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Minimalist Toy List – Children’s Toys that Offer Quality Over Quantity

Parents would want nothing but the best for their children. I want my kids to have the best possible upbringing, and I have long learned that that doesn’t necessarily mean spending an exuberant amount of cash. One example here is for their toys. Children who are at a considerably young age will undoubtedly need some visual and mental stimulus. This is where toys come in. We have already tackled some fantastic educational toys before but have you heard about the minimalist approach when it comes to children’s toys?

Minimalist Toy List

Basically, minimalist toys offer a significantly longer shelf life for kids. Instead of it being a toy that they play for a couple of months and then stash inside their toy box never to be played again, a minimalist toy offers years of playability and enjoyment for children of the appropriate age.

I made a minimalist toy list for you to check out. These toys stand the test of time, and I can attest that these toys are in for the long haul. If you want a toy that offers the best possible entertainment and education for your kids and also wants them to last for over a year, you have come to the right place. Below is the best minimalist toy list for toddlers.

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Minimalist Toy List

A good book is something that stands the test of time. Something that you will enjoy picking up and reading again and again. The good thing about books today is that you can get e-books via Kindle. This allows you declutter your home as you can gain access to dozens upon dozens of books using your tablet. Children will be able to enjoy all their favorite children’s books in the palm of their hands with an e-book. Of course, as I am old-fashioned I still lean on actual printed books but using Kindle is a smart and minimalist approach you can take.


“Pretend” Toys

Age Range: This covers a wide range of toys. Normally, you can give children age-appropriate “pretend” toys at 8 months old.
Pretend Toy

These are mainly your standard figures related to your child’s interests. If your child loves to pretend cooking, a toy kitchen playset is an excellent idea to give. A child who loves dinosaurs will be overjoyed when given a bunch of dinosaur toys. “Pretend” Toys cover a wide margin and comes at varying price ranges. However, you are sure to find great quality ones at affordable prices.

I actually still have a couple of my own dinosaur toys. Still in good condition, which I have already passed down to my daughter who loves these prehistoric creatures. It bridged generations which is a testament to the quality it offers to children. Whether you pick wooden or plastic ones, it is best to make sure that the toy does not contain any harmful chemicals.


Lego Blocks

Age Range: Recommended for children 1 ½ to 5 years of age (for Lego Duplo) with other Lego series sets being age appropriate for children 5 years old and above.
Lego Blocks

Quite possibly a staple of childhood toys. Lego offers a high variety of uses and helps nourish a child’s imagination and cognitive abilities. The brightly colored blocks provide visual stimulation, and the freedom to build anything they can think of will undoubtedly help improve their brain functions at an early stage.

Of course, you have to follow the age recommendation of the Lego set. Don’t give a child who is 3 years old a Lego set that is designed for 7 and up as that type of Lego are significantly smaller and are choking hazards.

I actually have a large basket filled with Lego blocks at home. It has been around for almost a decade now and has passed from my eldest daughter to my youngest son. It is definitely a worthy inclusion in your child’s play set.


Mini Scooters

Age Range: Children 2 years old and above.
Mini Scooters

Of course, you should take all necessary safety precautions for your child if you decide to give them this nifty little scooter. A great outdoor toy, a mini-scooter will bring hours of fun for your child while also developing their physical attributes. You can even buy larger models that can accommodate adults if you want to join in on the fun. It is a great way to exercise for children and is considerably cheap and compacts as well.


Automoblox

Age Range: Recommended for children 3 years old and above.
Automoblox

Similar in concept to the Lego but focuses on a specific theme, the Automoblox offers children the ability to mix and mash different toy car parts to create their very own, unique toy car. I recommend you get the ones that come in packs of 3 or more, like this one. It is well-made and somewhat visually striking which is a huge plus for younger kids.

This is a simple and smart toy that comes at a reasonable price and dozens upon dozens of hours of fun for youngsters. If you see your child has an inclination to toy cars, you should definitely get Automoblox for its versatility and educational benefits.


Kinetic Sand

Age Range: Recommended for children 3 years old and above.
Kinetic Sand

Remember Play-Doh, when you were younger? Kinetic Sand is basically this generation’s version of that. Just as the famous brand of clay toy, Kinetic Sand is entirely moldable to any shape your child wants. It also crumbles into sand when pulled apart. It promotes creativity and imagination during playtime. Also, I would like to point out one glaring problem with Play-Doh which is that it dries up over time. This is an issue that is non-existent with the Kinetic Sand, which is a huge plus.

As a parent, it also helps that Kinetic Sand doesn’t stick to the floor or over the carpet. It only sticks to itself which makes cleaning up afterward quick and easy. This is a pretty good alternative to Play-Doh, it is also free of any harmful chemicals. This toy is recommended for 3 years old and up.


Jungle Gyms

Age Range: Recommended for children 2 to 12 years of age.
Jungle Gyms

You can either purchase a ready-made jungle gym or make one yourself in your backyard. If you have a spacious enough backyard and a decent sized tree, you’re already half-way there. My husband and I build our own jungle gym in the yard which is not too shabby if I say so myself. Over the years, we have upgraded and added some additional structures in there like a fort and a monkey bar as well.

Of course, you have to make sure that every single recreational equipment that installs or build there is child safe. Don’t make the slap-dashed construction of the recreational equipment as it is your child’s safety at stake here. Jungle gyms offer significant benefits when it comes to your child’s physical attributes as well as honing their necessary motor skills. The inclusion of “forts and castles” will also tend to help nourish their imagination as well.


Trampoline

Age Range: Recommended for children 4 years old and above.
Trampoline

Depending on the age of your kids, you can get a small indoor one or a large outdoor trampoline. Trampolines offer children to release their boundless energy. We have a trampoline in our backyard, and even me and my wife will join in with our kids. Trampolines transcend age barriers which are another reason why this minimalist toy is included in this list.

I also have a smaller one for indoors, which is located in our basement. This gives my kids an alternative physical activity once winter rolls in. Large trampolines will cost around a hundred dollars while smaller indoor ones will have a price tag of under a hundred bucks. All in all, it is a worthwhile investment if you want a toy that will last for years, give you make proper maintenance of course.

Arts and Crafts

Age Range: Children 3 years old and above.
Minimalist Toy List

Crafts can be bought at your local art supply stores. While not exactly a toy, in the traditional sense, it does offer a sensory-rich experience for children. In fact, they can make their own toys by using simple crafting materials and their imagination. My youngest made a secret lair for his toys by using some boxes, paint, and a couple of cardboard cutouts.


Ball

Age Range: Appropriate for all age​s.
Minimalist Toy List

A classic when it comes to children’s toys and is something that fits with both genders. A ball can have a myriad of uses for children. They can play catch with it, bounce it around, kick it, toss, and play make-believe with it. It can help develop your child’s hand-eye coordination and the reflexes. It is also a great way to get your child to exercise while having fun.

What Makes A Minimalist Toy Great

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    The most prominent advantage of a minimalist toy is that it offers significantly longer play time than, let’s say, a toy that provides one specific functionality. Sure, that main feature is its main selling point but what happens after a week or two of playing said toy? Will your child still feel that the feature is fun and exciting? That’s the thing about the more expensive toys that are available today. Most, not all, are hollow and are basically one-trick ponies.
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    A minimalist toy offers the bare bones approach. Simplistic yet stimulates cognitive growth and feeds a child’s inquisitive nature. These toys are also way more affordable and will offer double, triple, or quadruple the play time (as I have pointed out with my own dinosaur figurines that my daughter now owns).

The Benefits Of Minimalist Toys For Kids

So, why should you, as a parent, try and avoid the current hottest fads when it comes to toys? Other than it just oozes “consumerism” and that most of these products have a pretty short shelf life as a toy? Well, a minimalist approach to kid’s toys will be able to deliver several other benefits which I will list down below:

1. Children will be able to enhance and broaden their creativity. A child’s imagination is a plethora of fantastic ideas. Minimalist toys help develop that imagination.


2. Children will have longer attention spans.
Giving children too many toys or allowing them to complete access to modern gadgets will do more harm than good. They will be less patient and will want instant gratification because of this. Something we shouldn’t endorse. Setting a limit to how many toys they will have positive effects regarding developing the right values as they grow older.


3. As minimalist toys are best played with another child, you can bet their social skills will also develop as they play. Learning to converse with others and forming friendship properly is always a huge plus.


4. If your child has a few select toys, it will teach them to be more caring and responsible with how they handle their belongings. It is essential to learn the value of being accountable for your toys. Something my mother ingrained into me as a child and value I have taught to my children as well.


5. A minimalist approach to toys will also help sow the seeds for children to appreciate art. Give them some colorful and educational children’s books. Give them arts and crafts to develop their creativity. They will surely be able to understand the beauty of their surroundings as well.

Conclusion

Now, don’t think of me as an anti-toy person. Far from it, I do enjoy what modern technology has brought. However, I find the number of children today glued to their tablets worrying. I always believe that children should exercise their creative muscles as well as teach them the value of being responsible. I took the minimalist approach when it comes to my children’s toys because that is how my husband and I were raised. With that attitude, we were able to learn ethical values and morals. Morals that we hope to pass on to our children to make them good and responsible adults.

Nancy Shaw
 

Hi. My name is Nancy. I am a nurse by profession and a writer by passion and ever since I became a mother, I’ve become very active in sharing useful and important information about basically anything under the sun and a full-time mother to a 21-month old boy. Read more about me here.