at bay – "go outside" and "read a book" might be the advice your own parents would offer – but deep down, we all know there’s nothing like the thrill of something new to keep youngsters happy and occupied for a good few hours. Be it board games, video games, or outdoor play-sets, toys are yet another thing to add to the increasing list of costs you have to consider – however there are ways to pick up a few bargains now and again. Here’s a bit of handy advice on how to keep the kids toy cupboard stocked for less!

Buy second hand

One of the great things about toys is – unless your child is desperate to get their hands on the very latest releases – it doesn’t matter if they’re old! Mario Kart is fun regardless of whatever version you’re playing, and Monopoly is the Joan Rivers of board games: it just doesn’t age. So if you’re missing out on certain classics, visit boot sales or charity shops or use online marketplaces like eBay for forgotten and old-school gems.

Search for deals online

If there is a certain computer game or ‘must-have’ toy on the market, don’t just walk into any high street store and pay full price. Instead, search online for money saving deals – retailers often give away exclusive vouchers that are only available online; for example, toys at the Disney Store up to 25% off at the moment, meaning your little ones will finally be able to snuggle up with the latest Wreck It Ralph cuddly toy (and you can feel smug knowing you’ve got a bargain!)

Host a ‘swap shop’ party

Are your kids asking for new toys because they’re bored of the ones they’ve already got? There’s an easy, fun and best of all, free solution! Simply throw a swap shop party or sleepover, where you invite your children’s best buds round for a bit of food and pop and ask each person to bring a toy they no longer want. As the saying goes, one person’s trash really is another’s treasure – your kids are bound to be overjoyed at the chance to swap theirs too.

Go for an ‘away day’

If you’re always going a little stir crazy keeping the kids entertained indoors, think about alternative ways you can let them loose on a few new toys without paying out. If you live nearby, go to Hamley’s for the day! The store is always putting on demonstrations and fun activities the kids will love, and despite it being known as high-end or luxury, there’s often great reductions at Hamley’s toy store to be found too.

Whatever your budget, don’t let a lack of money stop you from treating the kids to new toys now and again. With just a little shopping savvy and common sense, you’ll be able to keep them entertained for weeks on end!

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