Are you tired of buying a bazillion random toys every holiday? 

Here’s my simple solution, buy toys on a theme. 

In order to build a collection, you have to first decide what category of toys are you going to focus on?


First, pick a theme to focus on.

If your child is into Batman, then your theme is superheroes.

Yes, buy a Batman. Buy some Batman things.

Add on another superhero for Easter. Buy an Imanginext playset for Christmas.

Grab Spider-Man for a birthday gift. Keep building out the collection.

Batman might get boring after a while.

But if he gets a new car and Robin sidekick for the next holiday then he will become new again.

You feel me?


You resurrect old toys when you sprinkle in something new.

Here are a few examples:

•Add new play food and plates to an old kitchen set. (Don’t forget to round up free stuff too!  Fun freebies like empty spice bottles, condiment containers, boxes, plastic Easter eggs, real plastic spoons, etc.)

•Add one a monster truck and a racing rug to revive old match box cars.

•Last year’s Barbies get a new Barbie friend and baby and some new clothes.

•The last 4 years of Lego sets get a lego table or sort all the legos by color and function to respark interest.

•Old Baby dolls get a pack of diapers, new bottles, and a bed.



Yes you can still buy other toys. But gear the big ticket items and quantity around a theme that can grow with them.

Be wise with the gift buying.   Know what you are buying and when. 

In my house, we buy the most toys for Christmas, a few trinkets for Easter, and book and one toy for the birthday. So when Christmas comes around, I am prepared to go ham (up to my budget amount). Maybe your family is big on birthdays,? Just decide what will create the most joy for your family and stick with that! 

The first toy theme I began with the girl was the Fisher Price Little People. Pop Pop bought the girl a Little People house her first Christmas. It sat in the box until she was 1.5 years. She was instantly hooked. During this time I was super into  Mom2Mom sales. (Tip: Google Mom-2-Mom Sales and your city. You’re welcome.)

So I started buying Little People Lots (several sets together) at the Mom-2-Mom Sales for $5-$10. Before long we added the a whole community of Little People and their things- school bus, train, boat, and jet ski to our collection. The toys could be easily disinfected with my fave Clorox Clean-Up and Clorox wipes. I once put all the Little People on the top rack of the dishwasher. The end!

When Grandparents, Godparents, and family want to buy gifts, it’s easy to tell them what to buy when you have a theme toy collection.The girl’s Godparents went overboard and we had an airplane and zoo. And just like that hours of play was born! 

The next theme in our house was 18 inch doll life. Notice I didn’t just say dolls. 

Yes we have a ton of other dolls around here. Some were hand me downs. Some were gifts.

But the majority of the dolls are 18 inch dolls making it easy to shop on a theme.   The 18 inch doll life began around age 2.5 years.

Start shopping for toys on a theme while the kids are little.

Then their toy collection will grow with them.

Im our case, the theme shopping began around Christmas age 3. Santa brought the dollhouse for the 18 inch dolls and it’s been doll ridiculousness ever since.  

I have absolutely no regrets about starting that young either. She will probably play with this dollhouse until she is 10 years old. That’s potentially a good 8.5 years of doll play: Totally worth the investment.

You build. 

You focus on a theme.

Then the kids have waaaaay more because of the mix old and new. There’s less hodge podge toy mess and more depth of play. Playtime is exciting and intricate because it’s not a Barbie, it’s Barbie land. It’s not Batman . . .  it’s Gotham City!

This my friends is how shopping for toys on a theme actually saves you money!

Now go #cr8joi and get your baby’s toy life together.  Soon they will want designer things and expensive tech toys that you can’t substitute.

So hurry up and buy plain ol’ toys while you can! 

Please let me know if this post helped refresh your toy shopping perspective in the comments below.

Also, check out . . . 

How to Build a Toy Collection Your Kids Will Actually Play With