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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Toys That Light Up

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My poor little girl has her first fever today, which was bound to happen after her older brother brought it home from school. It breaks my heart when babies are sick – more so than with big kids – because you can’t explain to them why they feel so crummy! She just wasn’t her usual self, with no smile on her face, and no interest in her favorite textured and crinkly toys.

Times like these, I reach for toys that light up, ideally ones that are easy for a baby to grab and hold onto at this age. The added visual element seems to perk up even the fussiest baby, which is also what makes light up toys great for when you’re on the go and a child is stuck in a car seat or stroller. That’s why our light-up puppy is Veronika’s go-to when we’re out and about.

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Indeed, the colorful elements on this little doggie rattle caught Veronika’s eye today, and she was enticed to reach for it despite feeling ill.

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The look on her face in these pictures just breaks my heart, but she’s trying!

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As a happy ending, here she is playing with the rattle once she was feeling much better in the afternoon.

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And the changing red and green lights still caught her eye.

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