Guest Post by Angela Wynne, author of The Baby Cheapskate Guide to Bargains
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 the past several years at BabyCheapskate.com, I’ve polled hundreds of parents to see which toys keep their kids’ interest the longest. I compiled the answers I got into age-based “Toys that Get Played With” lists that have proven really popular. This year I noticed that 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.
Here’s the list of toy All Stars that offer unparalleled longevity. Shop for these toys at your favorite consignment sales and you’ll really knock one out of the park with your kids:
- GeoTrax Sets (Fisher-Price): Great for kids 2 years old to 5 years old.
- Play Kitchen and Play Food: Great for kids 2 years old to 4 years old. Watch out for small parts if shopping for kids under 3
- Imaginext Play Sets: Great for kids 3 years old to 7 years old.
- PlasmaCar: Great for kids 3 to 7 years old.
- Lego: Great for kids 4 years to 7 years old. Mega Bloks and Duplos are great for younger kids.
- Magna Tiles: Great for kids 3 years to 7 years old.
- Hot Wheels and Matchbox Cars: Great for kids 3 to 7 years.
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 age. Toys that fit this category:
- art supplies
- musical instruments
- dress up clothes
- cars and trucks
As always, inspect toys carefully and use your smartphone to check for recalls. It’s a good idea to take a selection of working batteries with you to the sale, too, so that you can ensure that the toys work well. Missing parts can often be ordered at the manufacturer’s website, and manuals can often be found there, too. Happy shopping!
Angela Wynne is the author of The Baby Cheapskate Guide to Bargains (available online and at your favorite bookstore) and blogs at BabyCheapskate.com.