Used Baby Gear and Buying Used Educational Toys: Frugal Friday

Educational Toys for BabiesAs I have tried to make perfectly clear recently, my husband and I are of the frugal mindset when it comes to buying gear for our future baby. (We are also frugal when it comes to buying stuff for ourselves, so, no, we are not skimping on the baby!) In our quest to spend as little money as reasonably possible, we particularly like used baby gear including used educational toys for infants. Why spend a boatload of money on a toy that the kid will stop playing with after only a few years or, worse, that the kid might not even like at all? So, what kinds of educational toys for infants have my husband and I been buying used?

As my husband and I search for used baby gear, our favorite places to shop for used educational toys for infants are garage sales. Just this past June while hunting for big-ticket items like strollers and infant swings, we came across a garage sale that was selling mostly used baby gear like clothes and furniture. Sitting on a table next to a travel stroller set that was grossly overpriced was a brand new convertible riding/pushing toy. I love education toys for infants that help babies with their gross motor skills like walking. For only $5, there was no way we were passing up this piece of brand new (not used!) baby gear! Plus, the reason the mom was selling this toy was because she had received two at a baby shower, not because it was a bad toy.

Although my husband is a technology junkie (most of his freelance writing gigs are for tech websites), neither he nor I subscribe to the idea that the most technological toys are the most education toys for infants. So, instead of looking for techy used baby gear like kiddie computers and DVDs or whatever other crazy new inventions are available for babies, we have been searching for classic toys as we hunt for used baby gear. Things as simple as the textural cloth baby toy we found at one garage sale to the books of nursery rhymes I found at a library book sale are great education toys for infants. Plus, books and dolls never need new batteries! (Well, at least the old-fashioned kinds of books and dolls are battery free!)

Buying used baby gear does not mean passing up on educational toys for infants. Many parents are more than willing to part with the toys their kids no longer play with for a low price tag at garage sales. As my husband and I have discovered to our delight, some parents will also sell extra brand-new-still-in-the-box toys they have lying around the house. Additionally, educational toys for infants do not need to be high tech or expensive. Simple toys with different textured surfaces and even books are great educational toys for babies that are easy to find while searching for used baby gear.

How do you save money on educational toys?

Originally written on July 11, 2010

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Educational Toys for Babies:

Heather Johnson

Heather Johnson is a mother, wife, writer, librarian, and linguist. She earned a BA in English studies with a minor in creative writing from Illinois State University in May 2007, an MS in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2009, and an MS in English studies with an emphasis in linguistics at Illinois State University in December 2011.

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