Arrange a Toy Swap

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No matter what age they are, kids can get bored if they see the same toys day in and day out. New toys not only add excitement, but also stimulate the brain in new ways. But of course you can’t always run out and buy new things; there’s the problems of expense and the practical matter of space!

So here are a few of my favorite ways to keep things novel, all of which involve minimal to no cost.

First, check out a local library playtime. Our library hosts a “play date” for specific age groups. At the one for the littlest babies, Veronika gets to play with novel toys and observe other kids. A win-win!

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She loves sampling new instruments and roly poly balls.

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Or, have a toy swap with a friend whose baby is about the same age! You could make this a true party where you invite multiple parents (consider asking everyone to bring 5 sanitized items) or keep it more informal. I put together a little bag of a few items Veronika had lost interest in…

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…and she loved the bunny and other items she received in exchange!

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Finally, you can check out a toy lending service. We love the online Toy Library. For a minimal cost, we “rent” two toys each month, then send them back and receive two new ones. Veronika was so interested in the first batch to arrive. The cow made lots of neat animal sounds…

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…and the book talked as she turned the pages.

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How do you keep toys and playthings novel for your little one?

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Please share in the comments!

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Whirling Toy Windmill

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When Veronika was quite tiny, I took her outside to marvel at a pinwheel. A mere few months later, she’s so much more aware and alert. We played this indoor version today, and I loved seeing her fascination with and exuberance for a pinwheel!

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First, I simply sat her down and blew on the pinwheel to show her the motion. Her eyes went wide immediately!

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There are two ways you can keep the fun going. First, I let her hold the handle, while I blew and we watched the colors spin.

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But she was way more interested in the second method: I held the handle, and she used her little hands to flick the pinwheel around and around.

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It was quite quickly her favorite toy of the day, occupying her solo play for long stretches. What a simple and yet perfect toy.

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