Birthdays, Christmases and just because… we know how much kids WANT and “NEED” everything. Kids don’t need a lot to be happy but everyone likes to buy a toy/gift here and there. Our goal now is when we buy them things that it allows their mind to explore and learn. After writing about our current top toys in our tiny home I started to look into what toys we could add to our tiny home. Some we have but definitely recommend, especially for active kids!
- Telescope – A compact version would be an excellent addition to our full-time travel lifestyle. Already, in a few places we have visited, there were nights of looking up at the sky and watch in amazement. Here in Vermont the sky feels so close and the stars are so vivid that after the kids go to bed, Johnny was able to point out several satellites to me (I never knew they were satellites) and we have amazing night.
Rock Tumbler – This is another that is pretty set on this year’s list. Matthew has actually mentioned this one a few times. So I am researching to find a quality one. I don’t want the cheaper sets because they generally break quickly around here, so I am looking for one that is rated for maybe an amateur jeweler.
Fishing Poles/Set – We have always had fishing poles, I grew up fishing with my dad, brother and all my “funcles” (friend like an uncle). So I knew I eventually wanted to get our kids to learn how to fish. We don’t have anything special just rods and tackle that we’ve found, picked up through our travels and given to us. Our travels have given us so many opportunities to fish. Just this week the kids have been fishing in the small brooks for little brook trout and cooking them up for lunch!
- Sets/Kits – It could be as simple as gathering supplies and creating your own themed “kits”:
- Geocaching Kit
- Car Building Kit
- Rocket Kits
- Bug collection
- Microscopes – What a cool way to look at things. I always loved looking at things under the microscope. Maybe a cool book to add with it, something that explains how to use it and project ideas. I think a kit like this or this would be sufficient for a beginner!
- Magnets – Get all sorts! Maybe some that are balls and some that are super strong. Let them explore with what is magnetic and not. We got a HUGE one that we take “dock” fishing”. (See video here). When we can we get dinner to go, eat at the docs
- Binoculars- Another cool way to look at the world. Matthew recently bought himself a pair because he has an interest in outdoor tools and cool gadgets. Also, who doesn’t enjoy being able to see something you find fascinating when you can’t get over to it.
- BB Gun – We are supporters of the right to bear arms and we feel that kids should learn and respect the power of a firearm. For his 8th birthday we bought Matthew his first BB gun, but before he could just shoot it and play with it he had to memorize the safety rules for the firearm, it took him 3 months. Now when he chooses to bring them out with his friends (Johnny and I are ALWAYS overseeing). He teaches his friends the correct way to handle and respect a firearm (with the parents permission.
- Small Toys- I LOVE when the kids go deep into imagination land. Tiny living means tiny storage for toys. The kids have two large drawers that house army men + odd and end mini figurines, tea set, legos and Barbies. The girls LOVE playing with Barbies and build all sorts of structures to mimic a house with legos and random 2×4 . Chloe recently has been asking for more items to add to the Barbie stash.. and recently presented this Barbie Collapsible House because “its collapsible and will fit”- Chloe
- Walkie Talkies – If you follow us on IG or Youtube you will see these all the time. We have found these to be a great tool & item for the kids to own and be responsible for. We let the kids run around the campgrounds, into the woods (within sight and sound of the bus) down and around the neighborhood etc. It gives them a sense of freedom but connection to their security. The kids have used their walkie talkies to hot mic a conversation so that Johnny and I can come over the comms and scold the kids that are being little brats. ( #notahelicoptermom ) Keep an eye out for our review of the current radios we use!
- Metal Detector – We have been considering adding this to the bus as another fun tool for weird adventures. Like the 1,250 lbs magnet that Johnny bought, we take it to docks and go “dock fishing” or drag it in our kayaks to see what we might get. This metal detector would be something we’d use to just go off and search for things.
- Sewing Machine/Crochet/Yarn Items – Another skillset that is few and far between. I think that everyone should know the basic needle and thread usage, but if your child has an interest in learning how to make their own clothes, accessories and things… the best way is to let them. I would suggest finding a sewing machine at the local thrift stores and then teaching your child how to either a.) use the machine – if you know how b. ) learn with them and make it a group learning experiences c.) teach them how to use Youtube/Google/Pinterest to find resources that can teach them!
- Sling shot/catapult – Teach them the basic rules (what/where not to shoot etc) and then let the kids be kids! We have 2 slingshots that Johnny like to bring with us on hikes and kayaking when we are far away from civilization and the kids can just let loose!
- Kayak – We’ve already mentioned multiple times how much we love our kayaks. Reasonably priced and man do they give back ten fold in memories, lessons learn and building character through they entire family.
- Lessons/Passes /Apps – Allowing your kids to find something they are interested in learning and then allowing them to explore… come on mind blown! Don’t get me wrong this can get expensive with multiple kids, but figuring out what drives your child or invigorates their soul thats part of the whole mission in parenting! With our new approach to education we rely on having resources available for the kids to pull from. We have quite a few educational books on the bus but lately we’ve began to lean towards purchases specific apps for certain kids and allowing them to “purchase apps they’d like. For example Alexis was to get Procreate because she like to sketch/draw and create and Jacob wanted Codespark