Beep-Beep! Chugga-Chugga! Vroom-Vroom!
If my days had a soundtrack, those sounds would definitely dominate the playlist. If a toy has wheels, my boys love it. If the toy has sounds and batteries, I'm a tad bit more selective.
In these modern days with iPads, smart phones, and buttons at every turn, I find myself a bit old fashioned in my toy selections. Sure, we have electronics in our home, but we don't go hog wild. Instead, we try to make sure that we are removing the biggest obstacle for open-ended play and providing toys to engage them.
When we choose toys that come with limited purposes and lots of bells and whistles, we essentially hand our kids a script and rob them of creativity. When we hand our kids a toy with only one purpose, they use it, get tired of it, and move on. Too often, we walk through the toy store and get blinded by all the lights and noises. If we're being honest here, and we totally are, most of us regret these toys by the time the wrapping paper is cleaned up and the batteries are placed within.
Providing open-ended toys with multiple uses allows children to write their own storyline and build their own stage. There isn't a script written by someone else---they can make their own noises and decided how the toy should be used. With open-ended toys there isn't a right or wrong way to play.
Are you ready to throw out the script?
This post is a part of the series, 31 Days of Open-Ended Play. Be sure to read all the posts in the series for more great ideas for encouraging learning and creativity through open-ended play.