Many parents are discovering the benefits of minimalist living, and that includes their kids' playrooms. While a room with fewer toys means less clutter and less work, it can also mean less wasteful spending on things that kids don't use, need or appreciate. Here are some things you can do to thwart the "too many toys" syndrome and to make your kids' playroom more minimalist.
Eliminate the Excess
Instead of simply organizing and storing toys in the new playroom, focus on eliminating duplicate or outgrown toys, or those that children really don't play with much. Simply observe how your children interact with new toys: If they play with something a few times but then never seem drawn to it again, it's probably not something you need to keep around.
Many types of playthings can be consolidated, so your kids can get the same benefits with less stuff to manage. For instance, you can consolidate drawing, coloring and art supplies by getting rid of boxes of loose crayons and coloring books and replacing them with a chalkboard wall. Your kids will have an outlet for creative expression, but you won't have to deal with multiple crayon sets and dozens of half-used coloring books.
Encourage Play With Household Items
Ordinary household items that you already have can be wonderful playthings. Kids have been making forts and clubhouses out of chairs, blankets and pillows for ages just by using their imaginations. Instead of adding to the clutter of blinking and bleeping plastic and electronic toys, simply transfer some household items to the playroom and let kids can create their own toys. A sturdy table, a blanket, some small cardboard boxes and a few wooden spoons can provide hours of entertainment and eliminate the need for a lot of other toys.
Stem the Tide
If your kids aren't on board with your desire to pare down, you'll have to be proactive in bringing fewer toys home. Tell well-meaning family members about your minimalist playroom and suggest that they give other gifts such as movie tickets or savings bonds. If your kids are tempted by the latest and greatest toys at the store, don't take them shopping. If there is something special you'd like to get them for a holiday or birthday, buy your kids toys online. You'll be less likely to cave in to in-store temper tantrums and toy envy, and the surprise arrival of a new toy will help them appreciate it more.
When you do invest in toys, choose things that have a long "shelf life" so the kids will need fewer things over the years. For instance, a set of wooden blocks is durable and long-lasting, and can serve a child well from toddlerhood through the pre-teen years. A simple set of blocks can serve the same educational purpose as multiple building sets and can be shared by several age groups. Many online toy stores, like Past Generation Toys, carry classic, high-quality and versatile toys that are increasingly difficult to find in department stores or big-box chain stores.
A minimalist playroom doesn't mean toy-free – it simply means that toys and playthings have value and contribute to high-quality play. If your kids are overwhelmed with things to play with, organize, clean up and take care of, the minimalist playroom trend is probably for you. Reduce what they have, consolidate when possible and shop around for multi-purpose, imagination-building children's toys online. You'll reduce the clutter, and your kids will get more out of the toys they have.Share