Has your child ever been surrounded by toys, complaining that he is bored? Doesn’t it drive you crazy? But would you believe that being a toy minimalist could change things?

It’s true! Read on to learn how toy strews are fantastic for minimalist families!

Toy minimalism actually encourages play

Believe it or not, too many toys actually get in the way of your child playing. Minimalist living isn’t just good for you, it’s good for your kids too!

I’m sure you already know how too many toys make it so much harder to keep things tidy. But let’s talk about how they also keep your kids from playing.

Imagine that you walked into your kitchen and all of your tools were sitting out on the counter. Your blender, your mixer, the Instant Pot and the Crock Pot. On top of that, imagine a bunch of utensils and pots and pans were sitting out everywhere.

You couldn’t cook like that! Not only is there not enough counter space, all the stuff you don’t need is just distracting!

So the first thing you need to do is to have a toy declutter. Lucky for you, we’re starting a Toy Declutter CHALLENGE Saturday, May 18! Join up transform your play space in seven days. You’ll learn which toys to keep and which to give away, how to arrange your toys so your kids don’t just play with them for two weeks and then never look at them again, and more.

Use this link to get in the challenge. I look forward to seeing you there!

What is a toy strew and how will it relieve boredom?

After you’ve decluttered toys that no longer serve your family and let go of electronic toys, you’ll probably have a lot more open space to play in!  To jump-start your child’s imaginative play (and get to do a little imaginative play yourself!), try a few toy strews!

A toy strew is simply leaving some toys set-up, ready for play.  The idea is that your children can walk into a play space and already see “invitations for play” set up.

Since kids are no longer overwhelmed by random toys scattered everywhere, they have a better place to start playing and will likely come up with something really fun!

The great thing is, play strews don’t have to be complicated!  Check out my short video below:

I need some example toy strews!

Making strews doesn’t have to be hard! In fact, making play strews really isn’t any more difficult than putting everything away for a clean, more sterile-looking space. Here’s a few pictures of strews I did today.

In this first one, I just arranged these little people (that I made myself!) into groups. Aren’t you dying to know what these little guys are talking about? When your kids walk in to play, they can come up with a whole world for them!

peg people play strew

Next, I simply set up one of our storage cubes and set a little stuffed doggie and baby doll in there.

Is the boy visiting the dog? Are they about to share a tasty dog bone? Or are they putting together their plans to travel to outer space? Give your kids the opportunity to decide!

And finally, you can build little structures with blocks, or even only build them half way. Here, I’ve used a rainbow stacker (which I love!) to build my own version of Spaghetti Junction, but you can use Legos, Duplos, plain wooden blocks, or heck, food cans and cereal boxes to build whatever comes to mind.

Why should I make a play strew?

If I take the time to create a strew in the evening, the kids are much more likely to get engrossed in play when they wander into their play room the next morning than if everything was put away nice and neat (or worse, still a wreck from the day before).

Little boy playing with toy strew

So while the kids are more excited to play when there are toy strews, I’m the real winner. I get to do what I want while they’re engaged in independent play. If I’m really lucky, they’ll let me sleep a little extra while they’re busy!

Which toys are best for these play strews?

As you can see, these arrangements work best for open-ended toys, rather than toys that have a specific function or toys that have a lot of bells and whistles. Want to know which toys are winners in our home? Check out this post for ideas!

Ready to transform your child’s play and relieve boredom?

I’m always so excited by the possibilities offered by toy organization and strewing!

The first trick to good strews is having enough space for them. If you’re pumped by these ideas but are so overwhelmed by toys that you don’t know where to start, that’s okay! Join our 7 day toy declutter CHALLENGE to transform your kids’ space. We’ll see you there!