From Trash to Treasure

One child’s trash is another child’s treasure.

Hawaii’s youth will have an opportunity to sell their used toys, books, clothes, and other household items at the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center's Keiki Swap Meet this Saturday at Kakaako Gateway Park.

Parents get to clean out clutter around the house. Gently used items find new homes and bring renewed joy to other children instead of being tossed in landfills. Parents and children buying items find great bargains. And children selling their items get to sharpen their entrepreneurial and math skills.

“The children really run the show,” says Liane Usher, president of the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center. “We ask the parents to let their children pick out and price their items and handle the transactions by collecting and calculating change under their parents’ guidance.”

Many children get creative in the spirit of the event. “They make signage, turn their areas into a store, bargain and lower prices, and have a sales pitch to attract customers,” says Usher.

The Center organizes the event three times a year in March, June, and November.

Parents can register their children for a spot in the swap meet up until the day of the event for a $5 fee. Entry to shop is free. For more information, call 524-KIDS (5437) on Oahu.

Hawaii Children’s Discover Center Keiki Swap Meet
Saturday, June 24
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Kakaako Gateway Park


Tigger, Piglett, and Pooh, too, are just some of the gently used items that were sold at the swap meet.


Kailee (left) and her brother Zachree set up their storefront and are ready to make sales.


The children use a play cash register and calculator to make transactions. Zachree (right) holds a price list of the items for sale and takes inventory.


The swap meet teaches children about math and making change.


The children sell their old Halloween costumes and winter boots from a ski trip that they've outgrown. They said it was hard to part with their old toys but are glad that other children could use them.