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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Editor’s note: when I read this article from Brionna, I was ecstatic. Children absolutely need to be protected from Too Much Stuff Syndrome. That said, please do be careful with used toys and antiques, as some could easily contain lead. If your child is likely to put a toy in his or her mouth, please use appropriate caution.

America is truly a land of abundance. While people in other countries would be glad to have anything at all, many people in America feel like bad parents if they do not buy their children only new things. It is time to rethink this strategy. Here are five reason why buying used is actually best for kids.

1. Buying Used is Cheaper

The fact that used items are cheaper is not just beneficial for parents; it’s a plus for children too. By spending less on toys and clothes, parents can spend fewer hours at work and more time at home with their families. Plus, when toys and clothes are cheaper, parents can afford to buy more of them or better yet, save that money and invest it into the child’s future.

There are a lot of expenses associated with raising a child, but the priority shouldn’t be put upon getting the latest and greatest of toys and clothes, especially when the child is young.

2. It Teaches Children to Care for the Environment

Too many children are under the impression that toys are disposable and that when one is broken, the solution is to just go buy more. Buying used toys allows parents to talk to their children about the importance of taking care of their toys and the environment by reducing and reusing. Suddenly their children will be more interested in buying a replacement battery for Power Wheels from mendingshed.com instead of tossing their current toys for new ones.

3. Used Toys Can Be Higher Quality

So many items being produced these days are low-quality and break easily. Hand-me-down toys from past generations are generally sturdier and made with higher quality materials. There is a reason these items are still around to be resold instead of sitting in a landfill somewhere.

4. Used Items are More Likely to Be Unique

When kids get all of their toys straight off of hottest toy list, their toys are popular but not unique. When parents buy used clothes and toys from places such as thrift shops, flea markets and antique dealers, however, they can get truly one-of-a-kind items that no one else will own.

5. Used Clothes Have Less Chemical Residue

Most new clothes are treated with dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde and color fixatives before they are sold in stores. When children wear these new clothes, the chemicals leak into their skin. With used clothes, the chemicals have already been washed out.

While there is nothing wrong with buying some items new, there is no reason for parents to feel guilty for buying their children used items as well. These five reasons are only a few of the many reasons why buying used can actually be better than buying new. There are a lot of pros on the reusing side of the issue, and for whichever reason appeals to you personally. Just know that toys are toys, and your child should be grateful for anything you can and do give them.

Image courtesy of Times Union via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.