Since LO  was a baby and more interested in putting money in his mouth than in a bank account, he has been accustomed to being dragged around jumbles sales and getting up early on a Sunday morning to have a browse of  the local boot sales.

This seems to have really paid off as I see him grow in confidence about asking for the price of things and seeking out some brilliant items that he has bought before I have even spotted them – he’s come home with a remote-controlled car for 25p, various DVDs and books and even a monster mask which he proudly wore home.

Here are my top reasons why taking your child to a boot sale is a worthy exercise and teaches useful life skills!


  1. It shows them the value of money. You have to think about buying that pair of jeans, that DVD or that £25 cookbook for full price when you know a boot sale regular is going to buy it from you for 20p.


  1. It shows them that there’s no need to waste resources on buying something new. That Spiderman t-shirt that costs £9 brand new won’t be looking pristine for long anyway. Buy it for 50p from a boot sale and you can wear it to climb a tree and it’s not the end of the world. Boot sales are one of the best kinds of recycling – I have an old 60s dress that I bought for 50p and I’ve never seen anyone else wearing anything like it. (And judging from the compliments I get, I mean that in a good way!)

    3. It stops children hanging around town centre shops buying things just for the sake of it. It’s amazing that a lot of children – and adults – don’t consider it a complete day out if they don’t come home having made a purchase.

    4. Fresh air and exercise! It’s a bit like playing squash – when your mind is on something else and you are concentrating, you don’t realise how far you’re walking when you’re pacing up and down those rows of stalls – and if you’re a seasoned booter, you’ll probably do each row at least twice. I’ll wear a pedometer to my next boot sale and report back!

    5. It will encourage them to sell their own unwanted toys, clothes and books when they’re no longer required. Selling at a boot sale teaches you about displaying your wares to the best effect, standing your ground when someone offers you 10p for a £2 item, maths, talking to strangers, customer service and haggling! It also teaches willpower – when you’ve worked hard to earn a few quid, you’re less likely to squander it on another stall.

    6. It teaches them basic maths. Or it should do. Quite often when something is 50p, I’ll ask if I can have two for a pound, but that’s just me!

    7. I find that I pick up all kinds of amazing vintage books at boot sales; I’d probably not have checked out Just William, Nicholas and Angela or even re-visited Enid Blyton if it weren’t for boot sales. Having said that, not every book is a classic – have a look out for Jordan’s book which appears several times at every boot sale I’ve ever been to.

    9. It encourages them to sift the tat from the good value items and who knows, they might start a trading business. Isn’t that how Lord Sugar started?

    10. It gets them out of bed on a Sunday morning instead of lounging around in bed!


11 .Many boot sales are run by charities, so you’ll be supporting a good cause. More than that, as we attend a few regular jumble sales and coffee mornings, we’ve got to know some fantastic people. Of course, these are the events who will also be grateful for a donation of clothes, books and CDs when you’re having a clear out.

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