Kids’ Swap Shops: Trade Those Toys!

When the kids were young we would periodically set up a ‘Swap Shop’ with their friends, where all the toys, games, and books collecting dust from the holidays, or that they were bored with, were culled from closets and set out for trade with their friends. If your kids are very young, you can organize it amongst your friends, but the best is to allow your child his own choices and decisions. This encourages cooperation between kids and strengthens the idea we all have something to offer.  Remember their ‘fair’ deals may not be yours–let it go!

Begin by introducing the idea to your child and work beside him to clean out closets, cupboards, drawers, and toy boxes to come up with items to be traded. Allow your child the lion’s share of decisions–that expensive toy from Grandma traded for a soccer ball may seem unfair, but one will sit in a drawer, and one will be gloriously used.  Invite your child’s friends with their treasures and have the children set the goods up. All trades are mutual undertakings, and the process (left to the children) of a fair swap will help ease their territorial preoccupation with forgotten or discarded toys. Swap shops are mini-business schools, politics, and economics rolled into one!

Have Fun!

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