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30 Delightful Clutter Free Minimalist Gifts for Kids

Looking for clutter-free gift ideas for kids that won’t take up a ton of space and create a huge mess? In today’s post I have put together some shopping tips along with my favorite minimalist gifts for kids.

Why Choose Clutter-Free Toys?

Maybe you are a mom who is down-right exhausted from constantly cleaning up the toys…

Or – maybe you are looking to buy a gift for a child from a minimalist family.

Either way, there is a reason that you are looking for gift ideas that are meaningful and will be enjoyed – without all the mess!

And science is on your side:

There is a ton of research that shows that children are easily overwhelmed by toy clutter.

When you choose a clutter-free or “minimalist” gift for a child you are helping them to:

  • Play independently
  • Use their imagination
  • Develop their sense of creativity
  • Learn to enjoy experiences instead of stuff

Now that you are convinced that clutter-free toys are the way to go…here are some great ideas:

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Consumable Gifts for Kids

A popular term among minimalist moms, “consumables” are gifts that can be used up.

Instead of sitting around your house and needing to be stored, a consumable gift is used and basically “disappears”…like MAGIC!

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.

Examples of consumable gifts we love include:

  • Art and Craft Supplies
  • Treats and snacks
  • Coloring Books
  • Monthly subscription boxes

Here are some consumable gift ideas that kids love: (I have included links to some of our favorites)

Art and Craft Supplies:

Edible Gifts:

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:

Open-Ended Toys

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.

Experience Gifts for Kids

Touted as the “gold-standard” of minimalist gift ideas, experiences gifts make the perfect clutter-free gift idea for kids.

Experience gifts are awesome because they provide 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)

I also love that you can still give them something to open that represents the experience they are going to have – like the envelope with tickets inside, a brochure of the destination or a membership card.

Here are some examples of experience gifts you could give:

  • Lessons (dance, music, sports registration)
  • Memberships or Annual Passes
  • Gift cards
  • Movie Passes
  • Camp Registration
  • Concert tickets
  • Plane Tickets

Tips for Buying Clutter-Free Toys

Storage Options
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.

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.

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.


  1. Can totally relate. We’ve gone from a house where the kids were getting a heap of space taking single use presents, to investing in higher quality toys. Agree birthday’s and Christmases aren’t what they used to be. Over and done with in 60 seconds. But maybe they are only a let down now because of what we let them become.
    I can only comment for boys, but the list of what was actually used a lot while they were growing up was pretty slim. It was stuff like:
    – Wooden train sets
    – Trampoline
    – Bike/foldable scooter (as space permits) eg https://razor.com/products/kick-scooters/a/
    – Certain dress ups (around ages 2-5)
    – Lego
    As they’ve got older, and hit teenage years some of the things that have been good included:
    – Poster frame (so they can swap in and out posters)
    – Indoor plants (real or fake)
    – Amazing Annoyatron https://edukits.co (also been able to pillage the kit and use it’s parts for school assignments)
    – Quality headphones

  2. I know many people who are opting for those kind of ideas and experiences. I personally think that it’s the best way forwards.

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