As mom to an energetic toddler, I face a common dilemma – how many toys does one toddler need? The ones we have can get boring at times, especially as the weather gets colder and we’re stuck inside more. But how much money do I have to shell out for new, fun, educational toys that I know she’ll outgrow in a matter of months? On top of that, I struggle with the environmental impact of all those resources (wood or plastic) for toys that are used for a short time. We do buy a lot of used toys from garage sales and consignment stores, but I don’t like to have so many toys at once that they take over the house.
That’s why when I discovered Baby Plays, I signed up immediately. Baby Plays is essentially Netflix for toys. It’s a mom-owned business through which you rent toys for a month or two at a time and when you’re done, you pack them up, send them back and get a box of new (to you) toys!
The system is simple. First you set up a wishlist of twenty toys you’d like from their great selection of hundreds of toys. You pick from a variety of plans (based on number of toys, how long you get to keep them, etc). Then after about a week your first box shows up!
I signed up for a bi-monthly plan of 5 toys at a time. It’s $27.99/ month so I’m paying about $54 to rent five toys for two months, including shipping. That certainly saves me money from if I were to buy all those toys new – our first shipment contained toys worth $135, based on a quick calculation on amazon.com. With Baby Plays I can pick toys that I want (instead of what happens to be for sale at that day’s garage sale!) plus I get to send them back when we’re done. I do not want to have a house so overrun with toys we run out of storage space, plus I love that we’re reducing our consumption of natural resources.
Our first delivery contained a toy camera, a wooden puzzle, a Curious George hammering table, a small play house complete with doll, table and chairs, and a parking garage with three cars. Grace loves all the toys and they are all unlike any toys she already has, so she’s still having a great time even though we’ve had them for about three weeks now.
My daughter Grace now gets very excited any time a box arrives at our door, yelling “toys toys!” Try explaining to a 21-month old that she’ll have to wait two months for the next delivery!