Gift giving can be a stressful experience. You want to choose just the right item that is thoughtful, useful and appreciated. This is especially true when shopping for a minimalist; whether it’s for your own kids or for friends. In today’s post I have put together some shopping tips along with my favorite minimalist gifts for kids.
Minimalist Gift Guide for Kids
Selecting a gift for a mini-minimalist doesn’t have to be difficult.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while shopping that will help you make your selection:
How to Choose Clutter-Free Toys
One reason many families turn to minimalism is because the toys start to take over the entire house.
When purchasing gifts think about where and how the toy would be stored or displayed. If the gift you’re considering is a giant monstrosity with a ton of parts you should slowly back away.
Instead opt for toys that:
- Can be easily organized in bins, baskets or in a drawer
- Could be displayed when not being used
- Come with their own storage solution like this train set
More commonly known as open-ended toys, these are items that a child can play with in countless different ways.
Some popular examples include blocks and playdough, since they require creativity and imagination.
Minimalists love these types of toys because they are like ten toys in one. Instead of cluttering the home with a ton of toys, you just need a handful of open-ended toys to keep the kids busy and engaged for hours.
When our family was working to pay off our debt we did a lot of toy shopping at The Dollar Store. This was great for our budget, but horrible for the toy box. The toys would quickly break and soon we were on the hunt for a replacement.
Since those days I have learned that quality toys are an investment. A handmade wooden, woven or constructed toy will typically last for years. In our home these toys have been passed down between siblings and have stood the test of time.
Selecting a high-quality well-made goods is a trademark of the minimalist lifestyle because it means that items won’t need to be replaced or duplicated.
Ok, now that you’ve got the basics down – let’s get to the fun part…
Bring on the toys!
Experience Gifts for Kids
Touted as the gold-standard of minimalist gift ideas, experiences make the perfect clutter-free gift idea for kids.
For starters, you can still give them something to open – like the envelope with tickets inside, a brochure of the destination or a membership card.
It also provides an opportunity to create memories or learn skills that will last a lifetime (or at least WAY longer than the fleeting joy of most toys)
Here are some examples of experience gifts you could give:
- for an activity or skill they want to learn (art, dance, archery, coding etc)
Memberships or Annual Passes
- to a museum, theme park or trampoline park
- for their favorite ice cream parlor, restaurant or bakery
- to visit a destination or friend
Consumable Gifts for Kids
Also a popular term among the minimalist moms, consumables are gifts that can be used up. This means that they will only be around for as long as they last. If you choose a good one, that won’t be long and that makes them clutter-free.
Here are some consumable gift ideas that kids love:
- like paints, markers, washi tape and paper
Slime Making Supplies
- like their favorite cookies, candy or snack
Monthly Subscription Boxes
- that spark creativity like Groovy Lab in a Box
Clutter-Free Outdoor Toys
We all know that kids benefit from lots of outdoor time. It helps to regulate their mood, burn off excess energy and even makes them sleep better at night.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t consider any toy that encourages my child to play outdoors as clutter. Right mama?!?!
Here are some fun outdoor toys that make the perfect minimalist gifts for kids:
As mentioned above open-ended toys make the perfect minimalist gift because they maximize the opportunity for play.
One container of playdough can become a snake, a stack of pancakes and a tree – it’s all up to their imagination.
Since these toys take the place of many others they definitely make the clutter-free gift list.
Fantasy Fort Kit
How we handle gifts as a minimalist family
One final note before I go regarding my personal experience with children’s gifts as a minimalist.
The first year we explored minimalism we went whole hog and followed the 4 Gift Rule strictly.
Honestly, it was the most anti-climactic Christmas ever. It took about 3 minutes for all of us to open our gifts and then we spent the rest of the day wishing we had a do-over.
As a mom, I realized that our magical Christmas mornings together are limited.
Soon I will have teenagers who make their Christmas and birthday wish lists with the full knowledge that mom and dad are Santa.
That experience is what turned me into a “practical minimalist” – creating a version of minimalism that works for our family without any hard and fast rules.
Yes, I consider myself a minimalist.
Yes, we give more than four gifts to our children.
The most important part is that we are fostering a spirit of giving within our family, friend and community. The intention of giving a gift to someone is a symbol of our thankfulness for their existence – something that cannot be donated, recycled or regifted.
There you have it mama! Over 30 creative minimalist gifts for kids that they will love!
We would love to hear from you! What do you think of the gifts on this list? Have you explored minimalism with kids? Please let me know if the comments below.