Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Toys and Games for the Minimalist Tot

It’s raining out. My, I mean your, kid is bored. You try to think of ideas to entertain him. Perhaps it’s time to go to the toy store. There you’ll spend money on junky plastic toys or games that he’ll use for a few hours before growing bored with them. Those toys and games will likely clutter up your house for months, perhaps years, before you give them away or toss them. Boredom problem solved.

Despite what Toy R Us might have us believe, young children are generally easy to please, and though they often appreciate cool, new toys, they also appreciate ones that are hacked from common household items–ones that typically cost little or nothing, ones that store easily, ones that won’t clutter up your place.

With my 22 month old son, we are having a great deal of success with balloons, bubbles and old tennis balls. None of the three require any appreciable storage space or outlaying of money. The balloons and bubbles have the added benefit of being quite safe for child and house alike.

The other day, Buzzfeed came up with “33 Activities Under $10 That Will Keep Your Kids Busy All Summer.” It’s a great list and most of the activities are appropriate for any season. All of this goes to show that a tiny bit of creativity and a few pipe cleaners go a long way toward satisfying your child’s novelty fix.

Do you have any recommendations for “edited” toys? Let us know in our comments section.

  • Find Policy

    an interesting question is how to get these many excess toys out of kids’ homes. We kind of need an Anti Claus, who comes once a year and collects toys for poor children in need. Now who will help start that tradition?

    • miloquent

      We just tell our kids that it’s time to get rid of the things they don’t play with. We start when the room is a mess from a day of hard play– and we look at whatever is still on the shelf. We point out that there might be another kid in town who would really like to play with that toy, given the chance. Generally they are very willing to give away a few things. Done occasionally over a couple of months and we went from WAY TOO MUCH to enough to fit on one big Ikea shelf + a bin of blocks.

      Now that it’s under control we do a purge before every gift giving holiday. They cannot bring new toys in until we make room on the shelves for them.

      For Christmas we only buy 2-3 toys for each kid. We’ve also started a tradition with my parents and sister that for the holiday with them we buy family gifts- things that we can all do together. That cuts back on the over-shopping by the grandparents. ;)

  • Lauren

    Blocks….My son Has a large set of wooden blocks some new,some inherited and some that are natural( tree branches and discs). In total maybe a Cubbe full. They are the best toys. We build, we drive them, We see which ones fit into things, And we color them with chalk.

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