With rising prices in Metro Manila, and the weakening Philippine peso to US dollar, we are all trying to save where we can and spend our hard earned money wisely. This week, we will be focusing on starting a toy collection that brings you joy, without breaking the bank!
- DON’T LOOK AT THE PRICE. Instead, focus on quality, versatility, and purpose. A well-made toy that will last you even just 3 yrs of hard play is definitely worth more money than a cheaper item that breaks down after 6 months of hard play.
- FOCUS ON VERSATILE TOYS. We love open-ended toys for this purpose. Not only do they encourage a child’s imagination, but they also become multiple toys for different scenarios. Examples of open-ended toys are building blocks, rainbows, and loose parts. All of these items can be used when building a toy castle, decorating a cake, decorating a doll house, and even pretending to open a cafe.
- PLAN AHEAD AND STICK TO YOUR BUDGET. Just like when you sit down and set a monthly budget for groceries, do the same with your children’s toys. Since many parents do not send their children to nursery or day care due to covid or the flu, your child will spend a lot of time before the age of 4 or 5 at home. Invest in pieces that encourage learning through play. Mindful spending when purchasing toys will not only benefit children (studies show that children with fewer toys and less clutter perform better than those with too many toys in their playroom) but it’s also easier for the parents. You can end up saving more by avoiding purchasing toys that don’t have a clear purpose in your playroom. It’s also just as important to emphasize sticking to your budget. This can be a wonderful teaching opportunity to show our kids how each month, they get one special toy to add to their collection. There is an opportunity to show how hard work and patience can translate to having a playroom with toys that bring joy.
- PURCHASE TOYS THAT FIT YOUR GOALS AND LIFESTYLE. NOTE YOUR CHILD’S INTERESTS. If you have 2 or 3 children, this is the time where you can focus on which toys can be passed down from child to child. Instead of purchasing different toys for different kids, encourage them to use the same toys regardless of whether they’re 2 years old or 5 years old. However, be sure to take note of their different interests and try to accommodate these. If your daughter is the only one that likes Maileg mice, for instance, you can explain that you can purchase this on her birthday or for Christmas since it is “her special mice.” You can then focus on counting boards and learning materials that the other children can share. On the other hand, if you only have 1 child and you like to travel often, invest in pieces that are travel-sized or easy to bring on weekend trips. As a mom of an only child, I can tell you that we eat out and are out of our home more often than some of our friends with many children, so I definitely have some stickers and materials in our bag on hand.