On Sunday afternoons when the weather is not cooperating, I sometimes take my 3-year-old to a local toy store with an amazing selection of used toys. We roam the store, lingering over Brio wooden train sets and bags of whiffle balls. I rummage through bins of vintage action figures, and he sends marbles down elaborate spiral tracks.
Eventually he’ll get antsy or attached to something I’m not going to buy. When we’ve reached that point, I sit down with him and we sort through a bin of old Hot Wheels matchbox cars (75 Cents each).
We have a system: he gets to pick two cars and I get to pick two. You can easily tell his cars versus mine. His are shiny and big, covered in stripes and decals. Mine are plain, mostly battered 70’s muscle cars and Cadillacs with flaking paint and tricky wheels. Basically, I choose the Hot Wheels of my childhood, and he goes for flash and dash. For three dollars plus tax we both get endless fun. It’s such a bargain, and he loves his cars so much he takes them to bed now instead of his stuffed animals.