Okay here is another tip for saving money–or should I say spend no money–on educational toys.

I was at 3 year-old William’s house yesterday. He is building his skills in pretend play, picking up little Fisher Price people and having conversations around a theme of the zoo, train station, pirate ship or parking garage. Mom is always looking for ideas on how to build William’s language through play. Without buying new toys regularly I suggested that she swap with friends. Trade 2 or 3 favorites for a month. It’s not a bad idea to rotate toys anyways, so kids have a renewed interest in them when they return.

Many of you Moms and Dads are in play groups where you bring a few toys to amuse your child in the group. Observe what captures your child’s interest and suggest a swap for a week or two. A new toy gives you, the parent, something new to talk about as you describe a baby toy or use a preschooler’s pretend toy in a new way. Your running commentary about the toy, it’s features, function and actions all build up your child’s language skills.

Let me know what your ideas are for saving money on educational toys, media or games. Leave a comment and I will share everyone’s ideas. Thanks!