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Saturday, 25 September 2021

Op shopping: reduce, reuse and recycle.

Are you into teaching your kids how to reduce, reuse and recycle? Then here is an activity for you and your green child that is sure to keep you both happy on a sunny day. Op shopping!

melbourne op shops

Op shops or opportunity shops are thrift shops with a range of second hand things, including: clothes, toys, shoes, baby goods, kitchen items and furniture and so much more. I like to consider op shops as little heavens for both mum and child. It's like going on a treasure hunt but better because it costs hardly anything, the kids have loads of fun, the volunteer staff are super lovely and you are sure to bag some bargains.

My 3 year old and I have been hitting the op shops since he was a little dot so he is now very aware of the op shop procedure. We enter the shop, he locates the toy section, he has a little play and when it's time to pack up he gets to choose a toy to purchase. Most toys cost a dollar or two and as he is now a bit older, he does the purchasing himself. The volunteers adore him and love a good chat at the counter and he nearly always leaves with a chocolate biscuit in hand. To him the op shop has always been a fun place but as he has got a bit older we have shared with him the importance of the op shop in the community and how the money raised assists people who do not have lots of money. As we walk between the op shops we speak about those who are less fortunate and it warms my soul to know that he understands there are people out there who sadly cannot afford food or a house to live in and that we are helping them in a very small way. It's the humble beginnings of teaching a child to appreciate the world we live in. My boy has also learnt that there isn't always a treasure to be found and that I won't just buy for the sake of buying. It's am important lesson when op shopping otherwise you end up with more trucks and cars at home then you could ever imagine, which kind of defeats the reduce of the reduce, reuse and recycle moto.

We have found many amazing treasures whilst op shopping, including trikes and bikes, balls and trucks and beautiful books. As well our wardrobes, both his and mine have many items sourced from the local op shops. A lot of the time the clothes are brand new.

To make a day of op shopping with your little one be sure to come up with an op shop friendly route (walk or tram is easiest) which includes a cafe stop for refuelling. Make a map and if your child is old enough ask them to provide the directions. Take your recycle bags and ask your child to pick some things from home to donate to one of the shops too. Most of all have fun whilst knowing that you are helping your local community. Happy shopping!

Here is a helpful site to assist you in locating your local op shops:

Op Shop Listing

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Reviewed and kid-tested by Little Melbourne Contributor/Blogger, Joanne and her Family.

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