Monday, March 19, 2007
Thrifting with little people
I love thrifting (no surprise there!), but I also have a 2-year-old son. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to thrift with my busy-bodied little guy. Then, I came up with a few things that make going to tag sales and thrift shops a great experience for both of us. I thought I'd share these ideas for those of you who have kids (or grandkids) you want to take with you on your thrifting adventures.
1. Have a plan, and share it with your little companion(s). I tell my son where we are going, what we are going to do, and what I expect of him while we are there. I'm not sure he understands everything I say, but it seems to help.
2. Hit the toy aisle or kids' table first. I let my son pick out a small toy to play with while I make the rounds. I tell him he can keep it if he is a good boy. I can't decide whether to call this a bribe or an incentive, but it usually works great.
3. Consider using a backpack or sling to carry younger children. My Kelty kidpack (shown in use in the picture above) has saved my thrifting sanity. It allows my son to be high enough to see where we are going, and keeps my hands free (to grab all the goodies I can carry!).
4. Play games to engage your child's attention and deter whining. I play I Spy (we're working on colors, letters and shapes), but a treasure hunt could be more fun for older children. Just remember to tell them they should walk, be polite, and not pick up anything breakable.
5. Be prepared to abandon ship. Sometimes my son just isn't up for cruising the aisles or
hopping from sale to sale in the car. I let his mood determine the length of my thrifting trips.
I try to leave before he gets loud or whiny. Otherwise, I end up with a little guy crying in my ear as I hastily pay for my goodies.
Do you have any other ideas for hitting the tag sale trail with little ones in tow? I'd love to hear them!