Non-toy gifts for kids are a great option for the holidays. Plus, when kids have fewer toys, they often have more fun!
We recently downsized our home and in the process of moving, we got rid of a lot of the kids’ toys-including extra TVs and video games. Some pretty awesome things have happened since we did that, and I couldn’t wait to share what has happened in our lives since our kids have fewer toys.
Not only have the kids seemed happier with having fewer toys, but it is a great approach to keeping your house less cluttered. A neater home, happier mom, and life-long benefits for your child are pretty good reasons to practice toy minimalism.
Most homes today are filled to the ceiling with toys, that most of the time stay tucked into the bin or scattered on the floor. So packing up toys for donating or giving them to families in need can be really therapeutic.
By paring down the number of toys in your home, your kids can gain so much through the process of decluttering and even after.
Here are some benefits of having fewer toys for your kids.
Siblings with fewer toys are more likely to share.
Learning to share as a child is a challenge at times. But with a lot of talking it through and practice, in time kids learn that it’s more fun to share with their siblings and friends.
When you take the fewer toys route, it really forces siblings to learn to share and play together quickly. But they also learn to create boundaries and work out differences with their siblings and others.
Since we moved, I’ve seen the kids playing together more often. Instead of going into their rooms and playing alone, they are playing together, building forts and castles with their blocks.
There is still plenty of arguing and fighting that goes on, but there just aren’t as many ways to avoid each other since we took away a lot of their toys and things.
They stay focused on one toy or game for longer.
Kids can get distracted easily and have short attention spans. So when you limit what they have, they learn to focus on whatever toy they have and not get overstimulated by all the clutter and toys around them.
Staying focused helps kids to develop emotional maturity and learn to finish the task in front of them.
Since we have vastly fewer toys in our house now, it’s been really fun to watch the older kids especially. They play with the same toys for longer and come up with some really creative ways to play games.
With fewer toys, kids become super creative and resourceful.
Fewer toys to play with helps kids learn to be creative and step out of the box to play new games.
They look at the toys and objects around them and think of new and resourceful ways to use their toys. Kids are naturally creative and love to use their imagination.
With the older kids, I’ve loved seeing them create their own board games with construction paper and use their imagination to make the best of our cozy little home.
And it is really amazing to see all the creative ways a child can play with one simple toy. For our toddler, the same toy can be a piece of food, a pet, or a monster depending on her mood.
They learn the value in giving to others.
When we get rid of toys I have my kids look through their toys so they choose what to keep and what to get rid of. This allows them to feel they have a say in things, and they don’t just come home to an empty toy box.
Allow your kids to take part in getting rid of toys and in the giving to others. Whether we take them to a thrift store or donate to a friend in need, it shows them that giving to others feels good. They understand that by giving the toys away, they pass on joy to another child. And, honestly, they love it!
You might think that they fight or fuss over getting rid of toys, but kids actually enjoy giving especially when they know it will make other children happy.
Having fewer toys teaches kids to be more responsible with what they do have.
When kids have so many toys they can’t even count them all, they are more likely to take them for granted. If something breaks, they seem to think it is okay to throw it down and pick up something else to play with.
But when they have fewer toys, it teaches them to take better care of what they do have. Because toys are no fun if they’re broken!
Our older daughter has picked up on this the most quickly. She’s become much neater and organized since she has less stuff in her room all the time!
Kids who learn to value their toys at a young age will better understand the value of their possessions and money as they get older.
Kids with fewer toys are more grateful for the gifts they receive.
Have you ever had something like this happen?
I have, and it’s so embarrassing.
It’s not that I don’t believe in spoiling kids, but there are ways to spoil them that don’t involve giving them every expensive thing they think they need.
Because I don’t buy them every single thing they ask for, my kids are more grateful when they do get something really nice. And the little one is so excited when a new toy comes into her reach.
By teaching them gratitude at a young age, kids grow up to be happier and more satisfied in their adult life.
They spend more time playing outside.
When we were little back in the day, we spent most of our days outdoors playing. Since we’ve moved and have fewer toys now, all three kids are spending more time outside riding bikes, practicing sports, and having adventures.
Getting exercise and fresh air is so important for healthy kids, and it helps burn off extra energy so they sleep better, too!
They start to have hobbies.
When kids have minimal toys, they spend more time focusing their attention in other areas. My daughter loves arts and crafts, and now she spends more time on creative outlets like drawing, making jewelry, and writing stories.
Having hobbies is a great way to boost kids’ self-esteem, lower stress levels, and enhance creativity. And you learn a lot about your kids’ individualness when you see how their creativity comes out in their own unique ways.
Parents are happier, too.
Not only is it easier to keep the house clean and neat, but I love watching how all of these changes are affecting the kids. I feel like over time, these changes will make for happier more satisfied children.
They’ll still have fights, and trust me, they’re still very spoiled. But I want to make sure my kids learn the importance of sharing with others, being creative, and knowing how to entertain themselves.
Having fewer toys at home is just one aspect of living a simpler life that, we hope, builds a great foundation for our children to grow and become the best version of themselves they can be.
So what kinds of non-toy gifts are we giving for Christmas this year?
It’s actually not hard to come up with exciting Christmas gifts that are not toys but really spoil the kids. Check out my list of the best non-toy gift ideas for kids.
So what do you think? Could your kids be happier with fewer toys?
Let me know your favorite non-toy gift ideas in the comments!