It doesn’t take a novice consignment shopper long to figure out that you can score some fabulous deals on toys at consignment sales.
Stocking the playroom with gently used toys from consignment sales is a no-brainer for any budget-conscious parent, but knowing which toys get you the most play for your buck is a different story given that there are so many to choose from.
For more than five years at BabyCheapskate.com, I’ve asked parents to tell me which toys keep their kids’ interest the longest. I’ve compiled the answers I got into age-based “Toys that Get Played With” lists that have become one of the most popular features of the site. Several of the toys show up on list after list, indicating that kids play with them not just for a few months or a year, but for YEARS.
The 10 All Start toys on this list offer unparalleled longevity. Shop for them at your favorite consignment sales and you’ll really knock one out of the park with your kids. Your bank account will thank you, too.
- Play Kitchen and Play Food: Great for kids 2 to 4 years old. Watch out for small parts if shopping for kids under 3
- Mini trampoline: Great for ages 2 to 4+
- Imaginext Play Sets: Great for kids 3 to 7 years old.
- Wooden Train Sets: Great for kids 3 to 5 years old. Many brands are compatible, so you can mix and match.
- PlasmaCar: Great for kids 3 to 7 years old.
- Lego: Great for kids 4 to 7 years old. Mega Bloks and Duplos are great for younger kids.
- Magna Tiles, Magformers and other magnetic toys: Great for kids 3 to 7 years old.
- Hot Wheels and Matchbox Cars: Great for kids 3 to 7 years old.
- Barbie and Barbie accessories: Great for ages 6 to 8 years old.
- Snap Circuits: Great for kids 7 to 9+ years old.
- Some toy categories stay relevant with kids for a very long time, but the specific toys or accessories within that category may change as kids grow.
Look for these at consignment sales, too:
- art supplies
- musical instruments
- dress-up clothes
- cars and trucks
- outdoor ride ons like scooters and bikes
As always, inspect toys carefully for broken and/or missing parts and use your smart phone to check for recalls before you buy. Missing parts can often be ordered at the manufacturer’s website, and downloadable manuals can often be found there, too.
It’s also a good idea to take a selection of working batteries and one of those tiny screwdrivers with you to the sale, too, so that you can ensure that the toys work well. Happy shopping!
About the Author
Angela Wynne shares kid and baby bargains, shopping tips and more at BabyCheapskate.com. Join her and nearly 20ok fans at Facebook, too. She is also the author of The Baby Cheapskate Guide to Bargains.