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I have seen a few references to this here and there. I kind of get the concept--like toys where you push a button and the same thing happens involve predetermined play--no imagination, etc. And playsilks can be used for anything, so they are completely open-ended. So those are the two extremes. I'm not as clear on other things. What about play kitchens, for instance? Would those be considered open-ended, encouraging creative play? What about toy cars? This is a new concept for me and I'm very interested in learning more--I'd appreciate any input. Thanks!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">:
 

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i think of toys that can be played with in different ways, like train sets and blocks that you can build any of a million different ways. dolls, play kitchen and food, doll house are some others that come to mind. especially avoid any toys that have characters from TV or any media source. kids will really lock into what the character does on their show and wont' be creative at all. oh, generic puppets would be another great open-ended, creative play option. so would be dress up clothes (again assuming they are not licsensed characters or tv/movies). HTH!<br><br>
way to go on making thoughtful choices for your little ones play!
 

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I would consider our laundry basket and open-ended item <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> The other night as I was online window shopping DS entertained himself quite a bit with a laundry basket he hid himslelf and other things under it asking "where'd it go?" He also likes to put things in it and carry it around the house. He's really into putting things in boxes and bags.
 

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I was just discussing this with my mom. She was thinking about getting ds a big plastic dinosaur for Christmas that moves and roars.<br><br>
I told her he would certainly enjoy it, but he would get much more use out of something that was more versatile.<br><br>
She suggested a set of small dinosaurs that don't do anything, but can be used in various imaginitive ways. I told her that was a great idea!<br><br><a href="http://www.truceteachers.org/toyactionguide.html#choosing" target="_blank">http://www.truceteachers.org/toyacti....html#choosing</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dawn--that is a great website, thanks! I can also give the link to relatives. will wait for DS's bday on that--this year I have bombarded them with MiC and plastic concerns and i think they have already done their shopping. My mom got DS a jack-in-the-box. There's something that only does one thing--oh well!<br><br>
Enjoying these responses--thanks--keep em coming!
 

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Every year we try to think of one "big" toy to give our twins that is open-ended *and* encourages joint play. I love that they haven't outgrown any of the toys yet, even though they got the first one at 10 months, and now they're nearly five. This is what we've given them so far:<br><br>
1. An indoor wooden slide (which is sometimes a boat, sometimes a cave, sometimes a ramp for cars to zoom down, sometimes a stage, sometimes part of a gymnastics show, etc.).<br><br>
2. <a href="http://www.littlecolorado.com/stock180.html" target="_blank">A little wooden play house</a> and a set of <a href="http://www.magiccabin.com/magiccabin/product.do?section_id=1&bc=1004&pgc=613&sv=333353&cmvalue=MCD|1|TOYS%20%20GAMES%20DEPARTMENTS|333353|333353-P1" target="_blank">puppets</a> (sometimes a puppet theatre, sometimes an ice cream stand, sometimes a cozy hang-out, sometimes a post office, etc.)<br><br>
3. A wooden sink/oven and fridge and play food (sometimes a restaurant, sometimes the set for a cooking show, sometimes incorporated into doll play, etc.)<br><br>
4. <a href="http://www.barclaywoods.com/toy_blocks_medium.htm" target="_blank">A great set of blocks</a> with some <a href="http://www.communityplaythings.com/c/toytrucks/D611.htm" target="_blank">cars</a> (used to make castles, roads, houses, barns, forts, etc.)<br><br>
5. A set of <a href="http://www.creativityinstitute.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=770" target="_blank">huge soft blocks</a> (houses, climbing, surfing, castles, etc.)<br><br>
I really like having toys that don't really make sense to fight over. They're more fun if you play with them together. Plus, all 3 of my kids (1 yo, and 4 yo) enjoy the toys equally, as do their older friends who come to visit.<br><br>
It is getting harder and harder, though, to find new toys that are so open-ended. This year I am thinking of getting a set of wooden carved animals. But then I worry about the kids fighting over particular animals. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
Lex
 

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Other examples of open ended toys...<br><br>
Blocks can be used to build any number of things<br><br>
Large box of legos-Legos can be used to build all kinds of things-avoid sets with pictures of set designs and ones related to movies etc<br><br>
Animals and People Figurines<br><br>
Puppets<br><br>
Dolls<br><br>
Kitchens/Play Food can be used for playing restraunt, tea party, house etc.<br><br>
A big key to open ended play is avoiding products tied to licensed charcaters, movies, TV programs and avoiding products with batteries.
 

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A toy with many potential uses is the best. We have a wooden kitchen and half a playstand next to it where i put all of their vegetables, food stuffs ( i have wooden and WAHM made knit crotcheted/felt foods). This week we have played restaurant and store with my 4 yo, my one year old just likes to bang on things.<br>
Dump trucks, a nice size one that can hold blocks. Love colored square blocks, my kids load the truck & unload all day.<br>
A small bag ( i have 2 or 3 of those soft lunch bags) the kids use these for shopping withe the play foods.<br>
Playsilks for sure, this week we used ours for peekaboo, a sling, backpack, knight costume, to tie to toys together to make a cart etc.<br>
Wooden blocks, all shapes sizes, you can build on them as they get older with different types of architectural sets<br>
Cardboard blocks, like the ones at Imagiplay. We make garages, my mother plays golf w/ my kids w/ these, today my toddler made a magic theater set.<br>
This year our gifts to the kids are a Teepee, plain cotton, nothing fancy, we had a nylon one & it gave off weird fumes<br>
Set of large blocks, ramps to build with, made of wood<br>
Wooden jeep & trailer<br>
Wooden animals & dinosaurs<br>
Dress up clothes, knight outfit, cape
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lexbeach</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9882190"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">5. A set of <a href="http://www.creativityinstitute.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=770" target="_blank">huge soft blocks</a> (houses, climbing, surfing, castles, etc.)</div>
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Oh my goodness! These are awesome!! *I* want some of them to play with! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I've recently gone through all DS toys and put away any toys that encourage limited play.<br><br>
Now he has his kitchen with pots and pans etc. Some MegaBloks. Some wooden blocks. A basket full of musical instruments. Some dress up stuff. A tool box with some tools. Cars. Plus the odd thing like his torch, a magnifying glass, books (of course!) etc.<br><br>
If nothing else, if stops the house being such a tip! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nascarbebe</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9879589"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would consider our laundry basket and open-ended item <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> The other night as I was online window shopping DS entertained himself quite a bit with a laundry basket he hid himslelf and other things under it asking "where'd it go?" He also likes to put things in it and carry it around the house. He's really into putting things in boxes and bags.</div>
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When he has a little brother/sister old enough to play with, you will probably find out that that laundry basket (or even a medium sized box) also makes an AWESOME car and/or wagon. My sister and I (I'm 2 years older than her) used to tie a jumprope to one handle and take turns dragging each other up and down the hallway and around the house. Or we would just push one another. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes">:
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Learning_Mum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9885342"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">*I* want some of them to play with! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"></div>
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Honestly, I don't buy toys for my kids that I'm not excited to play with myself. I want to *want* to play with the kids, and I know that I'm going to end up cleaning the toys up pretty much everyday. So, before I ask myself, "is this something ds would like to play with?" I always first decide if it's something that *I* would like to play with. Even if it's something that I don't think would particularly appeal to my kids, if it's something that I'm going to play with, they're going to want to play with it too.<br><br>
Lex
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lexbeach</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9886348"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Honestly, I don't buy toys for my kids that I'm not excited to play with myself. I want to *want* to play with the kids, and I know that I'm going to end up cleaning the toys up pretty much everyday. So, before I ask myself, "is this something ds would like to play with?" I always first decide if it's something that *I* would like to play with. Even if it's something that I don't think would particularly appeal to my kids, if it's something that I'm going to play with, they're going to want to play with it too.<br><br>
Lex</div>
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Ooh! I love that philosophy. I already do that with books, buying ones I would enjoy reading myself, so that I'll be happy to read them to DS over and over. I like the idea of applying the same principle to toys. I've already been doing that to some extent, but hadn't really thought about it. Being mindful of that principle will really help me find good stuff for him. Thanks for sharing! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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The interesting thing is that even tho I've never been big into all the techy toys, I just couldn't figure out the open-ended ones--like play silks. In concept, it seemed nice, but would they really play with them? And often? Well, we don't a many toys at all (I keep throwing them out, lol). But my dc 5,3,6 mos play with the Legos daily. And babies and MY pots and pans and measuring cups (drives me nuts as I can't ever find them to cook with)<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">.<br>
But suddenly, it all came together for me with all the MIC scares. And I have had the most fun searching for and finding open-ended toys for my dc! We don't have much money to spend this year and it's been great to just choose one or two things knowing that they'll get used and LAST. This is what I'm doing.<br>
DS, 5 and DD 3--a marble run from quercetti<br>
6 mos old--wooden stacking (colored) cups<br>
SIGGS for the whole family<br><br>
(I will have to say that I bought a basket of HABA wooden food and while the quality is great, I was sad that they are so tiny. I had thought we would be slightly larger.)<br><br>
And we are going to try out the playsilks for dd bday...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">:
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nascarbebe</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9879589"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would consider our laundry basket and open-ended item <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> The other night as I was online window shopping DS entertained himself quite a bit with a laundry basket he hid himslelf and other things under it asking "where'd it go?" He also likes to put things in it and carry it around the house. He's really into putting things in boxes and bags.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
also one of DD's favorite toys! Whenever there is an empty basket around(the small round ones), on her head it goes and she runs around saying "I'm crazy insane basket-head!" yeah, we started that...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
BUT, she also likes to push it around, play with dolls in it, 'fold' clothes, etc.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lexbeach</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9886348"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Honestly, I don't buy toys for my kids that I'm not excited to play with myself. I want to *want* to play with the kids, and I know that I'm going to end up cleaning the toys up pretty much everyday. So, before I ask myself, "is this something ds would like to play with?" I always first decide if it's something that *I* would like to play with. Even if it's something that I don't think would particularly appeal to my kids, if it's something that I'm going to play with, they're going to want to play with it too.<br><br>
Lex</div>
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what a great point! i never considered that, but you are so right. I hate cleaning up some toys, others i inevitably end up playing with. such as the lego blocks (we have the quatro-sized).<br><br>
I can't WAIT for the Plan Toys dollhouse to come in<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dannic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9887477"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">(I will have to say that I bought a basket of HABA wooden food and while the quality is great, I was sad that they are so tiny. I had thought we would be slightly larger.)</div>
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I agree completely. I especially hate it when toys aren't to scale (i.e. strawberries and bananas the same size!). The haba strawberries, mushrooms and green beans are realistic enough, but the rest of the wooden food is just too tiny. I do really like their line of cloth food, though (<a href="http://www.maukilo.com/getproduct.php?pid=5546&menu_man=139" target="_blank">sandwiches</a> and <a href="http://www.oompa.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?item=HA1451&source=froogle" target="_blank">pasta</a>). Otherwise, I like the Plan Toys <a href="http://www.blountys.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=PL53371" target="_blank">fruits and veggies</a>, <a href="http://www.oompa.com/baby-toys/item/PL34150/Plan-Toys-Breakfast-Menu.html" target="_blank">breakfast set</a>, and <a href="http://www.moolka.com/jzv/prod/20569/Plan+Toys/Toys/Kitchen+Play/Food+Sets/Food+and+Beverage+Set?p=YzE9MzMyJmMzPTQyMw==" target="_blank">condiments</a>.<br><br>
Lex
 

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Great thread! Great posts!<br><br>
I think imaginative play is so important (and will happen with or without open ended toys) but open ended toys facilitate imaginative play...<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes">:
 
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