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Hand Me Downs? Yes or No?

December 30th, 2020
Hand Me Downs? Yes or No?
It is true that adults feel very special when they receive a beautiful new outfit of clothes or other gift. Have you noticed that young children are usually more interested in the colourful wrapping paper! If you have bought them some new clothes, they are not looking for expensive labels but are more concerned that it is their favourite colour!

Hand me downs have a variety of benefits including the huge financial savings on not having to fork out for new clothes all the time and teaching children about how to look after their clothes and toys so they last longer. The most important benefit of all is that it reduces the amount of clothing that ends up in landfill sites – which is about 25 kg per family each year. Fewer clothes also mean less pollution as clothing manufacturers are the second largest polluters.

The new phrase that has been coined for hand me downs and secondhand clothing in general, is that they are ‘new to me’ – love it!

So if you need some convincing that hand me down are the way forward, here are some important points:
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Saving lots of money on clothes

Many new parents well remember their shock at how quickly their beautiful baby outgrew their first outfits and continued to do so at amazingly frequent intervals after that! If you keep all the clothes that you can for future children, this certainly saves an enormous amount of money.

Don’t be too proud to accept hand me downs from older relatives or from friends because you will be saving money each time. If you will have no further use for some outfits your child has outgrown, why not pass them on to someone who can put them to good use?

Once your children get to school, it makes sense to swap items of school uniform with other parents as school uniforms are often incredibly expensive.

In some countries, charity shops have really changed in recent years and many look more like stylish department stores! They too are good hunting grounds for children’s clothes. The only item not to pass from one child to another is footwear as shoes do take the shape of their wearer. Having said that, wellingtons can be passed down through the family over the years!
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Save a fortune on toys

Many parents realise that their children become almost overwhelmed by the number of toys that they have and others seem to get bored with the selection. The ideal solution is to divide the toys in two groups and pack one group away for a couple of weeks and then swap the toys over – this works well.

As your child grows, they outgrow their toys too, so when this happens, clean the toys perfectly and pack them away for the future or swap them with family or friends.

If your child desperately wants a new bicycle or would love a dolls’ house or toy farm, but these are all out of budget, why not look for a really good second hand one? There are usually plenty to be found on shop noticeboards, in the ads columns of local newspapers and of course online. It is often possible to find a toy that has been barely touched. Even if the toy is not looking gleaming and new, it is amazing what a pot of paint and some TLC can achieve!

Children do go through phases of having a keen interest in a particular type of toy and the ideal solution is to ask around the family or look out for some good second hand toys that they will love! In some areas, you can borrow toys at a toy library which is a great way to check how much your child would like a certain expensive toy before you begin the hunt!

Swap books for fun!

Most children love their books, but do outgrow some of them. You can pack these away or swap them for some titles that will suit your child better at this stage – again charity shops and table top sales are excellent hunting grounds!
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Teach your child the value of money

By swapping and sharing clothes and toys, your child learns a valuable lesson about sharing and some weeks later, may well suggest that their trousers now too short and could be given to their cousin! If you buy some items in a charity shop, you can show your children what the brand new price of each item is in the shops and they will soon understand how this is a fun way to stretch money!

Teach your child about our beautiful planet

Children need to learn about waste and rubbish and that there is too much of both in this world and the huge negative impact it is having on our environment. They can be encouraged to reuse and recycle and taught about sustainable living and will have ideas on how as a family you can develop this.

The greatest lessons they learn from giving and receiving hand me downs is about sharing and caring for other people and when your child hands something that they have treasured to their friend to use, they will have a really good feeling of self worth- you can’t get better than that!

Chrissie x

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