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advice with toys for the poor

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Showing 1-17 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 1, 2012, 6:09:24 PM PDT
We are buying educational toys for 10 children. When is the best time to buy? Other cheaper sites then amazon? thanks karen

Posted on Jun 1, 2012, 8:12:58 PM PDT
Kmart & Target in July up to 90% off usually 2nd to 3rd week.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 8:30:38 PM PDT
Thanks We have a Target close by and we will stop and shop. Thanks again. Karen

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012, 4:41:54 AM PDT
DisplacedMic says:
yep, I agree with April - and there are usually sales again at the end of the summer.

As it were I find Amazon a great place to purchase great children's toys cheaply.

I recently discovered that my 4 year old loves and has a knack for jigsaw puzzles. you can get really nice puzzles here for great prices.

I will generally search for an item, select a category and then sort by average customer review. People absolutely take price into consideration when they leave reviews so sorting this way gives you the best of price and quality!

I don't need to get my kids the most expensive of anything and i find that sorting by lowest price makes it difficult to sort through the junk.

If you don't mind me asking, are these 10 kids yours or are you shopping for other people's kids? Either way, good for you!

I ask because if you have 10 kids in your house then i think a great gift is something that they can do together. Puzzles, games, sporting equipment etc.

Check these out:

you can pick age categories over on the left if you want.

my kids are just now getting to an age where we can do puzzles and games together - it's great!

since discovering this i have started purchasing games for friends and family with kids of their own. they make great gifts.

I just bought the game Spot It for one of my son's friends. It went over very well and it was only $11!

Spot It

Another game called Set is loads of fun and also about $10

SET: The Family Game of Visual Perception

I have been thinking about buying Perplexus for my daughter but haven't pulled the trigger yet - people seem to like that as well.

If you get an idea what you want or what people like here on Amazon, you could always check ebay or google shopping for the items you are looking to buy.

Google shopping is a great resource for this

just type what you are looking for and you can sort by low price/relevance etc. it will then give you a list of places where it's available - on the net and in your area so you can see where the cheapest and most reliable places are to buy it.

you can also just google the model number of a specific item and sometimes you get lucky.

Me personally i am usually willing to spend a little bit more on Amazon for the saving on shipping and more importantly the piece of mind.
As the largest retailer in the world, i find that the review system is incredibly useful. There may be "Fake" reviews in there - but with the sheer number of customers, the truth almost always comes out on any item i am looking to purchase.

hope that helped!
good luck

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012, 9:33:27 AM PDT
Thank you DisplacedMic. The 10 children are all from the same Amish family I met when I was on Vacation last fall. They lost their farm due to a bacteria in the ground causing all their cows to die. The Amish do not take walfare or any government assisstant. This family (children age 8-12) started making these beautiful basket to make money to live on. People buying these baskets drop off food, cloth to make cloths, and other stuff to help these kids. These kids are so well behaved... ranging from 12 to 6 months. This year, I am trying to get 7-10 educational games (what the 8 and 9 year old girls have asked for) such as scrabble because they are not allowed to have things like a ball or dog. I have Set on my list and I will look into Spot it. Any suggestions are welcome. thanks karen

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012, 10:50:09 PM PDT
Is there any chance that you could update your wish list here on amazon. I am sure that when your friends and family hear your story they will want to help. I know I do, but by December, I won't recall having said this since by that time the all the functioning addicts with substandard housing will be all over tv crying about the robbery wherein they lost the new 51inch flat screen tv as well as the ps3 and xbox360 plus assorted games. The tv coverage will include some sad faced kids. The public will respond and real causes like your will be forgotten.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2012, 10:01:41 AM PDT
Thanks for your remarks. There are 3 different groups of Amish in the US...old Amish, new Amish, and Swartzentruber Amish (this is the oldest sect). They do NOT accept welfare, charity, or any other forms of help. Sometimes they will get help from their church (but how do you get money from one poor person to help another poor person). Most of them are poor (we are finding oil on some of their land in Ohio and PA which will help them) This family lost their farm due to a bacteria in the soil and the cows all died. The children (age 7 to 12) started making these beautiful baskets to sell...we all notice the torn clothes, the shoes that did not fit, the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables and no toys. They believe they have to live a lifestyle that matches the be-attitudes from the bible in order to go to heaven and a group of elders decides what can and cannot be done. (Like being Catholic with birth control... most Amish do not use birth control either). The kids are not allowed to have a ball, a doll, anything Barbie, a swing set... and each child gets two gifts, if they are lucky, and some fruit and a piece of chocolate. This year the mother (and she is a wonderful mother and never asks for anything...I don't know everything about the father who is always working on the farm without any machinery) is allowing me to get the kids some educational toys this year like Scrabble but she wants them used (She knows new toys are expensive and does not want her kids to live a "rich" lifestyle.) The girls also wanted 5 used children's books (they are aloud to read the classics, Christian literature or books like little house on the prairie). An author of children's Amish books, Wanda Brunstetter is donating some of her books. 3 of the little boys want 2 coloring books (with animals, birds, butterflies) and a box of crayons from the dollar store. There is also a Melissa and Doug toy (last year I requested the owners of Melissa and Doug to give me a discount on some their toys and they refused... when I worked for Rubbermaid, Little Tikes and Step2 gave discounts all the time... says something about the owner "Doug" and "melissa") which has 9 cubes and is a picture of dogs I believe. (Last year they got the farms animals and 4 of the kids love playing with it)

What the kids really need for x-mas is shoes. The Swartzentruber wear shoes like Laura did out of Little House and they are specially made. They pass their shoes from one child to the next even if they don't fit because one pair of shoes for these kids are between $35-$50. No one is asking for one person to pay that... but a fund is started last fall 2011 at a B&B to collect low amount of money like $1, $3, $5 for the needs of these children. That B&B is the Barn Inn on 6838 County Road 203, Millersburg, Ohio 44654. (

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2012, 9:31:38 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 15, 2012, 9:49:05 PM PDT
Blessing be unto you for such an endeavor!!
WHat I was wondering was if YOU could create a wishlist on YOUR profile. It is my understanding that if you do that with the toys (or whatever) you would like to see these kids have, then others could make that purchase if they are so inclined and have the item sent to you without you ever having to reveal your personal information and vice versa.

As an aside, I wasn't too upset to read that Melissa and Doug would not give discounts. While it may have been personally upsetting to you, please try to empathize with them. They make great toys but they are a business. If they give you a discount then everyone and their mother will want one too. They have no way of knowing if you are donating to the Amish children or if you are just trying to get a discount for your own kids.

I know it is hard to believe for kindhearted people like you, but other people really do LIE all the time.

(Did you see the "injured and stststutttering" war vet guy on America's Got Talent? He told the audience that he had a brain injury caused by combat. On the suggestion of his therapist, he started singing for the first time -or so he said. The crowd and the judges went crazy for him. He was America's darling...for about 24 hours....turns out he was quite the liar! NO combat injury, he was a singer IN A BAND for years and does not stutter at all!)
Anywhoo, that story to say, there are MANY very good liars out there and Melissa and Doug are wise to NOT give discounts to anyone without a non profit status. Please do not take that as a personal assault. Comparing them to RUbbermaid really isn't that fair. To the best of my knowledge, M&D only sell toys and are a much smaller organization versus Rubbermaid. I would also think that if you were an employee of M&D they might extend a discount to you as well.

Disclaimer: I do NOT work for them and my youngest child is 18 so I have never personally had a M&D toy in my home, but I have purchase a few of the toys (which ARE expensive IMO) for my niece and nephew. They were quite pleased with those toys. I guess my point in the aforementioned is simply to request that you rethink the bad taste that M&D gave to you for refusing to provide you with a discount. I am 100% certain it was NOTHING personal against you and the awesome thing that you are trying to do here.

NOt that I don't think that you are doing enough, but if you plan on helping out the entire community of children (at some point) or making this family a part of your annual holiday tradition, maybe you can apply to get the exempt/non profit status from your state. If you do that and reapproach M&D, maybe they would be more agreeable to your requests for future discounts (and possibly get a tax write off for their loss).

I do think that you have a heart of gold and I would really love to assist you if possible.
(It is refreshing to hear about some well behaved kids who deserve to have a nice xmas).

Lastly, I am not sure how involved you want to get with this family, but I did read that you were thinking that there might have been some oil discovered in the area where they live. Is there any chance that the excavation of said oil might have had some adverse reaction to the farmland?
(I think that you know where this conversation is going).....
The extra money (if a lawsuit were sucessful) might just help them to repurchase livestock.
I will be anxiously awaiting your updated wishlist-

Posted on Jun 16, 2012, 10:02:40 AM PDT
I will be updating my wishlist...but because we are buying the stuff "used" it isn't costing very much and a few of us can handle it ourselves. I just got Scrabbles (a regularly priced game at $15.99) for just $6.99 all inclusive. One other game was less than $8.00 and all the other games were less than $5. Remember, these kids have no problem with used stuff. I believe we only have 4 more games to buy before Christmas, since the second gift will be books (or coloring books). Thanks everyone for your suggustions. Keep them coming, there is always 2013.

As for the shoes, the owners of the B&B have already collected enough money to get each kid a pair of shoes and DO NOT need anymore money coming into Millersburg. They ask you if can re-direct your moneys to another deserving family for shoes for x-mas. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012, 4:29:11 AM PDT
DAP says:
why can't they have a ball or dog?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012, 9:51:30 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 17, 2012, 9:53:18 AM PDT
Thanks for asking. The Swartzentruber Amish do not let their children have "fun" for the point of having "fun". However if a game is educational like Scrabble (I just pick it up on amazon the other day... used- good quality at a low price) they will let the kid have one or two games/coloring books/crayons/classic books/classical wooden toy etc. Remember, the kids all play together... so one game turns into 5 games.

typo....they can have a dog but not a doll.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 17, 2012, 9:53:49 AM PDT
typo...they can have a dog but not a doll.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2012, 8:20:35 PM PDT
Golum says:
Check out Looney Labs for a variety of excellent affordable games. Fluxx and Fictionary are good games- Fictionary is a wonderful game of competitive story-telling that stimulates creativity and Fluxx creates flexible thinking and strategy. Loony Labs can be helpful in donating or giving good discounts to worthy causes so I recommend calling them and asking.

Also there are some great cooperative games out there- which are far better at giving children encouragement in cooperative thinking and team building. And cooperative games help build self-esteem, confidence, increase communication skills and promote inclusion and tolerance.

Also I recommend Whoowasit?,Forbidden Island, Castle Panic,Rory's Story Cubes, Boochie, Peaceable Kingdom - all are cooperative games. There are many fun and educational games from Family Pastimes so check them out also.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2012, 9:51:04 PM PDT
I always shop in January and February after Christmas for great deals. Many items are carried for the holiday season as Walmart and Target stock up and these toys are generally marked down to 50-75% off after the holiday when they do not sell before Christmas. Beware however, if you are looking for a hot item or special toy, this most likely will not be available at this time as they will be sold out. I also check thrift stores for wonderful bargains on good used toys. I disenfect thoroughly and wait several weeks before letting my grandchild play with them. A precautionary health measure in case of a sick child.
Good Luck and Best Wishes.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2012, 10:42:16 PM PDT
B. Barton says:
Depending oh what books you are buying and for the age I know the has the narnia books and other great kids book for super cheap, especially on Wednesdays.

Posted on Feb 16, 2014, 6:33:28 AM PST
RealHausFrau says:
I'm late in the game, but in the case you are still doing this really generous work, this is what I suggest. First, due to the toys you are looking for, you might want to visit Etsy & explore the stores. There are amazing craftspeople selling their wares on there, I know I've seen many woodworkers that make toys & games by hand, in addition to loads of other things in every price point. Since you're dealing with an individual, you may be able to work a discount. Secondly, does your town host a consignment kid's goods show called 'Just Between Friends'? ours are always huge with individuals selling kids clothing, furniture, toys & more. I like their sale the best because the organizers are very specific about the items they accept in terms of style, condition, safety...and they make the sellers really work a long set of requirements, so you know it's better than most consignments b/c to participate, you really must work & be motivated. Plus, the last sale day, prices go down by 50% or more on things that haven't sold. I also frequent big box, and online stores year-round, look for coupon codes for their sites, and many times I can get clearance toys for at least 60-75% off normal price. Surprisingly, Barnes & Noble's online store almost rivals Amazon in the sheer number of varied products they have, and their clearance dept is fantastic. Check out sites like Groupon, Living Social & Plum District often, for vouchers to toy stores, that will allow you to at least buy a $20 voucher and get $40 worth of product. Oh-for educational toys, I love craft stores, especially Joann, and they go on sale at least 40% at least 1x/month, if they aren't on sale, you can always use their weekly 40% off 1 item coupon. Good luck, blessings to you & the family.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2014, 10:17:30 AM PST
shoppermom says:
I always check's site first. They normally clearance out their models right before releasing new. I also would check walmart's clearance section in toys area of the store. I have found stuff almost half the cost at walmart before amazon and
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Discussion in:  Toys forum
Participants:  10
Total posts:  17
Initial post:  Jun 1, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 16, 2014

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