There are so many wonderful reasons to choose simplicity. It’s natural that after discovering these benefits that you’ll want to introduce your children to more ‘simple living’ too. So how is it possible to teach kids about simplicity and get them on board with minimizing?
Simple living with kids.
Even children can learn how to practice a minimalist lifestyle, and I’ve discovered that kids are often better at letting go of material things than adults! Kids want to have fun in the moment, and ask for our love and attention more than any physical thing. Children also have an amazing capacity for empathy and sharing with others when they’re given the chance. Your kids can benefit from simple living as much as you.
Here are some ways to encourage a minimalist mindset at home and also include the kids:
1. Lead by example.
Start by minimizing your own things first. They’ll see you leading by example and will notice that you’re still happy after living with less. Kids learn through our actions as much as our words. I’m often going through the house and re-evaluating what we need. If kids see you doing this regularly they’ll learn that it’s okay to let go of something that is either no longer useful or doesn’t have a specific purpose in the home.
2. Emphasize experiences over things.
By having less stuff you can end up saving more money to spend on fun experiences as a family. Choosing experiences over things is an easy way to get kids on board. Perhaps you can brain storm with them about experiences they would like to receive instead of having too many toys come in the house. And experiences don’t need to cost anything either! Taking a walk, playing at the park, a playdate with friends, exploring nature, reading library books, building forts – these will provide hours of entertainment and fun without breaking the bank. Let kids be kids and encourage imaginative play.
3. Get kids involved in decluttering.
Make decluttering a routine event by finding specific times to declutter and purge unneeded toys or clothes. For example, giving away toys before birthdays or holidays is sometimes easiest because kids know they’ll be receiving a few new things soon. Click on the link to read these 10 tips to minimize kids toys for more advice on which toys to keep and how to keep toys that foster creativity.
4. Embrace opportunities to teach kids about sharing.
The flip side of simplifying is that there is more to give to others and a greater margin to be generous with time and resources. Explain about giving and sharing by finding somewhere specific to drop off items after decluttering the house. This makes simplifying and generosity real and tangible for kids.
For example, I’ve taken my kids with me to drop toys and clothes off at a high school for teen moms. They got to see the playroom where other kids will play with the toys. Kids have big hearts, and now my girls come to me when they’re done with something. They usually say something like, “I don’t need this… can you give this to a little girl?”
Join the conversation:
What has helped your family embrace a more simple life? Like Simple Adventure’s facebook page, or join the group ‘Minimialism: Declutter Your Life’ and join in the conversation about simplifying all aspects of life.
Check back soon for a list of resources to help teach kids about simplifying and sharing.