Open-ended toys, the type of toys that don't have one "right" way to play with them, encourage kids to harness their imaginations, make intentional choices, and express their creativity.
So often we hear from parents and caregivers that "My kids just don't play with their toys. They would rather play with a scrap of yarn or a stray sock". And this is because kids are naturally inclined to play with these open-ended, imagination inspiring materials. So if you are looking to stock your child's toy box, consider opting for toys like blocks, stacking rainbows, balls, cars, dolls, magnetic tiles and loose parts. You may just find they engage with them more than traditional toys.
However, some of these materials can be pricey. So take your time building up your playroom. We asked friends and family to pool together to buy some of the larger Grimm's items we have (from a great local shop, Abby Sprouts, that ships!).
But you can also make your own for a fraction of the price. A single set of Grimm's Peg dolls can cost you nearly $60. But with two materials from your local craft store you can make an even larger set for under $10.
- Grab some unfinished peg dolls, wood cones or wood coins (the dollar store or local craft store will likely have some)
- Pick up some liquid watercolors
- Paint your peg dolls, wood cones or wood coins
- Get playing!
Your child can build elaborate imaginative play scenes that build oral language skills, create patterns, sort by color or shape, make a color wheel, match items or identify colors. The possibilities are endless with these open-ended loose parts!
Many of the raw wood items come in large sets. So you can quickly and easily make enough for your children and to gift to those you love. It makes for a great DIY gift.