Simplicity Monday


I believe it was in Kim John Payne’s book “Simplicity Parenting” that I read about reducing the amount of toys a child has by about one-third and perhaps one would then be on track to simplifying within the home.


I was thinking about this one-third estimate and have thought about how this might apply to those of us with commitments outside the home.


Whether you work a part-time job, or your children are in sports, or you spend time volunteering, or you spend a lot of time with all the neighborhood children at your home – what would it look like to have one third of that time back in your own home and with your own family?


A simple thought to ponder,


9 thoughts on “Simplicity Monday

  1. When we moved we donated reams of toys. It was necessary because moving costs were so expensive and our new home is smaller. It felt liberating to me. My kids (6, 9, 11)were reallllllly frustrated. We’ve always limited screen time and emphasized the arts but this was an affront to them. In retrospect, I would have done this differently, with more respect given to their input. I’m not sure how much of their slow adjustment to simpler “play lives” is due to a new home and neighborhood, but it took months. Whining, boredom, tears for dolls and games that they’d ignored for years in our old house. But I’d say things are much better now. They are more creative and initiate self-made fun more easily. My oldest is teaching herself to sew and modifies thrift shop items into new outfits. I can see a skill happening that wouldn’t have blossomed if she had been preoccupied with video games. My inspiration was an article that, while more extreme than I’m willing to go, certainly showed me how blessed children can be with few playthings. Give this a read! The Boy With No Toys

  2. We are working on decreasing toys. It isn’t so much my kids as it others! They get SO MANY toys for holidays and birthdays-even after requests for no more gifts! What we have a more difficult time with is saying no to activities. We are definitely still working on this. We just had a chat last week anout decreasing the number of “after schoo” activities next year.

  3. I recently did this and removed all but a few select toys from my children – it worked wonders on their levels of creativity. I have been hesitant to introduce any outside the home ‘extracurricular’ activities as I already feel that we dont spend enough time at home – and that is just visiting relatives and grocery shopping usually. I need that time at home or I feel entirely unconnected and my anxiety levels rise!

  4. “Parents should also question much of the contemporary emphasis on special materials and equipment for learning in a child’s environment. A clutter of toys can be more confusing than satisfying to a child. On the other hand, natural situations, with opportunieties to explore, seldom overstimulate or trouble a small child. Furthermore, most children will find greater satisfaction and demonsstrate greater learning from things they make and do with their parents or other people than from elaborate toys or learning materials. And there is no substitute for solitude – in the sandpile, mud puddle, or play area – for a yound child to work out his own fantasies. Yet this privilege is often denied in our anxiety to institutionalize children.”
    ― Raymond S. Moore, School Can Wait

  5. A great thought to ponder! I often feel guilty saying no, but I need time at home, time alone, time with nothing on the calendar in order to get things done. I loved “Simplicity Parenting” it helped me to realize that I was not alone!

  6. Hi Carrie,

    Just wanted to get your thoughts on the changes in life of a 7 year old. My daughter just turned 7 and such a change. I feel like we disagree a lot and I want to help our relationship grow in a constructive way. I’m going to revisit Simplicity Parenting again. Any other advice on reading materials for this age group? Thanks!


    • Hi Pam,
      The seven year old change is hard for sure! Did you click Development on the Header bar on this blog and read the seven year old posts? I think those could be super helpful. I also think the Gesell Institute’s “Your Seven Year Old” is helpful, but I cover a lot of the developmental perspective on the blog posts. Also see the posts under communication — I think talking less, dropping your end of the rope so to speak, making things as simple as possible and finding ways to connect outside of the challenging times is really important.

      Hope those posts can help!

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