Decluttering the toys as part of a minimalist, simpler life is one of the best things I ever did. It created more time and less stress for me, and my children learnt to develop imaginative and creative games with the toys they did have, rather than being overwhelmed and overstimulated by too much choice.
But, how do you know which toys to keep and which to get rid of? In this post I explain a bit more about minimalism, kids and the types of toys I don’t declutter.
Why declutter the toys?
Toys are one of the things that drove me crazy before I decluttered our home. They would somehow find their way into every room and I’d be forever moving and tidying them, picking them up or stepping over them.
When I decluttered the toys, I thought my children would complain and ask me where they all went. But they didn’t…
It turned out to be one of the best things I ever did!
- There were fewer toys, which meant less tidying, less picking up and less clearing away.
- Less stress and more time for me to do other things.
But is wasn’t just me that ended up benefiting. The best part of it all was that my children benefited too, in ways that I hadn’t even anticipated. You can read more about these benefits in my blog post over here.
The types of toys I like to keep
When it comes to choosing which toys to keep, I would suggest keeping those toys that foster creative play. They can be used in a variety of ways and places with a bit of imagination and role play. I tend to get rid of the ones that have bright lights and make lots of noise and do all the play for your kids. I want my kids to do the playing instead!
To help you understand what I’m talking about, the following list gives you some ideas of the types of toys I like to keep around. Where I can’t find the exact same as we’ve got here at home, I’ve found a similar example so you can see what I’m talking about. Just click on the links for further information.
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My kids love building Lego but I personally find the newer sets aren’t as flexible as the old, classic, ones. They definitely look appealing to children but the individual components tend to be more moulded and specific to the particular box set and it’s difficult to re-use them in other projects. This is why I tend to choose the classic Lego sets as I find them more flexible.
Contains classic Lego bricks in a range of 29 colours, including bricks, wheels, doors and more. Designed to inspire open-ended creativity, with special pieces to encourage imaginative building.
Contains Lego bricks in 33 different colours, 8 different types of windows and doors, 2 green baseplates and 6 tyres and wheel rims. All bricks are compatible with other Lego construction sets.
100 wood blocks come in 4 colours and 9 shapes. High quality blocks that can be used in a variety of building projects.
Set of 30 wooden letter and numbers blocks. Each side is painted or stamped with letters of the alphabet, numbers, signs or pictures. The blocks are small and light enough for little hands and will encourage co-ordination and early learning in a most traditionally fun way.
Mini-figures and animals have come with us everywhere over the years. My youngest one brings them out on dog walks, to the shops, everywhere. I find them in her school bag, in her pockets and under her pillow! Great for role-play in lots of different situations.
Kids can use their imagination and bring the miniature community to life. Your children will get to exercise their imagination through role play. This mini figure set includes almost all kinds of figures! Play with goddess, chef, pirate, teacher, actor, fireman, policeman, and many more minifigures. All figures have an interchangeable hat and can move their arms and legs!
Includes a variety of 32 kinds of jungle animals (including elephant, tiger, lion, leopard, zebra and more), 15 different livestock (including chicken, duck, pig, cat, dog, sheep and cattle). A great way for kids to identify the different animals, learn their names and use creativity and imagination to invent different games.
Art and Craft Supplies
My girls particularly love doing art and craft projects. It’s easy to accumulate loads of art and craft supplies from random places but here are some complete sets. We try to use up everything before we buy new but it beats watching TV so I’m happy to buy creative stuff whenever we need it.
The set includes 10 acrylic paint tubes (12 ml), 12 watercolour paint tubes (6 ml), 12 oil paint tubes (6 ml), 28 coloured pencils, 28 watercolour pencils, 24 oil pastels, six synthetic brushes, a vinyl eraser, three plastic palettes, a 1-2 hole metal sharpener. The deluxe case features 2 fold-out upper level trays, strong metal fastening clips and a carry handle to keep items secure on the go!
Includes 52 piece art set including felt tips, paints, crayons, colouring pencils, paintbrush, 32 piece craft kit including pipe cleaners, colour feathers, craft sticks, assorted pompoms and wiggly eyes. Also includes 2x drawing pads.
Play-Doh in 18 fabulous colours with 16 cutting accessories.
The UK weather can be a bit unpredictable but I try to get my kids outside as much as possible. We have a few outdoor play things which have been our favourites over the years and can be adapted to different ages and stages. Here are a selection.
The brightly coloured Sand and Water Play Table is suitable for garden or beach. Comes with 8 accessories including sand shapers, watering can, spade, fork and bucket. The sand and water table comes also with a lid, so the toys can be stored in the table and covered with the lid when not in use.
Colourful first climber ideal for indoor or outdoor play. Crawl holes for climbing and scrambling. Durable and strong. Easy to assemble, no tools required.
Recommended For Ages 5 – 10 Years Old. Easyglide tilt-to-turn joystick steering system, making for a more fun scooting experience! Complete with four of our signature Spin & Flash PU LED wheels (double stacked single rear wheel), add a burst of colour to every scoot. The lightweight design and foldable handlebars make the RGS-2 easy to carry and convenient to store when not in use.
We love playing board games as a family. Here are our top 3 favourites. The adult version of Monopoly was just too complicated and we gave up playing it, even though us adults really get into it. Since finding the children’s version, it’s been much easier! You can’t beat a game of snakes and ladders and ludo, even though they’ve been around for ages, they’re still great games. The junior scrabble is a good educational game and the kids learn their letters without even realising it!
Monopoly game for younger players. Includes adorable junior tokens. Fast and simple gameplay.
Two classic board games in one. Helps develop basic skills while you play. Beautifully illustrated double-sided board. Fun animal theme.
Now children can enjoy the fun and challenge of Scrabble at their own level. Colourful pictures help turn the letters into words. Flip the board over, and older children can enjoy making words all by themselves. In this simplified Scrabble game children cross words and try to reach the coloured squares.
I love books and I encourage my kids to read as much as possible. They have quite full bookshelves in their bedroom, but we have a regular sort through of them so the girls get to choose which they want to keep and which they’ve grown out of regularly. We go to the library alot but here are three collections from our favourite authors who we keep going back to.
Brilliant books for toddlers, with flowing, rhyming copy and illustrations. Titles in this collection (10) The Gruffalo’s Child, Cave Baby, The Smartest Giant in Town, Tyrannosaurus Drip, The Paper Dolls, A Squash and a Squeeze, Room on the Broom, Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book, The Snail and the Whale
There are no other authors quite like Roald Dahl. A supreme storyteller with a wicked sense of humour, his characters and stories are timeless and unforgettable.
FIVE hilarious and moving novels.
Other toys I like to encourage my kids to play with
Here are some other toys which my kids love to play with (or very similar examples where I can’t find the exact thing still available). They’re complete sets within themselves so you don’t have to go out and buy extras of things. You can end up having loads of toy food, trains or baby play things but you don’t need to go all out. With just a few accessories for each and a bit of imagination and innovation, your kids will be able to play for ages with just these.
Comes fully assembled. Compactly folds up for easy storage. Room to store all accessories while folded up. Includes oven and stove top with clicking knobs. Includes spinning shelves for storage. Comes with 34 accessories, including plates, cups, silverware, pans, cooking utensils, and play goods and spices. The only kitchen that comes fully assembled and magically folds up.
Includes: a plastic bridge with track, 21 wooden tracks, 4 vehicles, 4 buildings, 4 people, 6 bushes and trees, 12 road blocks and signs and 2 traffic lights.
Accessories included: Bottle, Bowl, Fork, Spoon, Potty, 4 X Bath Accessories and a Rubber Duck.
I’ll add to this list as I come up with new ideas. If you have any suggestions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org as I’d love to hear from you and share some of your suggestions.