After being in the child care field for as long as I have and after having 2 children and many nieces and nephews I have been to more than my share of toy stores!!
I always get so frustrated when I head out with the goal of finding something new or really cool for the kids at daycare and all I can find is pink or blue and plastic! A large majority of toys break after a couple ‘plays’ or they really have no play value to begin with.
When we think back to what our kids really enjoy playing with, what comes to mind? I can remember a lot of boxes being played with rather than the toys. I also know how much the kids prefer to play with the ‘real thing’. They want to play with real pots and pans. They want to get into your closet and play with your fancy dresses and shoes. They want to get their hands on the tools and toys YOU play with! They want to try on being just like you!
So… where can you find a toy store that caters to this kind of play? A second hand store! Here in Portage we have MCC. It is a treasure trove of all kinds of cool things! Sometimes you have to do a little digging but it is worth the time…and let’s face it, the prices can’t be beat!
I have found all kinds of pots and pans, kitchen utensils for our play kitchen as well as in the sand box. I have also found phones, sunglasses, necklaces, hats, scarves, ties, dresses and skirts for all kinds of pretend play. The vests I discovered are really cool and make you look like a farmer, according to the boys.
I have also been able to find some gems in the book area. A great find one day were dinosaurs in the toy area which cost me around $3.00. In the toy store I would have paid closer to $25.00!
Now that I have given away my secret I encourage you to check out a second hand store looking the merchandise through the eye of your child.