Trash & Treasure: Second Hand Toys

I was rotating the toys in our playroom the other day and it occurred to me just how many of our toys I had picked up at charity shops or garage sales. Yes, some had a few parts missing, but still in good working order.

I love rummaging through bins at garage sales to see if there are any hidden treasures. I don’t think I paid more than a couple of dollars for each of these toys. I also love that these toys have a history behind them, who played with them before us? The hammer and peg toy would have to be my favourite, 20 cents at a garage sale and it looks like it has brought a lot of children a lot of joy in its time, including mine.

So here are some of our second-hand finds. Some have come from charity stores, others from garage sales, a couple from the tip shop and most excitingly I picked up an OHP in perfect working order from Freecycle! Gotta love that!

I picked the tone drum up from the tip shop for 50 cents! I couldn’t believe my luck, especially since I had been eyeing them off at our local independent toy store for $40! The Wedgits were another exciting find, $2 from a garage sale with the pattern cards included; a fantastic construction toy for learning geometry and symmetry as well as problem-solving.

There’s a House Inside my Mummy‘ was found at a book fair and given to me when I was pregnant with Sarah. It is such a wonderful book and quickly became Jack’s favourite. And down in the bottom right corner is our farm set. $1 from the tip shop with two wooden houses and two stables. Love it!

I picked up our mud kitchen and most of the utensils from the tip shop for $10.

No Reggio home would be complete without an Overhead Projector; fascinating for little people as they learn to create and manipulate silhouettes on the wall. FREE from Freecycle!

The tinker table also came from the tip shop. I splurged with this one, $15. Dad and I cut two holes in the table for the plastic tubs and then painted it with bright blue exterior paint. When it’s not being used outside for wonderfully messy activities, it stays in the playroom with blocks, tinkering toys or at the moment, our farm set. Here it is in action at Jack’s birthday party.

I’ve also bought most of our baskets from garage sales; anyone who knows me knows how much I love baskets. These all had handles which I simply removed making them perfect for storing toys. And not to forget all our beautiful toys free from nature.

Toys don’t have to be expensive. In fact, the best toys we have were either free or next to nothing second-hand. You just have to open the lid of that $2 container at the garage sale and take a peek inside. You never know what you might find.

10 thoughts on “Trash & Treasure: Second Hand Toys

  1. I have picked up some good items at garage sales and op-shops too. I love hunting out bargains, I just wish I had more time for it! We have found some great kids books, little hand made Steiner dolls, a wooden dolls cradle, baskets, and more. 🙂

      • My son’s wooden cradle was mine, built for me by my grandfather, still with its original paint. It stores stuffies very decoratively as, alas, small boy isn’t interested in tucking anyone to sleep!

        The folks at our local paint shop were horrified I planned to strip it because of the risk of lead paint. So I got some special primer (didn’t have to sand…lead dust) and just sealed it over before painting it red and blue. Be safe 🙂

        • Ooh good point! I hadn’t thought of that. I looks pretty old so I think I might not sand it after all. Jack’s not too interested in tucking little ones in either but I am hopeful for Sarah. It is a lovely bed for our softies too 😀 It does get a lot of play when other little people come over though. So definitely worth all the money I spent on it 😀

          • My boys don’t use our cradle for “tucking little ones in” either. For most of it’s life with us, it has ended up housing books beside my sons bed!

  2. Pingback: A Reggio-inspired Block Corner | An Everyday Story

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