This particular post for Money Crashers deals with a topic that I don't personally have a lot of experience with: kids' toys. Of course, Brian and I do have some experience with toys, having a total of nine (count 'em, nine) nieces and nephews between us: we have given them quite a few toys over the years at Christmas/Hanukkah time, and we have also seen quite a lot of their toys whenever we go to visit. But that's not quite the same thing as living among them, surrounded on all sides, day in and day out—not to mention dealing with the kids' pleas for new ones. I can only guess at how frustrating this situation is for moms and dads, but based on the little taste I've had of it, I'd have to guess it gets old pretty quickly.
So for all you moms and dads out there, even if I can't personally empathize with your
3 situation, I can offer an idea that might help at least a bit: sharing toys. I don't mean just persuading your own kids to share with each other and with their friends, but paring down the size of your toy collection at home by drawing toys from a pool that's shared with a whole bunch of other kids.
One way to do this is a toy library, if your town happens to have one. It's just like a regular library, except you can borrow toys instead of books. Doing this lets your kids rotate their selection of toys at home, so they get to try new ones every few weeks without completely flooding the house with them—or sinking your wallet.
If you don't have a toy library available, another alternative—though it's a bit more work—is to organize a toy exchange. Basically, you just gather up all the toys your kids are tired of, get together with a bunch of other families who have done the same, and swap your old toys for theirs. Everyone gets to go home with toys that are new to them, and everything left over goes to a worthwhile charity.
If either of these sounds like it might make at least a small dent in your home's toy budget and toy clutter, check out the full article here: Toy Lending Libraries & Exchanges – Benefits and How They Work