Here's a common holiday-themed parental conundrum. Your child has asked for the year's coolest toy - one that you know they will love to see under the tree or next to the menorah. But it's also one that requires a sizable investment and that you know they will outgrow in a few months (if not sooner.) Until now, you had two options: 1) Splurge for the booty and revel in the squeals of delight, only to watch the toy collect dust in the toy bin after a few months or 2) Tell them to pick out another toy and deal with the consequences. But what if there were a third option? What if you could rent the toy for a fraction of the cost and return it when your child got tired of it - maybe even for a new toy that they will love and cherish for weeks on end?
Doesn't sound like such a bad idea, right? Toy rental services are springing up around the U.S. helping parents trim costs on toys, particularly for the holidays, while minimizing toy box overflow. For $20 a month at BabyPlays.com, families can receive four in the mail every month, assembled and ready for playtime. You pick out the toys you want - they have everything from musical mobiles to the Wiggles Sing and Dance Guitar - and the toys will be on your doorstep and ready for play every month. You can keep the toys for as long as 90 days, or return them after a month and get a new box.
The idea is similar at Toygaroo, where they have plans ranging from $25 for 4 toys every other month to $53 for 8 toys a month. And while Baby Plays caters to the 5 and under crowd, Toygaroo has a few more sophisticated offerings such as the iXL Learning System, vReaders, and Leapster games.
It's Netflix for kids. And it's catching on as quickly as every other rental trend in recent years (think dresses and handbags.) Provided your child is the type to outgrow a toy in a month or two, it's a good way to keep the toy box stocked while keeping costs to a minumum.
So what do you think? Would you consider renting your kids' toys for Christmas this year?