Sometimes it's hard to imagine a minimal home where multiple young kids live and play because we all know how toys can take over a space! While I think it is so important to have fun, educational toys I do LOVE keeping it to a minimum. It is such a breath of fresh air to not have to pick things up so often or be worried about the next thing we should be getting the kids for the "keeping up with the Jones'" lifestyle. The thing I've learned the hard way is just because a toy is organic or wood it doesn't mean the kids will love it or that it is worth buying either, something I fell for when I first started making this switch. The toys the boys usually love are ones that can be played with and used multiple ways, use their imagination and doesn't have too many bells and whistles! Riley's birthday is this weekend and I grabbed a little water fish toy that they can use outside or in the tub and that will probably be his only wrapped present. Now I have to give you a little background on why this is so shocking coming from me. My family has always had such fun birthdays that were filled with our favorite things, amazing gifts and the best memories! So one thing I have struggled with is if I don't go so big on the gift part of birthdays will they feel jipped? Will they look back with the same amazing memories my parents created for us?! I really think the answer is yes because my goal is to have parties that are simple or no gifts but are filled with family, games and fun! That's what I want them to remember anyways, they won't remember what toys they got but I sure hope they remember how special they felt on their day and how loved they are! So for Riley's this weekend we are doing a dog party because he LOVES dogs, a slip n slide + sprinkler because he loves anything water and another favorite of his... a hot dog bar! I seriously am way more excited about all the laughing and fun we'll all have doing this than any toy I'd be giving him!
Another aspect of living minimally with children is that they know everything has a place and when they do want to play with something they know right where it is, they aren't overwhelmed with choices and can use that energy and brain power for imaginative play! Win-win for everyone!! There is nothing cuter than looking outside and seeing Hudson either playing with Riley or just by himself with a stick adventuring and fighting the bad guys in our backyard. Or the amazing questions he asks everyday that are so detailed because he has cultivated an amazing imagination and love for learning because of his simple alone time. Alone time is SO important and I really think it is so good for our kids to be "bored" from time to time! It encourages them to get creative and that is such a great skill to develop! Our boys are naturally very clean, organized and like things picked up and put together. Carl and I are very much this way so this has been such a natural transition in our home for all of us that has paid off in huge ways and I'm excited to see more and more how it evolves for all of us!