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I’ll admit it. I’m a cheap (but proud!) Aunt.

I have a total of four nieces. They range in age from 4 to 11. I have helped the eldest one clean out the family basement a few times, and as such, been able to help her get rid of a lot of toys she has outgrown. The majority of these have gone to charity, but I have pulled some aside for my youngest niece. Since the children are from different sides of the family, this wouldn’t be a “natural” progression of toys, just something I’ve managed to arrange.

My youngest niece adores the toys I got her. There’s a bunny in a tutu, an awesome castle that lights up, a dragon, and some other toys that go with the castle. She hasn’t even seemed to notice the large chunk of plastic that has come out of the castle – it doesn’t interfere with her playing with it in any way.  I supplemented with some yard sale toys, and now she’s got lots to play when she comes to visit (although her favourite thing to play with is still the cat!)

I’ve recently introduced a “new” toy into the mix – one I had when I was a child! It’s sort of a fashion designer toy (I still have the ugly 70’s fabrics to go with it!).  My niece and I had lot of fun playing with it today – I even took some pictures to record her creations.

Fashion Designer Toy

There are lots of benefits to hand me down toys:

  1. I’m keeping things out of the land fill.
  2. My eldest niece is learning the joy of giving.
  3. I’m saving money, which I can put towards better things for my niece – like shoes that light up and her college education.

I do give her new things for her birthday and Christmas (generally books), but for simply stocking the toy chest, second hand toys were definitely the way to go!

Have you ever given your children or someone else’s children second hand toys? How did it go?

Crystal’s Comments:  I keep some coloring books and crayons around for child visitors…and a bunch of my favorite family friendly movies like Ice Age.  😉