Have you ever bought your child—what you thought would be—the greatest gift of all time, only to watch them marvel at the BOX! The box of all things.
But, oh, the things a child can do with a box! There is much fun and creativity to be explored with a simple piece of cardboard.
And that’s okay. Open-ended play is exactly what they need.
What is open-ended play?
Open-ended play allows children to express their creativity freely with no instructions or rules. It’s play without boundaries.
Why is open-ended play important?
Through this type of creative and imaginative play, they can grow emotionally, socially, intellectually, and even physically.
They learn critical thinking skills, logic reasoning, and problem solving. Not to mention, build fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and muscle memory.
Yes! All of this from open-ended play!
What other household items can be used for open-ended play?
Remember collecting toilet paper holders for crafts at school? This is where those come into play. Literally.
When you’re in a pinch a need a new creative activity for your child, in addition to boxes we mentioned above, try these common household items:
- Markers, crayons, or pencils
- Molding materials
You may find that your child will discover these things on their own, and if you do, let them play!
What’s your favorite creative, hands-on toy?
Magformers. Hands down. Or hands-on.
We bought our granddaughter a set of Magformers for her second birthday after researching good developmental toys for her age. We had no idea how much she would love them!
She can now spend hours playing, building and creating with her Magformers. If she steps away, she’ll make sure to tell you not to touch her tower.
Recently, her towers have progressed into large habitats for her dinosaurs, playgrounds for her characters, and anything her creativity comes up with.
She’s very particular about the way each piece can go, but she’s learning that sometimes two pieces have to go together in order to work properly.
Additionally, with the Magformers Backyard Adventure Set, she can now include Max, Maggie and Minibot to the playtime!
Her creations have grown both in size and difficulty. She only asks for help when she feels like she has exhausted every turn of the magnet or building piece.
We can see her critical thinking skills coming into play as she tries to figure out why a tower keeps falling.
Her eye-hand-coordination improves with every careful placement of the pieces.
And her self-confidence gets a boost after each play structure is completed.
We only need to provide children the creative opportunities and then let them explore and learn on their own.
Open-ended play offers children a never-ending supply of possibilities when it comes to stretching their creativity and sparking their imagination.