Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Edit Your Child’s Stuff with Toy Rental Services

Are you a parent who feels there just aren’t enough toys around your house? Does your child hate novelty, contenting his or herself with one or two simple toys? Do your child’s toys make your house into a model of order and harmony?

We didn’t think so.

Online toy rental companies like BabyPlays and Toyconomy have a solution. Here’s how they work:

  • Choose toys from their databases–kinda like adding movies to your Netflix queue.
  • Rent as you go. BabyPlays rents individual toys from $3 to $11/month. Toyconomy from $3 to $35/month–the latter price is for a LeapFrog LeapPad tablet computer (who knew?).
  • Or subscribe. Babyplays allows you to rent 4 toys for 60 days or longer for $25/month. Toyconomy’s $10/month subscription takes 50% off their toy rentals.
  • Hold onto toys for a month or for as long as you want.
  • Return toys and get a new shipment. Shipping costs are included.

Both companies take pains to let us know that their toys are rigorously cleaned and in good condition. Both offer a rent-to-own option; if your tyke doesn’t tire of a toy in a couple months, you can buy it at a discounted price.

Beside saving money, these services let kids enjoy their new toys without piling onto the mountain of old ones–a problem for almost every parent I know. What if your kid’s room could look like a haven of fun and order rather than a war-zone?

The one big challenge we see is getting grandparents and extended family on board. One Christmas-giving session can undermine months of editing.

Have you used these services? Would you? If not, why not? Let us know what you think.

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  • geekstack

    I haven’t used them but is another similar service.

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  • Nicole

    After looking over the selection of toys, I would say that I would never use this service for my children.  The toys are all cheap, ugly and plastic.  Most light up, make awful noises and will eventually wind up leaching toxins in a landfill for the next 1,000 years.  I don’t buy cheap, ugly things for myself and I want my children to be surrounded by beautiful objects as well.  Furthermore, these toys do nothing to aid a child’s imagination. 

    That’s not to say that a toy lending library is not a good idea.  But I would prefer if the toys were more like the Waldorf inspired goods at  A well built wooden toy will last much longer, not poison my child or the earth and they are beautiful too.  Makes more sense borrowing an  expensive lovely toy than a cheap ugly one.

    • David

      this is a great comment. though i wrote this article, i share your sentiments. i think the principle of renting/sharing is great, but it’s not universally good–the things need to be worth sharing. 

      my wife and i are actually in the dilemma now: we’re due in july and have accumulated a heap of tacky toys from friends. we’re going to give most of them back and settle with a few plain, heirloom toys like the ones on novanatural. thanks for the tip. 

  • Joy

    Please do share any ideas for clunky, gaudy grandparent gifts. Please. I donate pretty much everything they give us after a year only for it to be “restocked” the next Christmas. I guess it just comes down to different parenting philosophies but I’m not sure how to tackle the issues, ya know?

  • Samuel

    Another service that is about to launch is The Toy Exchange –
    I think I am going to give them a try, anyone heard of them?

  • Ant Hill

    Sadly both these services are defunct. Babyplays now sells used toys and toyconomy is no more.