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The greatest minimalist toy is the imagination. There are boundless things to do and create, storylines to make up and play out, and can be done by oneself or with as many friends as you would like!
My twins are playing using their imaginations as I type! This doesn’t mean they aren’t enjoying their toys. They are actually using their toys in their imaginative play - dancing with their stuffed animals.
While I am against getting big toys that take up square footage in the home and dictate how your children play or toys that are meant to entertain (think loud sounds and flashing lights), I’m not against my kids having some smaller toys that stimulate their thinking and imagination.
Orenco Station, Portland, OR
My husband took me on a little getaway to Orenco Station last week. I had read about this little community - walkable and tight knit homes! It was something I had expressed an interest in seeing. So off we went to explore.
After a one hour and 45 minute light rail ride from the airport we arrived. There is a beautiful downtown with various restaurants and a bunch of condos/apartments. Across a very busy street, there are more restaurants, a medical plaza, and a great grocery store, New Seasons, that has an awesome local bulk grocery aisle! Behind all of this was more neighborhood. The houses were smaller and close together - we liked that. We found the neighborhood to be dog friendly, but not kid friendly. There was one little playground on one end of the neighborhood - that’s it. Orenco Station also seemed very well manicured.
We found out later that a lot of the area has a homeowner’s association that includes lawn care - so most places we walked were too perfect making the neighborhood feel almost sterile. There was no litter anywhere, which was awesome, but between the busy street, the perfect yards, and lack of kid friendliness - it didn’t meet up to my fantasy. Maybe I’m a little more HIPPIE than I realize!
We did have a wonderful time exploring! We walked a ton and enjoyed eating at the Orenco Station Grill and Alotto Gelato. We also explored a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) children’s store. I loved seeing a children’s toy store that put a lot more thought into the art of play for kids. We ended up walking out with 3 new toys. That is a lot for us, but they were small and our kids love them. They challenge their minds and inspire creative play. And because of their compact sizes, I think they make great minimalist toys!
3 Minimalist Toys
The game links below are affiliate links, which means if you choose to purchase them, a small portion of the sale will support Jaime Declutters at no cost to you.
Tell Tale Fairy Tales
I love the tin can the cards are stored in - so much more durable! Kids make up their own fairy tales using the circle picture cards. My kids have had a blast with these! They have made up fairy tales on their own and we have played as a family!
Keva Brain Builders Junior
This is a fun activity for kids 5 years old and up. There are 20 planks and 20 cards showing different designs kids can create! It comes in a fabric bag which is also great for durability!
This is a super fun game! It comes with a booklet of puzzles that start easy and go to very difficult! It’s brain work for sure! My 4 year olds love to just playing with it, while my 6 year old is into the puzzle solving. It is super compact and the booklet fits in the game case!
If you are looking for some minimalist toys for your kiddos, hope these 3 give you some thoughtful ideas!
Also, if you live in or have ever been to Orenco Station, let me know what you think of the area? Do you know of any small, walkable, family friendly communities? Please share! Maybe my husband and I will get to go on another adventure to explore!