Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What My Toddler Taught Me About Minimalism

As parents, we always want the best for our kids. We want them to be happy and satisfied. Somehow this desire for happy, well-adjusted children has morphed into a weird materially driven thing. We try to buy their happiness (much like we try to buy our own) by getting them toys and games and do-dads and whatzits.

I am guilty of buying stuff just because I think my son will like it or because it makes me sad to say no (despite the fact that my son is 2 and forgets his disappointment in about as much time as it takes for me to round the next aisle in the store).  In comparison to his peers, the boychild doesn't have a ton of toys, because we just don't have the space. We try to be very mindful of how much we get him, but the little toys-- like Matchbox cars-- do add up

That being said, the other day, my son taught me an important lesson about kids and toys and minimalism. I was cleaning the house and he was playing in the living room. After quite awhile I realized that I hadn't heard much out of the boychild, save for the occasional happy babble, so I peeked into the living room only to find him sitting on his booster chair in the dining room, happy as a clam, playing with our coasters.


All these toys and the kid chooses to play with our COASTERS!!! He was happily stacking them and arranging them and spinning them around. Having a grand old time!  In that moment I realized that my son was showing me what I need to do in my own life. I need to learn to find joy and happiness in the little, inexpensive things in life, rather than trying to keep up with the bigger & better lifestyle.  In that moment, I also realized that minimizing the toys and the stuff, will not in any way bother the boychild!

 Sometimes it takes a child's eyes to show you what is important!


  1. Love it! Big hugs to the little monkeys!

  2. I believe my favorite toys as a toddler were a big wooden box and a coffee can. Kids will play with anything!

  3. Yep, that is the beauty of little children! Like how they play with the boxes & wrapping paper at Christmas more than with the present!

  4. Let's try this again...

    Bella enjoys playing with tupperware, the laundry basket, and washcloths.

  5. I saw your comment at bemorewithless and popped over. I'm a SoCal gal too. When my kids were small they'd play with boxes. Boxes! Not the stuff that came in the boxes...

  6. After getting rid of the broken ones, toy purges are the hardest for me! I do have a pile going but it needs to get bigger!

  7. @Willow-- welcome! Be More With Less is one of my new favorite blogs! I'm glad you popped over, it made my night! Funny the stuff our kids enjoy playing with!!
    @Tina-- I think purging toys is hard for a couple of reasons- #1 they aren't ours, per se, so we don't know what the "value" is to our children, which makes it tough. #2 toys are like a security blanket for parents. It is like we think that we have a bunch, our kids will stay occupied & never get bored and start driving us crazy (ha!). I'd say the best way to start is by figuring out which toys your kids don't/won't/rarely play with and get rid of those first.


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