When space is limited, toys need to be too. Wait...is this really true? No, not if you're space savvy: big toys can be replaced with small toys that are just as fun and do the exact same job. Here are a few small space alternatives to popular big toy items:
For bigger kids:
1. You don't need a stage to create great theater. This printed sheet is easy to fold up and store and is a beautiful "stage" for shadow puppet play.
2. Instead of LEGO, consider Nanoblocks. The kits are so small, they are super simple to store. However: the blocks are tiny, and are definitely not for any child under 8.
3. Instead of board games, collect card games! Some fantastic lesser-known games to get your collection started: Archaeology: The Card Game (pictured), Bohnanza and Jungle Speed.
For toddlers and pre-schoolers:
4. Instead of a race-track, what about a roll of road tape (or try washi)? This way roads can appear (and disappear) wherever you like.
5. Instead of a wagon, how about building your own wagon using this Rolobox re-usuable wheel kit? You can make wagons, cars, buses, trucks with one small bag of wheels.
6. Instead of a dress-up box, what about a play silk? Since play silks are so generic, they allow for more freedom in creative play: they can be used as capes, blankets for teddy bears, to pretend to be ghosts, and more!
For babies and toddlers:
7. Instead of a regular ball, which can be difficult to store, what about an inflatable ball like the popular Gertie Ball? An added bonus: the Gertie Ball is very easy for little hands to catch!
8. Instead of a ball pit, how about a play tunnel? This one from Pacific Play Tents can collapse completely and is easy to store in a tight spot.
9. Instead of a giant jumperoo or exersaucer, how about a baby jumper that hangs in a door frame? The Johnny Jumper Up takes up considerably less space and can be set up in under a minute.
10. Another alternative to a jumperoo/exercauser is the foldable Go-Pod. It's ideal for travel and also for small homes.
(Images: as linked above)