One of the most remarkable qualities in children is their imagination and creativity. As parents and teachers, we would love to encourage our child’s creativity on a regular basis. We can possibly do this during their playtime through games and activities that prioritize fun.
Open-ended play prioritizes fun and creativity. The perfect opportunity for engaging your child’s imagination and enhancing their social and emotional intelligence, the open-ended play presents a world of benefits for your child’s learning and intellectual growth.
What is open-ended play?
Open-ended play allows children to express their creativity freely. This kind of play allows your child endless possibilities during playtime. There are no instructions, rules, or preset sequential guides for children to follow. Unlike closed-ended games and activities, there is no “right” answer or “right” way to complete and finish the project. During open-ended play, children have the ability to make their own decisions and fully engage their creativity and imagination. Engaging your child in open-ended play is easy. Open-ended materials and toys are non-descript items that a child can play with freely. Examples include:
- Cardboard boxes
- Strictly Briks building bricks
- Paper supplies
Children practice their leadership and decision-making skills
Open-ended play gives your child the opportunity to be a leader. When children aren’t handed a set of instructions they make their own. Rather than telling a child how to do something, the open-ended play leaves the decision-making up to them. Give your child a board game and they’ll follow the rules as told. Give them a set of building bricks with no end result to follow, and they’ll build a creation entirely from their imagination. They become the creative leader of their playtime and develop critical decision-making skills.
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Children become open to experimenting with new ideas and learning new concepts
There’s no “wrong” way for children to engage in open-ended play. When children have the ability to play without instruction, they become less concerned with doing the activity correctly. Open-ended play instills confidence in your child to experiment with new concepts as they realize there’s no right or wrong way to engage. When your child sits down with a set of colored pencils and a blank piece of paper, they can draw and color anything their imagination desires. They can practice their handwriting, or write their name. Children can draw a lion, a bird, or a castle. They can draw whatever they’d like without having to ask if they’re doing it correctly. Children become less afraid to make mistakes, which pushes them to try new things.