The Cost Of Raising A Child

Depends on your spending appetite

Parenting becomes tough when kids are loaded with infinite options in toys. From cleaning the mess to making children bond with heaps of toy boxes is really tough. But do you know the best toys are the most simple ones?

As a minimalist parent, I’m ALWAYS cautious when I’m doing any toy shopping. I totally believe in the following theory of Cortney Carver from “Be more with less” — Clutter attracts clutter and calm attracts calm.

With this note, I have tried practicing toy minimalism with my child. With the wish list amount in the amazon cart, I am happy that I tried it! The following list of items has been provided as a ready reckoner to begin your minimalist toy journey.

  1. Building Blocks — Find the best quality blocks always. Building blocks are one thing that will go a long way. Age-appropriate legos and wooden Jenga are one of the best investments. Kids play with them all the time. From sorting colours to making different shapes building blocks are good for focus play. They also help in enhancing the child’s creativity.

  2. Balls — Kids always feel happy rolling, catching, kicking, dribbling, and tossing the balls all the time. At an early age, play balls help in improving hand-eye coordination. Balls are very important for indoor as well as outdoor plays as they help with the development of hand-eye coordination in children.

  3. Art and Craft Supplies — The most engaging play-time activity is the art and craft session. The availability of limitless options in this zone opens a child’s horizon of creativity.

  4. Books — You can give picture books to children under the age of five. Who would believe that my collection of travel books are my son’s favourite? Probably because it’s full of vibrant colourful pictures. I believe in giving him things to explore. After all, today’s reader can be tomorrow’s leader!

  5. Stuffed toys — There is always a teddy bear at our house parties. He wears a mask and even washes his hands before meals. Pretend and play toys are best to teach good habits.

  6. A loose scarf — You will never get bored of the Peek-a-boo game. With the Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes series on Netflix taking over every toddler's home, Peek-a-boo family song has become quite a trend. This classic game played with a piece of cloth helps in brain development. By enhancing gross motor skills the game strengthens baby’s visual tracking and boosts their socioemotional skills.

  7. Daily use items — Every child loves to explore toilet paper rolls and utensils of the kitchen. Everyday household items are good for curious minds. Kids love to imitate their parents. They feel a sense of pride while they are allowed to use what everyone around them keeps using. So for the next play date give your extra kitchen pans to kids for fun.

  8. Magnetic toys — To teach names and spellings is easy when a mother has to multi-task. Fridge magnets are a saviour! Though you have to be very cautious in giving a high powered magnet. But in general, play activities with magnets helps in creating a scientific base for kids of all ages. Magnetic toys help in improving fine motor skills in young children.

  9. Smart virtual assistants — A google home or Amazon Alexa is something where every parent would love to put their money into. From bird sounds to Christmas carols and even Lord Krishna Bhajans; there’s so much you can teach. Audio learning is definitely a modern parent’s choice.

  10. A toy shelf — Last but not least, keep a shelf for toys. Kids can get bored with toys in a very short span of time. At 6 months, a child will play by himself for 5 minutes; at 12 months, for 15 minutes; at 18 months, about 15 to 20 minutes; and at 2 years, for about half an hour. That’s the reason why toy rotation should happen in a parent’s routine. An easily accessible shelf of toys is a must if you want the child to clean up after all the play fun.

My best childhood memories are not attached to any toys. As kids, we used to have fun in the neighbourhood where we climbed a lot of trees and constructed a lot of indoor castles out of boxes, chairs, mattresses and blankets.

Toy minimalism is a smart choice. Not only it saves a lot of money but it helps children to explore their creative angle. Fewer toys help in focused play. Children feel emotionally connected to the toys with which they play on a regular basis. Don’t get carried away by fancy marketing strategies. Because towards the end it's all about the memories!

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