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Open Ended Toys

Natural Kids: Open Ended Toys

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Open Ended Toys

You may have heard the term "open ended" in toy descriptions.  An "open ended" toy means that the ways of playing with it are endless and powered by the child's imagination.  There is no right or wrong way to play with an open ended toy.  It is multi-purpose and even grows with the child.  Open ended toys are a worthwhile investment, both in terms of how long your child can play with it and also the imagination it inspires.  

Dolls - A simple doll is an open ended toy because there are so many ways to play with them.  Pretending the doll is a baby, a friend, acting out feelings, acting out 
adventures, etc.  Dolls with simple or no facial features leave even more room for imagination because the child can decide if the doll is sad or happy or angry and is not limited to a smiling expression as on traditional dolls.  

This Red Valentine Baby with Hood is a doll with no facial features.  Is it happy?  Is it sad?  Is it angry?  This is completely up to the child to act and play out.  

Games - A traditional board game can be played a certain way.  It has rules and parts that all follow a certain pattern for the game to "work" properly.  There is no room for imagination or for the child to control the game.  
This Rainbow Review Game however is an open ended game.  There are many ways to "play"this game, ways that your child has yet to come up wiht!  Will the two pieces race each other?  Is one end the finish line?  Will certain colors correspond to questinos or topics or tasks the child has to complete?  

Costumes/Dress-Up - A traditional princess costume is only a princess costume.  Your child puts on the costume and becomes a princess.  A Superman costume likewise is a Superman costume.  An open ended alternative are playsilks.  With playsilks the options are endless!  With different colored playsilks a child can become a princess or Superman!  A green one makes excellent dragonfly wings but also can be used on the floor as a grassy meadow for animal figures to play on.  A white one could be angel wings but also could be snow on the ground or even wind blowing in the breeze or milk in a bucket!  This Hand Dyed Rainbow Set will go a long way and are sure to ignite a child's imagination.    


Blogger shelleycaskey said...

fantastic post, woodmouse! thanks so much for reminding us all how important 'open-ended' toys are for our children. :)

February 15, 2008 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger TheSingingBird said...

thanks for writing such a good article, woodmouse, you started a good thing here :)

February 15, 2008 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger mosey handmade said...

woodmouse- great article and said with such grace!

February 19, 2008 at 6:57 AM  
Blogger Poppy & Mei said...

Well done Ladies...Xxx

March 16, 2008 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger about denise said...

Oh this is a great blog!! So glad I found it. I'll be back.

March 20, 2008 at 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Lina said...

I think the dolls with no faces came from Waldorf, an early childhood philosopher, at least that's what i know him as. He felt that having no face would allow the child to freely feel, express and imagine any emotion. Look up Waldorf dolls or Waldorf toys, they're simple,all-natural, and beautifully made!

December 9, 2009 at 10:55 PM  
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July 22, 2010 at 7:21 AM  
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August 11, 2010 at 8:16 AM  

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