Many people want to know about minimal toys. Whether they are minimalists or not, people want to know what their children should own. That is going to look different for each family. But I ask:
Do they need 50 different colorful, plastic, electronic, flashy, Disney, toys? A matching bedroom set? Decor that needs to be updated every couple years?
I’m here to tell you no. They don’t. They can be content with very little in fact.
Remember reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books? Laura and Mary each had a doll. That was their only toy. In the summer they played house under trees and watched animals on the prairie. In the winter they played “find the thimble” and sewed a quilt.
Were they poor?
I don’t think so. I think they were an average American family at that point.
That makes me think of my own life, my own children. Aren’t they capable of being content with less?
We have a smaller house. The 7 of us live in 1100 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, with a small garage and an unfinished basement. This is by choice.We do not wish to have a huge house. The only convenience I ever find myself wishing for… is another bathroom.
But, many large families have lived with only one bathroom and survived… or so I tell myself…
Since our house is small, we really can’t have an excess amount of toys. Where would we put them?? They would take over the entire house! Oh the chaos!
I would go insane.
Thinking back to Laura Ingalls Wilder… My kids do have an abundance. Perhaps not compared to other children in America, but really, is it healthy to compare?
I know families with quite a lot more toys, which works for them. Some people rotate, some people have play rooms, dedicated to toys.
And my children have a great time when they play at their house.
And yes, sometimes come home wanting Barbie and Transformers. But I just tell them, we don’t have toys like that in our family, and that’s okay, we enjoy our friend’s toys. They are satisfied with that.
I am not a fan of plastic. So we avoid plastic toys, though not religiously: we do have Legos and some high quality animals from the farm & ranch store.
We have found, pleasantly, that the kids are more content with less toys. There aren’t so many that it overwhelms them. And in the case of the cooking supplies- once all the fake food and unnecessary utensils were removed, their imaginations took over and they played with it all day.
All our toys are pictured in this post, except for craft/drawing supplies and the older boys’ toys:
- Stack of Kids Books
- Wooden blocks with dollhouse people
- Coloring, paints, homemade playdough
- Dolls/stuffed animals
Desk/child sized table
Naomi will sit for hours coloring in her room.
- Horses, moose, turtles (Other than LEGOs, these are the only plastic toys we have.)
Large Lego Blocks
These we store in the basement and bring out when friends are visiting.
Kitchen and minimal cooking toys
Plates, bowls, cups, silverware, 1 pot, 1 wooden spoon.
This is stored in the basement and played with if I am working there. My sewing machine is set up in the basement and if I go downstairs to use it the kids always want to go with. This is wonderful for keeping them busy while I work.
- A Cajon Box DrumMade by a friend. The kids put on concerts- one sings and dances, the other drums.The older boys have a large bin of regular LEGOs and a large bin of Hero Factory (Lego). Both stored in the basement until they feel the urge to build.
What does your child’s toy collection look like? Do you limit it?