While on a mom’s night out (on a TUESDAY NIGHT!!!) this week, a friend of mine introduced me to The Parenting Junkie. Avital is a “peaceful parent coach” who is also an unschooling mother and a minimalist and follows a Montessori kid-lifestyle and such. I hopped around her website the next night and found an article entitled, “Minimalism – The Only 10 Toys You “Need.”
Let me say that her parenting approach is awesome but not my cup of sauce. I am just not that zen. Or calm. (She also doesn’t seem like the type to drink wine – or anything fermented besides maybe kimchi. I’m writing this post at 9:40pm with a glass of red 9/10 finished…. I doubt the Parenting Junkie and I could be friends.)
Anyway, her “10 Toys” post was actually quite cool and right on the money. I think I could categorize our toys and say pretty much all of them fit into those types (although obviously my kids have princess dresses and more tutus that the Moscow Ballet costume vault). And furthermore …
… I challenge myself – and her, and all of you (satirically, lest you all call Social Services on me) – to take this minimalism scene a bit further and determine the 10 “toys” your kids really need in your house. Brace yourself.
- Kitchen towels. Not just for you, parent. Towels double as indoor play picnic blankets, capes, doll swaddling, and even doll blankets – ketchup stains included.
- Our old clothes. Who needs to pay Disney $45 for an Elsa dress when the kids can wear our old crap (read: sparkly tank top from 10 years ago turned awesome fancy-pants dress-up dress!)?
- Plastic storage containers. No need to qualify this!
- Your own books. You know, the ones your kids tip off your bookshelves and pretend to read. This also includes your current novel – and the bookmark they’ve pulled out of it.
- Potted plants. Because really, no toy is better to play with than potting soil. Or leaves. Or cactus needles. Yes, sadly, yes; my older sister once bit into my parent’s cactus. Pulling the needles from my sister’s tongue while she screamed will probably be etched in my mother’s memory for eternity. I also ate dirt from our plants as a toddler, and now Baby is following in my footsteps. Ah, genetics at work.
- Kitchen utensils and pots/pan. Homemade drums, anyone?!
- Sliding door. We vacationed with extended family in a rented condo two weeks ago, and Baby spent a good ten minutes – twice – just sliding open and shut the door to the balcony. Free fun!
- A couch or chair with pillows and cushions. Do you know how many forts and stuffed animal bed variations you can build with big couch cushions and pillows? I can’t even count that high, and I’m an engineer. This is a daily occurrence in my house!
- Paper and your (permanent) pens. Because everyone needs to draw – every day – and what’s better than using mom’s purse notebook and staining ink? (But hide the Sharpies.)
- Your keys. What baby doesn’t like to play with your keys? No baby, that’s who. They are obviously laced with baby-attracting dust.
Have I reached the zenith of minimalism? Should I just throw out the toys now and turn the girls loose in the kitchen and living room?
So … what “toys” would fit into your house’s minimalist renovation?