Kids, Toys, and Your Finances

by David Bakke

save money on toysI recently had quite an interesting experience with my son at our local toy store. From time to time, when he behaves well, or does something particularly well, we make the trek down to the toy store where he can pick out a new toy for himself.

During this most recent trip, we made our way up and down each aisle. We past the Transformers stuff that cost an arm and a leg, and we past all the other latest and greatest fads in toy world. Sure, he liked to play with this stuff, but it never really interested him.

After much deciding and testing and grabbing and so forth, he finally looked at me and said, “Daddy, I want a kite.”

A kite? Wow, I hadn’t really thought of that before. Took a look around the store some more, found a few kites, and he picked himself out a brand new Spiderman kite for the grand total of $2.99.

We then made our way to the local park. It actually took me a few minutes to remember exactly what to do, as it had been somewhere around 25 years since I had flown one. Anyways, we got it put together and got it up in the air. For the next few hours, my son and I probably had more fun with that kite than we had had together the last few months. He was so proud of himself once we were able to sustain it in the air. He was controlling it with the concentration of an Air Force pilot. It was a sight to see.

When we got home, we walked past the tool bench I spent $42 on for Christmas, which is really just collecting dust in the corner by now.

We almost stepped on the toy laptop I bought for him that cost about the same. After that, I tried to forget all the other toys we had bought for him that were in the pricier range.

My point is this: it seems that we as parents have some sort of false visions of grandeur when it comes to purchasing toys and gifts for our children. We somehow feel that the more we spend, the more enjoyment our child will receive. Maybe I am not in the majority no this mindset. If not, please let me know.

But my son is living proof that he gets much more enjoyment out of the $2 and $3 toys than he does the ones that cost ten times more. After all, he obviously doesn’t know how much these more expensive toys cost, and even if he did, probably still wouldn’t care.

Take a step back and consider some of the more traditional, less expensive toys. You could probably save yourself a bundle and your children may reap more benefits as well.


1 Ka February 20, 2010 at 12:12 pm

This reminds me of when kids often prefer to play with the big empty cardboard boxes that toys come in, rather than the expensive toys themselves 😉

2 David Bakke February 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm


Yes it does.

Empty toilet paper and papr towel rolls were pretty high on the list as well.

Thanks for sharing!

3 Qt February 20, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Just one little observation, both the workbench and the kid laptop are mostly “single player” games, the kite not. Or, at least it is easier to have a public and share the game experience.

4 David/Yourfinances101 February 21, 2010 at 12:17 am


Point very well taken–thanks for sharing!
.-= David/Yourfinances101´s last blog ..Kids, Toys, and Your Finances =-.

5 Wise Finish February 21, 2010 at 3:29 am

Kids’s toys that cost less tend to have less electronics – good for their brains (imagination) and good for the parents (less noise 🙂

6 David/Yourfinances101 February 21, 2010 at 10:08 am

Wise Finish—great points!

Thanks for commenting!
.-= David/Yourfinances101´s last blog ..Kids, Toys, and Your Finances =-.

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