Op Shopping With Kids

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Visiting Op Shops (Thrift Shops) with the kids provide immense learning opportunities and life lessons. This morning we had a sport free Saturday, so the three youngest kids and I headed out to run some errands. One of the errands was looking for an item for another 21 Challenge activity we have planned, at an op shop.

On the way to the first group of Op Shops, we talked about what they are and how they work. We donate regularly to a local Op Shop and have visited many times before, but there were some parts of the cycle I hadn’t explained to the younger kids.

We talked about how our donations would be bought by others. The kids had assumed that it would be bought by families who have less than what we do. I explained this could be the case, but it may not be. Anyone can buy from an Op Shop and that also helps others who need help, as the Op Shop uses the money it makes to help those in need. We discussed how the people at the shops volunteer their time to work in the shops, while others volunteer their time to sort out all the goods donated to the shops.

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We spoke about how you don’t have to buy everything brand new. It is often cheaper and better for the environment if we can reuse items. We visited five Op Shops and while we didn’t find the item we were after I let each child have $3 to buy whatever they liked.

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The 9 year old spotted something in the first Op Shop, which she knew the youngest would love – The Gruffalo! We love The Gruffalo books and he received the CD set earlier this year for his birthday from his Godfather, so he was very excited to have the litte toy.

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I was next to spot a great find – a new winter’s jacket for $8.

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The 7 year old is a numbers kids and so I let him pay for his own stuff. He worked out the cost and how much change he should receive.

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The 9 year old was last to find something she wanted and naturally it was something which would let her create – a couple of jars of beads.

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Everyone was happy with their purchases and they kept the kids entertained for the rest of the morning.

Do you take the kids Op Shopping?

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If you enjoyed this post, I would love it if you made a small donation to my 21 Challenge. Donations can be made directly here. All funds raised go to Open Family Australia who provide a range of Outreach services to young people experiencing high complex needs. Their focus is on homeless and at risk youth. Thank you!


  1. says

    I’m a great op shopper- I inherited it from my mother who volunteers at Vinnies herself. Sometimes my children come shopping and have a look around. When I go through their wardrobes to look for outgrown clothes, we decided which ones are to go to the op shop. They know their clothes will be recycled and go to another family.

  2. says

    I’m not a great op shopper when it comes to clothes for me, but I love it for other stuff, and often for kids clothes. There’s a Vinnies near us that we regularly visit, and my 3 year old spends the time playing with the gazillion stuffed animals there, while I search for whatever it is I’m after, or drop off a box of stuff.

    Actually, having said I’m not great with clothes, I do do better if I make it there without kids! But that is very rare…

      • says

        I think for me part of the problem is that I am not a fashion queen. In fact, I am the opposite. My sister can go into an op shop and pull things out and know they will look good. I just don’t have an eye for it – it’s much easier for me if I can see clothes put together on a mannequin, or better still, just ask the shop assistant to dress me, LOL.