5 Benefits of Open Ended Play
Children need an outlet for their seemingly-endless imagination and creativity. 🧸 They crave for opportunities where they can let their growing minds run wild. Through open-ended play, they get the opportunity to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas while having fun. Today, learn about the benefits of open ended play to children and discover many open ended activities that you can start with your little one.
1. Open-ended play ignites children's creativity & imagination
Imagination is a cornerstone of early learning. Open ended play and creative experiences expose them to many different aspects of a particular idea, challenge their own thinking, and help them grow emotionally, socially, intellectually, and even physically.
Materials such as cups, blocks and even objects from nature like sticks, wood slices and pebbles can already kindle your little one's creativity and imagination. You'll be surprised that out of these simple materials, children can create anything their mind dreams up - buildings, homes, castles, or even fortresses! Hand them a doll to nurture and take care of, they will get to express their imaginations and explore a world outside of their own.
Pipette activities by howwemontessori
2. Open ended play creates a space for kids to explore ideas, experiment, and engage in new concepts
Through creative open ended play, children can learn many new concepts that would encourage them to test their theories, and develop and understanding of an idea―in other words, they get all science-y! This also sets the tone for solving more complex problems as they grow and develop.
With droppers and pipettes, toddlers can experience transferring of water and will love squirting water out. Magnetic tiles are wonderful toys to play a simple “Will It Stick?” game, and introduce interactive dolls & toys like glow-in-the-dark plush or UV-light activated baby dolls to get them wondering about the science of light and color.
3. It provides a calming, stress-free activity
There are no rules in open ended play so there is truly no right or wrong way to play. Through creative open ended play, your kids are free to take risks, explore new ideas, observe cause & effect, and engage their creativity.
Play-doh is an amazing toy that encourages kids to replicate and mold shapes around them while involving their creative minds. Another stress-free activity is playing with dolls. While they nurture, bathe, change, feed, and cuddle their baby dolls, they are learning empathy at the same time.
Playing with play-doh with Tutortime
4. It helps kids develop social and emotional skills, and build leadership skills
Children learn to define and express their feelings through the help of open ended play. In time, they will learn how to verbalize their feelings clearly and more creatively, allowing them to integrate into social settings and regulate their behavior more appropriately when given the opportunity to interact with peers.
Role-playing and playing with dolls and toys provides many learning opportunities. It helps them verbalize their feelings, and associate words to meanings. Through their interactions with peers, they get to experience building relationships and grow confidence in group scenarios. It is also important to choose the right toys for your kids. Dolls that represent great meaning such us Adora 14-inch Be Bright Dolls, can help parents help teach and instill good values to children.
5. Strengthens hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills
Creative open ended play helps enhance children's gross and fine motor skills, coordination, and control. Building fine motor skills requires practice and sets the stage for improving hand eye coordination and muscle memory.
Deconstructed role play is a type of play that uses objects such as cardboard boxes, fabrics and bottles to encourage children to build their own props and costumes. Not only it involves hands and muscles, this play also encourages kids to think outside the box. Other activities such as fashion play and doll washing/bathing are also great creative opportunities to help improve their gross and fine motor skills.
A DIY cardboard car by A Beautiful Mess