Whether you're a parent in search of a way to amuse your child or just looking for an affordable present for the youngster in your life, it's helpful to know how to find toys that are very cheap.
Ideas for Toys That Are Very Cheap
When looking for inexpensive toys, focus on simple items that allow for open-ended play. Great ideas for toys that won't cost a fortune include:
- Play-Doh: It's incredibly messy, but little kids love it and you can usually find it on sale.
- Crayons and coloring books: Look for bargains at a dollar store.
- Play food: Both boys and girls love to pretend to cook meals or shop for groceries at the supermarket.
- Puppets: Puppets are more useful than stuffed animals, but just as cute. For an extra special present, ask a local crafter to make a puppet for you.
- Puzzles: From five-piece toddler puzzles to elaborate 1,000 piece designs, puzzles are sure to please any child.
- Board games: Children of all ages love to play board games and you can't go wrong with a classic title like Monopoly, Battleship, or Trivial Pursuit.
- Craft kits: All-in-one craft kits with activities such as making your own jewelry, painting a picture frame, or creating a scented candle are sure to be popular with preteen girls.
- Sporting equipment: Encourage physical activity with a basketball, baseball glove, or tennis racket. If the child isn't interested in team sports, try a jump rope, hula hoop, or Frisbee.
- Books: Don't forget that books can be considered toys for a child as well. Schools and public libraries often have fundraiser sales that offer special deals on children's books.
Many thrifty shoppers like to keep a gift closet full of toys that are very cheap, so they are always prepared for birthday parties and other special occasions. Stock up on items whenever you find a good deal and keep them organized by age group. Pick up bows and solid colored gift wrap during the after-Christmas sales at your favorite store.
Great Places to Shop
Once you have a good idea of what toys are generally the best bargains, it's time to go shopping. Thrifty places to buy toys that are very cheap include:
- Garage sales: Garage sales can be great resources for cheap toys, especially if you hit the sales in the nicer neighborhoods.
- Consignment stores: The selection at consignment stores tends to be larger than what you'd find at a garage sale, but merchandise changes frequently. Go once or twice a week for the best bargains.
- Dollar stores: While the quality of some items may be questionable, the dollar store is a good place to find children's art supplies, puzzles, and inexpensive toys like jump ropes and yo-yos.
- Craft stores: Although you may think of craft stores such as Hobby Lobby as being places for adults, most have a fairly large children's section with craft kits, coloring books, puzzles, models, and other items of interest for the young people in your life. Look for coupons in your Sunday newspaper to save even more money on your purchase.
- Clearance departments: Big box retailers like Wal-Mart and Target often have great deals on toys in their clearance sections, especially around the holidays.
- Manufacturer's Web sites: Toy manufacturers sometimes have good deals posted on their product Web sites. For example, the Crayola store has a special online sale section and Hasbro boasts 100s of children's games for $10 or less.
- Craigslist: Depending upon where you live, Craigslist can be a good resource for finding children's toys. This site is especially good for those in search of larger items, such as a child's play kitchen or an artist easel.