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IndiPatterns: Starting a Toy Share / Toy Circle

Friday, March 11, 2011

Starting a Toy Share / Toy Circle

So I just brought home a bunch of toys for preschool to wash in the dishwasher. Kamille has been going crazy playing with them. It's a little mind boggling to me because they were duplo blocks and she already has a big bin of them at home. Somehow, these blocks were better. She spent the whole day playing with them. Then I started thinking that maybe I should box up and store some of her toys and then rotate them in and out of her room. That made my mind jump to an idea of starting a toy sharing circle.

The concept is pretty basic. I took a $3.00 20 Quart Tupperware storage container and turned it into a Toy Share Box. 

It took me about 30 minutes in total. First I decided on the theme (basically because I love themes).  A theme isn't really essential, but I thought that it would be fun.  Then I went into Kamille's room and gathered up a bunch of toys that fit the theme.  I am going with a fairy tale theme this time. 
I basically have a couple of books, a coloring book, Snow White and the 2 Dwarfs Peg Dolls, some Melissa & Doug Wooden Dolls, some dress up clothes (for both girl and boy), a little cottage, and a carriage. 

Obviously you could put anything into the box.  I thought about throwing in a couple of DVDs and a Cd too.  You could do a music box with instruments and cds.  You could do a box full of building blocks, cars, a farm and animals, family games, puzzles, play food, play dough, puppets, art supplies.  The possibilities are really endless.  I might do a space theme next time.  We have a bunch of books about space and some puppets and other toys that would make a really fun space themed box.

Then, I wrote Kamille's Initials on all of the toys with a Sharpie. 

Finally, I just typed up a label for the box with a list of the contents and taped it onto the front of the box.  I covered the whole label with tape so it was sort of laminated on there to keep the kids from ripping it off.   

So, I am going to ask some friends and maybe some of the preschool moms if they want to start the circle with me.  Preschool or other regular group activity is great because you see the people on a regular basis which makes the exchange easier.  My concept was that we would all trade boxes in a big circle once a week or once every two weeks until you get your original box back.  Then, you could either start the share over again with the same box or switch it out for a new one.  You can wash the toys off when you are packing up the box. 

In my mind, this is going to be great if I can get some other moms on board.  Lisa and I will be doing it together for sure.  This way kids get to play with "new" toys every week without anyone having to go out and buy new toys.  Like I said, I only spent about 30 minutes putting the box together and making the label.  Plus, it might be fun for your kid to help come up with a theme and choose out items for the box.  I'm sure I'm not the first person to have this idea, but now that it occurred to me I am very excited about it.  

If you start a toy share circle, please leave a comment and let me know about your theme and how you are setting it up.   

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