Some of you may be thinking, what is open-ended play? Basically, open-ended play does not put certain limitations on play. The child has the chance to play as they want and not as an adult wants them to. Here is why open-ended play for kids is super important:
It allows them to be creative
When you put limitations on play, kids don’t have a chance to be creative. If you give a child two markers and tell them to draw a cat, you have taken away all of their ability to be creative. Give them multiple markers and let them draw what they want, without putting limitations on it. You can also give them open-ended materials that allow them to think and create in a way that they want to.
It's important that kids are kids
Adults seem to forget that kids need to be kids. Everything is pushed on kids super early, which is why open-ended play is even more important than you think. Kids need open-ended play to exercise their right to be a kid. Let them be dramatic in their play. Allow them to use their imagination and don’t put limits on what they can do during play.
Open-ended play helps to encourage your child’s imagination
In today’s world, kids are told what to think and do in most situations. Open-ended play is a chance for a child to use their imagination. Electronics have taken away a child’s ability to use their imagination because it does everything for them. For just a little bit, open-ended play allows a child to pretend and to use their imagination, which is ever-so-exciting.
Children learn more than you think
Open-ended play allows children to learn more 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.
Here are some things you should keep in mind while facilitating open-ended play:
- Playgrounds are an awesome way to encourage open-ended play.
- Art supplies play a great role in open-ended play.
- Activities where there is not just one answer.
- Props and dress up materials are great for open-ended play.
We just discovered Bunchems! If you haven't used these yet, you need to get on that. Bunchems are colorful little balls that stick to each other and build like no other. The kids will absolutely love them because they're so easy to use. All the kids needs to do is squish them together and create like crazy! It's really no surprise Bunchems was awarded the 2016 Toy of the Year Award for Activities!
And my favorite part? Clean up is a breeze because they stick to each other. The boys have just been scooping them up together and tossing them back in the bin.
To make Bunchems even more fun, they have come out with Bunchems Alive! Imagine all of your super cool creations coming to life. The motorized Stick’em Ball brings your creation to life. Put it down and watch it go! Charlie has definitely had some fun with this!
Use Bunchems safely. If your child has long hair, make sure it is pulled back away from their face before creating with Bunchems. For the best Bunchems experience, be sure to play on hard surfaces to avoid entanglement on any fibrous surfaces, such as carpets.
Open-ended play can be an amazing experience for kids. Now, adults just need to learn how to let kids engage in open-ended play and stop trying to force specific outcomes for every single area of their lives.
Be sure to enter the giveaway below to win Bunchems and Bunchems Alive for your house! The kids will love them!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.