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As parents we spend a lot of time browsing through toy catalogues, reading reviews, and trying to find the best for our children. Whether we buy toys or rent them, we want toys that will hold our child’s attention, engage them in hours of creative play, and—hopefully—leave them better at the end of it.
Sometimes it’s confusing. What is the best type of toy for a child, anyway? The answer: there’s no one answer. But one thing to keep in mind whenever you’re out to buy toys or make rental selections from a catalogue: open-ended toys are the toys that will spark your child’s imagination, and those are the kind of toys that have the potential to lead to hour upon hour of creative fun.
Open-ended toys are toys that don’t just have one set way to be used, but can be repurposed by your child in a thousand different ways as his imagination prompts him. One wonderful open-ended toy that is a must-have in any house with small children is blocks or Duplos. As your child gets older, he’ll get into Legos, and when you buy toys you’ll want to buy him open-ended sets that provide him pieces to imagine up his own worlds rather than set-in-stone designs where you follow careful instruction to get to a finished model.
Some fun toys in our catalogue that fit the open ended category are the Ecoiffier Modular Kitchen and the VTech Zebra Scooter. The kitchen is meant to play kitchen with; okay, that much is defined; but your child gets to decide if she is a chef in a fancy restaurant or a pizza-man at the pizza shop, a housewife and mother preparing dinner for her dolls or a social butterfly getting up an entertainment. It’s all about creatively imagining scenarios for everyday objects.
What about a simple scooter? It can be a zebra scooter, as it says on the box, or it can be a battle steed in the last charge of the Light Brigade. A trusty cowboy mount, or the horse of the world’s top explorer: it’s all in your child’s hand, and there is no limit to where his imagination can take him.
So next time you’re out to buy toys, or you think about renting: get your child something open ended and let his imagination soar.
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