Welcome to another edition of Ballarat’s Op SHOP DIARIES … this month, I want to talk about Children’s STUFF! Yep, all their stuff, and there’s lots of it! Put simply we are giving our children too much. So much that they don’t know what to do with it! Once upon a time children would be given one or two timeless toys that would last them years and years. We now live in a time when ‘on trend’ toys are coming out weekly! Having a negative impact on the environment but also on our kids.
We can lessen the impact by being more mindful when buying for our kids. Buying second-hand is certainly one option, not only does it save items from landfill but it also demonstrates a great life skill for our kids. Next time you have a children’s present to buy … why not check out what’s hiding at the local op shop first? You’ll be amazed at what you might find, and with a little love and care you can breathe new life into something that your child will enjoy for years.
Need some help getting started … here a few tips for shopping the children’s section next time you are at the op shop!
Stuffed Toys are usually of no shortage in the op shops. So when choosing one for your little one, look for one in good condition, you might even find one with tags still on it! Once you have made you choice, check the CARE INSTRUCTIONS … ensure you can give it a good wash when you get home. Whether that be in a gentle machine wash or by hand. Dry on the Line and you will be amazed with the result. Good as new!
Plastic Blocks are a great toy for preschool children, they can provide hours of creative, and problem solving fun. They are also easy to clean and store. These are a great find at the op shop, so snap them up quickly and don’t look back! At home give them a good soak … fill the sink with warm soapy water and leave for an hour or two. Rinse and dry on a towel outside in the sun. Perfect!
Wooden Toys are another great find at the op shop, and don’t be discouraged if they are looking a little ‘shabby’ … the great thing about wooden made toys, is that they are sustainable. They can be sanded back, oiled or repainted many times! Get the kids involved, they will love working on this project with you!
Books are by the hundreds at my local op shop … so do yourself a favour and always look for a second-hand book before buying new. Give yourself the time, and look at each book carefully. A simple wipe with a damp cloth will brighten any hardcover book making it appear as new! Check also for torn pages or anything you may want to repair when you get home … a torn page is an easy fix so don’t let that stop you from enjoying a great book!
Clothing needs a good eye and some patience … I recommend looking for quality items and fabrics, such as denim and pure wool. Both sturdy fabrics, that wash up well and can be worn for years. Check carefully for stains but don’t immediately discard if you find one. Decide whether the garment is worth some further investment? Attempting stain removal, or even upcycling the garment by adding a patch or embellishment can be fun! Get creative and embrace imperfection!
Thanks for reading this month’s Ballarat Op Shop Diaries … and don’t forget to get involved on Social Media using the hashtag #ballaratopshopping.
Until next time,
PS. Click Here If you’d like to see more from the Ballarat Op Shop Diaries.
PPS. An extra tip for op shopping for kids from Louise, Ballarat Family Guide Content Manager – I loved this blog from Bianca because it’s so relevant to me right now! So I couldn’t help myself but add in one thing I have really loved op shopping in recent times, which is is kids kitchen items. I’ve really stocked up on things like kid sized cutlery, good quality bowls and plates like melamine and tin, and cups! Thanks so much Bianca for continuing to inspire us to be kind to our wallets and kind to our planet! X