Getting together with a group of friends throughout the holidays to exchange cookies and appetizers is a popular way to stay in budget, but what about toys? Gathering together close to the holidays can make it simple to stay within budget throughout the holidays. Let’s face it, a lot of the toys are like new at these types of event, so it’s an easy way to save.
We recently went to a toy swap and traded in things like the Plan Toys Xylophone, rattles and infant toys that the kids no longer played with, puppets and infant walking toys for a train set that was in like new condition and a Melissa and Doug wooden foldable doll house.
First – Schedule the Event
Schedule the event enough time before the holidays to allow enough time to package the presents at-home. Use an invite system that keeps track of how many people are going to attend. Creating a Facebook event is a great way for guests to highlight some of the items that they’re going to bring along to the swap and also take advantage of an easy way to share details of the event.
Second – Find Your Currency
Are you going to exchange toy for toy or are you going to create some kind of currency system that is going to be used? Though a bit more effort creating a currency system that ‘prices’ the toys and issues tickets for the toys that are being added to the swap can be an easy way to make sure that the larger or higher value toys are going to be fairly distributed through the event. Tickets can easily purchased at the dollar store, and stickers can be used to keep track.
Tip: Have the guests of the toy swap ‘price’ their items before the swap to make it easier when everyone arrives and you can get started right away.
Third – Find a Location
Choose a location that’s going to have enough space for everyone to set out their toys and enough room for everyone to browse. Be sure to instruct guests to bring bags to the event. Community halls are a great area for larger swaps, but swaps of a few friends could easily be completed at-home, with drinks and appetizers it’s an easy to ‘shop’ without breaking out your wallet.
Make sure that there are enough bags and boxes on hand for everyone to bring their toys home after the swap and assign people to collect the toys that haven’t been claimed.
Tip: When the toy swap has been finished, assign someone or a few people taking part in the swap to donate the extra items that haven’t been claimed. It’s an easy way for everyone to clean out the playroom during the holidays, ‘shop’ for free and give back to the local community.