Parents have cornucopias of junk. Rubbermaid boxes overloaded with gadgets and gizmos of all shape and size. Puzzles, books, animals, tops, drums, kazoos, blocks, teethers, jack-in-the-boxes, wing-dings, do-hickies, whatchamacallits. And yet everyone invests in these same objects again and again. All the Mama B’s on your street are buying the same toys. Why not organize a swap? A toy library?

The allure of a new plaything vanishes after a little while… give it a couple weeks, a month, and the glow of the new fades; soon that cherished Mister Potato Head is growing extra eyes in a corner. Share him! Make some other rugrat’s day—and save her mama big bucks. Later, when he’s returned to you, little Jenny gets the sweet pleasure of  re-acquaintance.

Invite trustworthy friends to join. Label objects. Rotate in and out monthly. Sanitize. It’s green, thrifty, and keeps life fresh. Sorry, Toys R Us—Smart B Us Mamas.