When we moved into our very small 2 bedroom home, I knew that having piles and piles of toys could possibly be the downfall of our family. So instead of letting them consume me, I have always worked to reduce our clutter, especially before the holiday season. But creating a family toy buyback tradition is the very best idea yet.
Instead of filling our home with tons of stuff, we already implemented a 4 gift rule that also focuses on the value of sharing [we made an alternative idea for our family]. But to work on the fact that we still love and appreciate the art of giving a gift, we had to come up with some ideas to still not fill the house with a bunch of extra stuff we didn’t need while also help the kids understand the value of money and implications of giving a thoughtful gift.
The 4 step toy buy back family program
The new Carrero toy buy-back program is to happen each year around Thanksgiving.
First, as a part of the tradition to give thanks, our kids will go through their things to find something they were thankful to have, but that someone else might be more thankful to use.
[While you’re all going through things anyways, my friend Whitney suggests to clear out these 5 things you don’t need.]
Selling back toys
Second, they can then sell any of those unwanted and unused toy to mom and dad. We’ll pay them set prices based on the value of the item. So if it is a stuffed animal, most likely just $1 or even fifty cents, but a board game worth $45 we would be more inclined to give them ten dollars.
In this process they learn thankfulness, but also the value of their items. They also learn to negotiate prices if they plan ahead for what they want to buy.
Buying new gifts
Once the toy buyback is done [third], each child has money to buy Christmas presents. And that money is only to be used for gifts. They are to start with family first, move to teachers, friends, and neighbors… and so forth.
They will learn how far their money goes and just how much it’s worth in the process, but also the joy of taking something they’re not using and turning it into something meaningful for friends and family.
Passing items on to new families
Finally, as a family we will go through the items they sold to earn their money and decide their fate. Maybe we know someone who would really enjoy that board game that we could pass it on to. Or maybe we could actually sell items online.
But we discuss that all the items we have can have new life and we can share them, donate them, or sell them to meet our other goals such as saving up for a family vacation.
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Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!