Toy shortage this Christmas? Thank goodness, says LEE BOYCE ‘I fished my daughter’s third birthday present out of a skip’

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Britain seems to be in the grip of a crisis of scarcity. Every week, a different item that we’ve become accustomed to getting almost immediately threatens to go on the endangered list.

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From pies to popular toys, a ‘perfect storm’ combining pandemic, an HGV driver shortage and log-jam port is choking down – and we’re being warned that as we approach the festive season, It can be empty.

I haven’t struggled to buy anything from petrol to food over the past few weeks, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t different levels of scarcity in different parts of the country and maybe I’ve been lucky and that Soon everything will change.


In terms of toys, over the past week I’ve seen reports of people’s most demanding ‘panic shopping’ before Christmas and most recently in a popular morning television program Interview Parents, who have already seen thousands of pounds of toys first. Just bought. big day.

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Current Overload: We all want the best of our kids and grandchildren to have—but surely the rules over quantity apply? (photo taken by model)

My wife and I have strict rules when it comes to presenting shopping for our daughter Brooke, who turns three next month, because of piles of birthday presents and Christmas gifts to make the house more cluttered. is thought.

We’re not the British equivalent of Mr. & Mrs. Grinch, but do worry about the level of imported plastic that loving grandparents, other family members, and friends may choose to buy. Everything is fine, but it can tear our hair out, especially if our little precious doesn’t really like it.

Let’s face it, kids are about as opposite of green as you can get, even if you have good intentions.

Disposable nappies, half-eaten meals, carrying them around in the car for fun, and mountains and mountains of clothes and toys that will one day end up in landfills.

That’s why our rules exist – and they are simple.

Anyone who wants to spoil our daughter can do so in one of three ways: by buying a toy, preferably wooden; through the money put into his investment account which has increased as a result; Or an experience, such as an afternoon at a local attraction.

This isn’t what I’m calling parents who decide to move to the Spoil City—let’s face it, parenthood is challenging enough—but we’ve found that over the years, this system has worked for us.

And I’m not some eco-hippie parent believing that our habits can save the world in some way – I think it’s just common sense from an environmental and monetary standpoint.

And some money saving and making money is going on in our plans.

When it comes to buying our own presents, Brooke’s birthday falls in November and, shortly after Christmas, we take to Facebook Marketplace to list the clothes and toys she’s grown since the summer. [read my top 12 tips for using it below] as we can.

So far this year, we’ve sold a vintage rocking horse, dozens of books, smart designer clothes, a bouncer, a bed safety rail, and more.

People come in, pay cash in hand, and we’re safe in the knowledge that we’ve removed some items from landfills and they’re moving to a nicer home, while transferring that money to a secondary bank account. .

She then becomes our daughter’s present kitty and we leave from there. We buy some new stuff, but my wife is also good at sniffing out a deal or two on the Facebook Marketplace.

For example, Brooke is extremely busy playing with the kids and buggy. For her last birthday, my wife ordered a double pink toy buggy for £3 which retails for £40.

He picked it up from our house within minutes and it was like brand new. Brooke has used it every day since then. She giggled with joy when he clapped at her – she was no wiser that she already had a careful owner, and I doubt she would care.

When she outgrows it, we’ll list it on Facebook Marketplace for the same price and let the other kid have fun with it.

It also teaches good life lessons. In the years to come, I’ll explain to him what we do to bring him new toys and fun things to do.

FREE BIKE: The Disney Princess Bike I Saved From the Skip

Clean: Quickly clean and tighten the bolt and it's good

Before and after: A few minutes of work meant this bike was as good as new

This year, one of his gifts is a Disney Princess bicycle that I took out of a skip and brought home.

Brooke is asking for one and when I went for a walk near my house recently, I saw the perfect model with stabilizers for goodies at Skip Choc-o-Block.

I knocked on the door, people were vacating their house before taking any major steps and they were happy to move into a new house (I always think you should be knocking in situations like this, just in case).

With a little cleaning with antibacterial spray, tightening some bolts and some £2 tassels I bought from Amazon, it looks great – £100-plus saved – and I wait to see her face when she finds it Can’t do it the morning of his birthday.

Once she outgrows it, I’ll give it to someone else for free so that it can be used. A completely circular economy is in action, instead of you having to keep buying brand new stuff and repeat.

I urge anyone reading Facebook Marketplace to give it a go – I’m not an eBay user, mainly because I can’t be bothered with the postage and packaging affair.

I hope the potential toy crunch can help change some habits. As an aside, I entered two well-known toy retailers over the weekend and instead of a toy crisis, it looked like an explosion of colorful plastic toys from floor to ceiling.

I walked out both empty handed and a serious headache – local independent toy shops, bookstores and secondhand ones are a more rewarding way for me to shop for my little one, but like kids, I know all. Parents are different.

If you really want to, you can simply convince yourself – and the child – that the ‘lack’ of a toy results in a smaller…


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