A Quick Guide to Hand-me-downs for Your Children

Choosing to pass certain items down to your children is a great decision that could save you some money and also provide them with something that they truly need. Passing something on to your children will require some careful thought though, so here is a quick guide to explain what you should think about if you do want to give them something.

Will My Children Like It?

One of the first things you need to consider is whether or not your children are going to appreciate their hand-me-down. If it is something that they have coveted for a long time, they might be very happy to receive it, and it will be something that they are going to treasure and look after. However, they might also end up a little disappointed, and they could then not treat it as they should.

If they come to you and ask for the item, raise the possibility of it being a hand-me-down. It is far more cost-effective for you to pass on something that you have already bought, and they could still get something that works well and meets their needs. A hand-me-down is just as good as the actual product, and your children could love it just as much or even more.

Are My Children Responsible Enough?

For some high-cost items, you need to consider whether or not your children are responsible enough to look after the item. Some things that you could choose to pass down to them might be quite expensive if they break, and you want to be certain that your children are going to take good care of them.

Before handing the item over, it might be a good idea to have a short conversation with your child about your expectations as a parent, and how you want to see the item treated. Establishing a dialogue and a set of boundaries at this point is going to be key, as it allows you to work together to help keep the item in good condition.

What Works for a Hand-me-down?

Obviously, you should only choose to pass something down to your children if the items in question are in a good state. If you try to give your child something that is worn and not fit for purpose, it is only going to degrade even faster. As a result, you should instead look for things that are going to be able to stand up to what your children are going to be able to throw at them.

With these points discussed, let’s take a look at some of the items that you might want to consider handing down to your children.


The easiest hand-me-downs often come in the shape of clothes. Children grow very quickly, and this can result in a lot of clothes being bought and then either worn once or twice or never at all. Children’s clothes can also be rather expensive, so having more than one child is going to ramp up the costs of clothing. It can, therefore, be better to look into hand-me-downs.

Whether they are coming from a friend of yours, a cousin, or even if you are dressing your kids in clothes that their older brother or sister once wore, there are plenty of options to choose from when you decide to include clothes in what can and can’t be bought. It can be a much better choice for your family overall, and it means that you will get plenty of use out of some of the clothes that you buy for your children.


Your children are going to reach the age where they want their own laptops and phones to use, and you might not want to give them something that is brand-new straightaway. If you have an old machine that still works fine, you should think about giving that to them instead.

With a laptop, it is fairly easy to scrub the hard drive and restore it back to its original settings. This means that they will have a clean machine to try out, and they will be able to get on and use it how they best see fit.

With a phone, not only will you have to clear it out but you will also need to get a new SIM card for it so they have their own number. If you are upgrading your phone before giving them the handset then you will obviously be keeping your own SIM card. Sit down with your child and compare SIM-only deals – make sure you find out more information about some of the offers out there. Together, try to work out how much data they are going to need.

A Car

If your child is ready to get their first car, you could give them your old one and look into getting a new one for yourself. This is one of the biggest hand-me-downs that you could choose, but it is also a fantastic test of their maturity and their ability to look after what is, after all, a fairly substantial piece of equipment.

Since this is also more of a financial burden than some of the other items on this list, you could have a conversation with your child about how they are going to afford to pay the fees. For example, you could offer to pay the insurance and road tax for the car, with them picking up the costs of the petrol and anything else they might want for their new vehicle.


Finally, a more sentimental hand-me-down can be a piece of jewellery. This is often included as inheritance, and it is something that people can get quite emotional about. If you have any meaningful pieces in your collection, you might think about handing them down to your children to create a special moment between you two.

For example, you might have a necklace or a pair of earrings that you wore on your wedding day. If one of your children is getting married, you could offer them to your child or their future spouse. It fits in nicely with the “something old” tradition, and can be a great way to bring you all closer together as a family on the wedding day.

Jewellery is something that should be treated with respect, and you should make sure that you know how your child will care for it before you give it to them. This has the potential to become an heirloom and something that they pass to their own children in time.

Hand-me-downs should not be sniffed at. They are a great way for you to give your children what they need without breaking the bank, and it can also be a way for you to lean on other parents for help and support if you need it. There is no denying that children are expensive, so giving them a hand-me-down might be the solution that you need. What’s more, it could also give you the opportunity to create a family heirloom that will be treasured for a long time to come. Why not start thinking about some of the items that you would like to pass down to your children now.


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