Most houses aren't like the household of the Toy Story franchise when it comes to playthings -- toys get kept and sold, broken and preserved. At the end of the day, your children will go through a lot of toys, and if you're an accommodating parent, you'll want to replace them with an inexpensive option. Garage sales are a great place for buying children's toys, though not all toys you might find at a secondhand sales are appropriate for purchasing. Check out this guide to yard sale toys!
Toys with working parts are generally a hit and miss when it comes to buying them at a garage sale. You'll definitely need to make sure they work, because nothing is more frustrating to a youngster than being handed a toy they're told will make noise and light up, only to find that pressing the button does nothing! Ask the host if they can tell you which toys work; those that don't work may be available for a good bargaining deal.
Action figures and plastic figurines are great garage sale buys. They're easy to clean and sanitize for children of all ages, and they generally come cheap, as toys go. Also, they're wonderful for children with a lot of imagination, because with creativity, they become more animated than any light-up toy! You can bargain a host down to a few cents per toy, too, making these an economical buy. If you're looking for a gift for your child to take to a party, garage sale action figures may fit the bill
Board games and puzzles are often educational as well as a ton of fun! The problem with these boxes of entertainment is that they are often missing pieces or crucial instructions. Check through game and puzzle boxes before you even consider purchasing them, to make sure that if anything is missing, you can replace it easily (such as a playing piece, for which you can substitute a small plastic toy with no problem).
There is one type of toy you generally should stay away from: stuffed animals. Not that they aren't well-treated in their old homes, and not that they wouldn't be perfect to take home to your children! However, the "fur" of stuffed animals can easily host parasites and critters such as lice, which you certainly don't want to cart home with you.
Shop for all your toy needs starting at GarageSaleCow.com! We've got local listings you can browse for free, and other resources for the serious garage sale shopper.