Top picks: engaging open-ended toys for children

As your kids grow, their preferences change.
Which means toys they loved today will be things that bore them tomorrow.
Now obviously, it is not possible for you to splurge on new toys every now and then. It is not realistic. But what you can do is buy a bunch of open-ended toys whenever you do.

They can actually be a really good investment as they encourage imaginative play. So even if your kid gets older, there is plenty of creative juice still left in that toy for them to play some more. In fact, there is a good chance that they would want to pick up an open-ended toy and play with it again and again. Think of it as a toy that grows older with them. And there are many such toys out there!

But before we give you a list, let us find out what an open-ended toy really is.

What makes a toy open-ended?

Actually, there are certain parameters that make a toy truly open-ended. These are:

  1. There is no need for guidance
  2. You do not need to supervise your kids when they are playing with these toys. Open-ended toys are all about independent play. There is no scope for instructions or guidance. All kids need to play with them is their imagination.

  3. They offer years of play
  4. Like we said, open-ended toys grow with your child. How? Well, for starters, they can be used in several ways. Which means your child should be able to derive endless hours of fun from them. In fact, as they grow, you kids might find new and different ways to play with said toy.

  5. They are very low tech
  6. And easy to use. With open-ended toys, batteries and recharging are mostly out of the question. Your child’s imagination is the only thing that is needed to keep them powered, really.

What are the best creative toys for kids?

Not a million dollar question, but knowing the answer will surely make you feel like a million bucks! In fact, we will not be surprised if you go down on a nostalgia trip looking at the names of many of the toys on this list! Let us begin.

  1. Building blocks
  2. A childhood favourite since the 1930s, with Legos or building blocks, sky’s the limit. Really. There is no end to how you can combine different pieces to come up with different shapes or objects. Another great thing about building blocks is that you get several limited editions, which kids will love collecting and using again and again.

  3. Wooden blocks
  4. The reason why wooden blocks make it to our list of best creative toys for kids is because they are inexpensive and offer more flexibility than building blocks or legos do. Kids can use them to make castles, dens, cars, houses – you name it, they will make it. In fact, as they grow older they can even paint it, thus adding an extra layer of fun.

  5. Magnetic tiles
  6. We love these so much, we think magnetic tiles are great toys for adults too! After all, you can mix and match different colours and shapes to create some really cool stuff. Besides, they are great for fidgeting too.

  7. Cardboard building kit
  8. Cardboard building kits might seem simple on the surface but they are amazing creative toys for kids. Most of them come with all the supplies your child needs to indulge in hours of imaginative play.

  9. Play dishes
  10. Yes, boys can play with them too. It is always fun to give kids just a couple of plastic play dishes and watch their imaginations run wild. We suggest you get durable, brightly coloured ones so kids get instantly attracted to them.

  11. Tea set
  12. Who does not like hosting a tea party? Your kids would even want to call their friends over when they have their own tea party set! And of course, when kids get together, fun is bound to ensure. Just make sure the tea set is made of kid-friendly materials.

  13. Pots and pans
  14. See an aspiring masterchef in your kid? Then your child will love having their own set of pots and pans to cook and play with. Again, opting for child-safe materials and designs is of paramount importance when choosing pots and pans.

  15. Play food
  16. Okay even if they are not little masterchefs, they can still tinker around with food. No, not real food, but play food. Playing food will fuel their imagination as they come up with recipes and storylines and characters all on their own!

  17. Cleaning tools
  18. Surprisingly, kids love to play ‘clean the house.’ However, most of the tools and equipment you actually have for the purpose can be too big for your child. So getting smaller cleaning tools especially for kids does make more sense. Who knows, it might even make them more responsible in the long run.

  19. Farm animals
  20. The great thing about farm animals is that kids can actually assign each animal a name, a character, key personality traits and just put a whole play-act together with minimal effort. These toys can easily keep up with the ever-changing stories your child concocts.

  21. Zoo animals
  22. Pretty similar to farm animals. Kids can use these to create their own jungle kingdom and recreate their favourite memory from a safari they went to with you.

  23. Dinosaurs
  24. Dinosaurs work equally well for both indoor and outdoor playtime. In fact, you can even add them to your child’s sensory bin and watch them play and interact with tiny dinosaurs in innovative ways.

  25. Dollhouse
  26. Since time immemorial, dollhouses have been one of the prime initiators of imagination in kids as they decorate the house and come up with a whole set of characters living and interacting within its four walls.

  27. Wooden train set
  28. Since they have to build the whole set on their own first to play with it, kids will enjoy all the creativity and effort that goes into creating an authentic railway track from scratch!

  29. Matchbox cars
  30. Yep, this age old parenting trick still works. Just leave your kids with a couple of matchbox cars and their imaginations will be vrooming and zooming in no time!

  31. Cash registers
  32. From running their own grocery store to having a cafe, kids will come up with a lot of different ideas to play with their toy register. In fact, they may even end up using it as their prized piggy bank!

  33. Science kit
  34. A basic lab kit replete with all of the equipment a child needs is actually a great gift too. Not only will it fuel kids to experiment, it will definitely help them develop their analytical skills in a fun manner.

  35. Kinetic sand kit
  36. Finally, kinetic sand has to be our most favourite sensory toy ever! The possibilities of play are literally endless with this one.

If your kid’s birthday is coming up or if there is any other occasion to gift them, we suggest you choose a couple of toys from this list. The hours of fun that come out of these toys will make both you and your kids happy. Luckily, at EuroKids, we employ quite a few of these toys in our preschool so your child can engage with their toys in a meaningful manner. Visit us to find out more!

Follow Us

Get Update

Subscribe our newsletter to get the best stories into your inbox!