Posted on 20/06/20

Children are naturally curious and explore the world around them through play experiences. Open-ended play can be described as play that has no pre-determined limitations and no fixed answer – children simply follow their imagination to allow the play to go in any direction their creativity takes them. As there are no set outcomes, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ with open-ended play.

Open-ended resources are multi-use and encourage a child to use their imagination and creativity. There are no rules, no expectations, no specific problems to solve, and no pressure to produce a finished product when engaging freely in open-ended play.

Open-ended play also allows children to express themselves in play freely and creatively, not bound by preset limitations. Playing with open-ended materials with multiple uses and limitless possibilities, such as molding clay, wet sand, paint, blocks and other loose parts, allow for imaginative play.

Children to learn more with open ended play than you could ever imagine. Open-ended play helps stretch their cognitive skills. Children learn to react better in situations, they learn to make choices, and they feel more inspired. Not to mention, play is just overall better when children are in charge of it.

One of the ways we can support open ended play is using Loose Parts. Loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. Loose parts can be used alone or combined with other materials. There is no set of specific directions for materials that are considered loose parts. The child is the direction.

When children interact with loose parts, they enter a world of “what if” that promotes the type of thinking that leads to problem solving and theoretical reasoning. Loose parts enhance children's ability to think imaginatively and see solutions, and they bring a sense of adventure and excitement to children's play. Again, with loose parts, there are no rules or expected end results.

Loose parts give children the freedom to arrange and rearrange, essentially using the parts to create their own rules and designs, which allows the focus of the experience to be on the process rather than the product. Fine motor skills are developed and strengthened when children grasp and pick up small objects.

Wooden and natural objects are also an amazing way with which children can be introduced to open ended play. Some of the online shops below sells good quality and wonderfully made wooden toys of all choices that will not only add excitement to your child's play will also challenge their cognitive and motor skills.

1) onehundredtoys -"Don't waste your time creating Pinterest-friendly activities that your child won't engage with. Instead, take a step back and make room for your child's imagination." You can shop for Gluckskafer, Grimm's, Ostheimer, HABA, Tegu, OPPI, Wobbel and many more here.

2) Babipur - We specialise in Sustainable, Ethical, Fairtrade, Safe and Green Toys at Babi Pur. We stock a huge selection of good quality Waldorf toys and Montessori toys made from natural raw materials, our traditional wooden toys are solid and made to last. You can find Grapat, Grimm's and Holztiger here too.

3) Kidly - To us, a modern kids store means a store built by parents, for parents, stocking the best products, not all the products, providing an effortless shopping experience and run by a friendly team, with integrity.

4) Little Acorns to Mighty Oaks - We stock a variety of products for young families like ours who are striving to reduce their toxic burden by avoiding plastics and toxins found in everyday household products. We try to offer alternatives to plastic's, but where plastic needs to be used on a product it will always be free from BPA, Phthalates, Lead, PVC and BPS. You can find a wide selection of toys from Grimm's , Nanchen, Holztiger, Grapat and many more here.

Of course the above is just a few of the many,many online shops that you can find your favourite toys for your children. It is really just a click away. Speaking of which, so is ForwardVia a click away (well, maybe a few) to make shipping your products to you anywhere in the world as easy as abc. Sign up for free and happy shopping!

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