Open-ended play is a kind of play that does not have any pre-determined rules or procedure. It has no limitations and no fixed answers of right or wrong. The children will use their own creativity and imagination and play their games. Open-ended play allows children to express themselves in a play freely and creatively without any limitations.
Playing materials like molding clay, paint and crayons, wet sand, Lego, building blocks, shapes, stacking sets and many more are some examples of open-ended play where kids can use their own creativity. It is for this reason that open-ended play is fast gaining popularity among young parents.
Reasons why Open Ended Play is gaining popularity
- Kids will be kids
Open-ended plays are such that keeps the kids as kids with their imaginations and creativity. It helps to reduce the use of technology. Kids need open ended plays to exercise their right to be kid. It allows them to be dramatic and enjoy their own fantasy world. It does not have any limitations and no fixed guidelines as well, hence encouraging their imagination to grow.
- Children learn more than we think
Open-ended plays are very vital to increase the thinking and imaginative ability of children. It helps to stretch their cognitive skills. The kids learn to react better in certain situations; they learn to make their own choices, and become confident.
Open-ended play helps to develop a sense of creativity, as it does not have any limitations, which will bind the kids to imagine. You can give the kids open ended materials like molding clay, wet sand, paint and crayons and many more to foster creativity in them.
- Explore ideas and concepts
Since the kids play with their own imagination and creativity there is ample opportunity to explore new ideas and concepts and keep working on them. This enables confidence building in children and an enhanced self-awareness of their own abilities.
- Provides a low stress environment
Open-ended play is very useful and helps children to be stress-free as there is no competition, deadline, or rules of do’s and don’ts binding the play. Since there are no limitations and no right answers to be given, it gives a freedom of imagination and thinking to the children, which will leave them stress free.
- Kids teach themselves
Open-ended play encourages children to teach themselves since they play on their own and there are no guidelines to be followed. Kids try to explore new ideas on their own, learn from their mistakes, and find out ways to overcome roadblocks in the most innovative manner.
- Develop social and emotional intelligence
In open-ended plays, children pretend play using their imagination. They also play in groups and this builds communication skills with playmates allowing easy socializing as well. They also learn to respond in a better way. Children learn to react and feel a number of emotions when they are pretend playing and this helps to enhance their emotional intelligence.
Always make a point that you buy toys that are open-ended for your kids. Be mindful in providing your children with toys that allow them to make their choices about the play and support them in building and developing their social, emotional, and cognitive and language skills. Skills developed during open-ended plays become a part of children’s character and instill positivity and confidence in them.