In their first years of life, our children are like sponges. They observe the surrounding environment and assimilate a multitude of elements. They learn through various means like gestures, language, and play. Playing constructively with open-ended toys offers to our kids the ability to develop their personality and skills.
This is why the toys they play with have an important role during their early years, and not only.
Usually, parents choose a toy considering the age or gender of their children, their safety, or the price. Another significant criterion that many parents overlook is the quality of the play. Toys should offer kids the opportunity to use their creativity and imagination. Moreover, toys should engage kids in problem-solving situations and encourage their learning ability. These kinds of toys actually exist, and they are called open-ended toys. You probably think that open-ended toys are complex and expensive. Well, they are the exact opposite of all these. The toys that attract children to open-ended play are, in fact, simple, safe, and cheap.
Here are just a few examples of great open ended toys:
Building blocks/Cubes – they are basic open-ended toys. These are popular 3-year-old boys’ toys. They offer the child limitless possibilities compared to puzzles, for example, which are closed-ended, due to their linear, one-problem-solving feature. They come in many shapes, sizes, and colors, so they can be combined for more fun.
Molding clay – it surely lets your child’s imagination and creativity run wild.
Lego – not adequate for babies or small children, this very popular toy offers unlimited play possibilities.
Balls – with multiple textures, sizes and colors to play with inside and outside.
Creativity kits – that include an array of open-ended craft materials like air-dry clay, googly eyes, feathers, pipe cleaners, felt pom poms, popsicle sticks, scissors, and more.
As you can see, open-ended toys are objects that can be used in various ways, not only in the way they were built (like shape sorters, puzzles, mazes, and so on…), they engage the child through imaginative play and, best of all, they are timeless.