Sunday Post: Simplicity…Children Need Less Stuff

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge and every week he provides a theme…the week’s theme is SIMPLICITY.


The media would have us believe that our children NEED more stuff…electronic gadgets and expensive toys for example…to make them smarter and happier people.

I disagree!

Our children need more of our time, love and positive participation.

Do you want to help your young children succeed in school?

readingareelcoolsummer2 Read with them.

Do you want to develop their literacy skills?

img_8540 Talk with them.

Do you want to build their self-esteem?

Cooking with kids builds self-esteem, develops literacy skills and is just plain fun!

Cooking with kids builds self-esteem, develops literacy skills and is just plain fun!

Spend time with them doing SIMPLE activities like crafting or cooking.

Do you remember the ‘6 items or less’ craze that was popular about two years ago? The theory of ‘less is more’ is not a new one. It can be a wonderful way to start this New Year. Applying an attitude of simplicity to one’s life does help because it:

  • Cuts down on stress
  • Saves money
  • Encourages an appreciation for what one has
  • Strengthens the bond between parent and child
  • Alleviates the disconnect that often takes place in families today

Do you want to have a great time with your young child?

Grab some construction paper (plain white copy paper works just fine) and a couple of markers or crayons.

Sit down with your child at the kitchen table or on the floor.

Each of you can draw a picture or a design.


If you want to turn it into a simple arts and crafts project, add a pair of scissors (safety ones with blunted tips if you want a young child to be doing some of the cutting) and a glue stick.

Cut shapes out of one paper and glue them onto another paper.

Talk with your child about what you are both creating.

Hang up the completed art work.

WOW! Less than 15 minutes of your time equals a happy young child.

If you’d like a great resource book chock-filled with simple craft activities AND lots of picture book suggestions, please check out my book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. Most of the activities (picture book reading, easy craft project, child-friendly recipe) take less than 15 minutes to do. There are several wonderful new reviews on Amazon…I hope you will check them out.

book pic from wordpress blog

Bring simplicity into your life for the New Year…the reward will be priceless.


Want more information about Jake’s Sunday Post?

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47 thoughts on “Sunday Post: Simplicity…Children Need Less Stuff

  1. Good post. Good reminders. My kids don’t have television- so the grandkids aren’t exposed to so many commercial things they then want. Reading, crafts, cooking, hikes, talking… all the best!


    • Hurray for your kids! No TV is a great way to go…so much more time for activities that engage one’s brain and heart…and that encourage interaction between human beings.:) Happy New Year, Lisa!   


    • Yup! How much could we all accomplish if we simplified our lives and concentrated on what is really important? And for children it is even more important because they are learning at incredible speed…we can be offering them so much more by buying them so much less.:)   


  2. Excellent post. The digital age and all of the gadgets scare me. We are from the same generation (50s-60s). I think about what six items I would have wanted in my box as a 7 yr old — crayons and paper, a frisbee, the box to collect arrow heads and rocks, a Pippi Longstocking book, chalk for hopscotch, cards and a rope for double dutch . Would have said a hoola hoop but it wouldn’t fit. 🙂 In thinking about the things I played with, I realize most were things that involved interaction and communication with other kids or creative activities. And, my grandmother taught me to sew my own doll clothes, and on a REAL sewing machine when I was young. What a challenge to raise a child today. Need more Vivians around!


    • You are so sweet, Pat! What a beautiful comment.:) I would have kept a coloring book, my cookie tin of crayons, a set of jacks, a jump rope, my paper dolls and a Spaulding ball (pink, bounces high, used it to play hit the penny and stoop ball). My grandmother taught me how to crochet using my finger.:) Yes, it was a different time, Pat…there was so much more human interaction…and between various generations. Now everyone lives spread out and many parents are overwhelmed and too busy and/or tired to ‘play’ with their kids.   


      • We were so similar. Fortunately my brother saved 8 hrs of 8mm fil my father took of the four of us in the 50s and 60s. So it is fun to see things as I remember. The one thing I didn’t add, was I had the best set of cap guns in the neighborhood because my other grandmother worked at a toy factory. We played all days games of cops and robbers, only coming in to eat. Couldn’t do that now. I didn’t allow my kids to play with violent toys because times changed so dramtically. Okay, I’ll stop! HA! HA!


        • Hahaha! My favorite game was ‘Superman’ which I played with my best friend (who moved to New Jersey when we were 6…but we are still ‘best’ friends…I see her only rarely…but she and the memories we made back then are forever in my heart). I was Lois Lane…she was Superman AND the bad guy. She would tie me to a chair…probably with our jump rope…and then rescue me.:) And yes, we had cap guns also…some of the kids would just use rocks to ‘blast’ the roll of caps. Yikes…not very safe…and yes, we would frown on that today. But Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger were the good guys…and they used their guns to protect and defend. I love when you share, Pat!  


    • One of my favorite quotes…”If you want to be in your children’s memories tomorrow…you need to be in their lives today.”
      I hope to encourage parents to do this…and show them how much fun it can be.:)


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  4. Hi Vivian,
    Thanks for listing my link on your page, appreciated it tons.

    You have a wonderful meaning of Simplicity, great one.:) I like when adults teaching as much as they can to the kids. It is the most relevant way’s we could ever offer for them to learn.:)

    Have a good weekend,


    • That is so true, YenYen! Adults often get caught up in the media frenzy of buying as well…and pass that along to their kids. Just think how much more time people would have if they weren’t so busy buying stuff or planning what stuff to buy.:)
      Have a lovely week!


  5. Great advice! Did I tell you my son’s teacher recently told me she’s very disappointed in the amount of first graders who display absolutely no imagination. She said it’s getting worse and she can’t even comprehend how six year olds can be out of creativity. She blames it on TV and computer games, where kids are just fed the data or asked to pick between A and B and don’t have to come up with an answer ontheir answer. I bet she’s on to something. Pretty sad.


    • Oh Milka…and they are taking out the blocks in kindergarten and replacing them with computers…they are giving dittos to Pre-K students…they are cutting music and art and story-time so there is more time for ‘standardized’ test practice. Yikes! What do they expect! I wonder if the teacher feels there is anything she can do…I’m sure that your son is not one of the ‘uncreative’.:)


      • Haha, no lack of creativity at our house! The teacher doesn’t use computers in the classroom, and only offers educational games if the kids are done with all their work. But first, she pushes reading. That’s what they must do when they have free time. Whether they can read or just look at the pictures, it doesn’t matter. She has creative writing every day, with a specific theme, and about a quarter of the class stares at a blank page. I’ve witnessed it first hand when I’ve volunteered in the class. Your try to help the kids and they give you the deer in the headlight look. It’s very disturbing, to say the least. I thought all kids were the best storytellers.


        • That is sad, Milka…wonderful that your son’s teacher encourages reading though! Maybe they need Susanna’s Story Sparkers…or some other games to release their ‘inner child’…and inner creativity.:)


      • I think those kids’ parents need to turn off the TV and video games and stop planning every minute of their kids’ day with structured activities. There’s nothing better than free play to tickle creativity, don’t you agree?


        • For sure, Milka! As a child, when I got home from school, my mom said, “Change your clothes and go outside and PLAY.” And we did! And on rainy days, we would pull out the paper and crayons or board games or make up some kind of game…storekeeper or library (that was obviously one of my favorites)…and my friends and I would make believe!!!! Turning on the TV (or video games or other electronic stuff) does rob our children of the chance to stretch their imaginations and develop their creative muscles…it’s true when they say…if you don’t use it, you lose it.:)   


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  8. A lovely post.

    This recent article in our city paper really resonated with me -

    Too much stuff on every level – if we teach children that consumerism is not just a benign function of income and that life is enriched in so many other ways, I think they have a better chance at some level of happiness or contentment in this crazy old world.


    • Thank you so very much…for visiting here…but most of all, for leaving your comment with the link to the newspaper article. I’ve shared it with every Linkedin group I’ve joined…and on Twitter and FB. It resonated in my soul. This past Christmas, my husband and I gave a letter to each other…that’s all! And I sent a small check to our grown children and nieces and nephews with a note: Use this for pizza and a movie rental for a family night at home. Nothing to trash (except maybe the pizza box…unless they made their own which would have been a fun family activity). You are so right…we need to become so much more thoughtful about what we buy…perhaps pulling the plug on the TV would help because there is more time allotted to advertisements on TV than is given to the shows themselves…which, in many cases, are filled with encouragement to buy even more stuff!


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