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It is time that we get creative with kids old books that our children have outgrown.
kids old books

15.8 million tons of reading material (books, magazines) and other paper products were trashed in 2010. “ –

Over fifteen million books and periodicals end up in the landfill every year. That is like a crazy- insane number to me! To my family, books are like little memories that need to be treasured and enjoyed.

We are avid readers and the reality is, the books that my kids loved to read three years ago, are now way too “baby-ish” for them. The result is many totes full of perfectly good children’s books that no one reads anymore. Today we are talking about Getting Creative with Outgrown Children’s Books.

So what to do with your previously-loved-but-no-longer needs children’s books? I certainly don’t want them to become part of the “15.8 million” in the landfill so here are some ideas to keep your books living on and providing entertainment for years to come.

Have a book Swap: Invite neighbors, friends, family and even coworkers to go through their books at home, set aside the unused/unwanted ones and then meet at a central place (the park or someone’s house) and have a good ‘ol fashioned swap. Your unwanted children’s books will become new-to-you reading for some lucky kids.

Incorporate A Holiday: My friend Valarie dreamed up this creative and amazing idea called Book-or-Treat. This clever Halloween activity encourages the little ghosts and goblins that come to your door to select a treat AND a book! We did Book or Treat last year at our house and the neighborhood loved it. My yard was filled with little costumed creatures happily reading books and it was all thanks to this great Book-or-Treat idea.

Do Some Good: Donate your books to centers that need and appreciate the stability and comfort of a good book. Good examples would be soup kitchens, homeless shelters and women’s shelters. Another “giving” option is to save your children’s books for special days like International Book Giving Day. Typically, this special book giving day falls on (or around) Valentine’s Day, so add a fun twist to your child’s Valentine’s Day card swap by donating books to their classroom for kids to read, share and take home.

If you have some other creative options and ideas, please comment below and share. Who knows what other fun “book-saving” ideas we could come up with!

kids old books

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. I am just as shocked at that outrageous number you said! That is a sad sad story! I love all these ideas! I am def doing the Halloween idea next year! Loved that one! Thanks for sharing! ~Leah~

  2. In my world books are so precious. When I was younger I was forced to get rid of tons of my books. I am now slowly building up my childhood collection again as well as collections for my children that they love. And of course I can never turn away from books for myself. But we don’t get rid of them. I box up the books that my kids are too old for and label them. So when my children are adults they can make the decision for themselves that they want to do with them. Or I can start the same traditions with my Grandchildren one day.

    1. Great idea. Your kids (& grandkids) will love that.