playing with open ended toys

Close-Ended vs. Open-Ended Toys in Montessori

It’s a fact that children can learn and discover the world as much through play. Unstructured play is beneficial for kids both physically and mentally, but structure also provides a sense of boundaries and understanding of rules. This is why the importance of toys cannot be understated as part of learning and skills development. 

A Montessori approach provides a good mindset in toy shopping. A good example of this is choosing between close-ended and open-ended toys. People often favor one over the other, when the reality is that both are beneficial to a child’s development. The key to having the right set of Montessori toys is to have a perfect balance of the two. 

But how are close-ended and open-ended toys really differ from each other? Here’s a quick rundown of the benefits and disadvantages of each type.

Close-ended Toys for Designed Play

Close-ended toys such as books, puzzles, shape sorters, and tracing materials are toys with specific objectives to achieve.  In other words, there is one way to ‘play’ with them. Often, they come with instructions or lessons. 

Some of the benefits of this type of toy include:

    • Builds attention span and concentration – Since they come with specific sets of directions and instructions for how a child should go and end, playing with closed-ended toys helps build attention span and concentration by encouraging the child to complete the game. 
    • Brings a sense of purpose and accomplishment – Kids want nothing more than having a sense of purpose and accomplishment, and closed-ended toys can do just that.
  • Teaches the importance of directions and rules – Since there are specific ways to play them, closed-ended toys teach children the importance of following the instructions to complete the task. This also encourages them to pay attention to details or even look for loopholes within the rules. 
  • Develops and refines motor skills – Puzzle pieces, for examples, require fitting the right pieces in the right places and in the right orientation. This requires fine motor skills, such as hand and eye coordination, dexterity, precision, and more.
  • Encourages self-correction, memorization and mastery – When a particular puzzle piece won’t fit perfectly or wobbles in its place, they will know to try a different way. Subsequently, they will begin to memorize different sequences and master the whole puzzle.
  • Build good habits – After playing with closed-ended toys, children are asked to put the toys back to the shelf. Cleaning up and taking care of their environment (play area) is an extremely important habit to develop.  open ended and closed ended toys

Open-Ended Toys for Free Play

Open-ended toys are toys without expectations, rules, and defined ending points. Action figures, building blocks, cars, doll houses, Legos, and stuffed animals can be played in different ways and endlessly. It cultivates creativity and imagination. Some of its benefits include:

  • Provides an avenue for testing ideas – Since it requires creativity and imagination, children will have all the opportunity to test and explore new concepts, ideas, and theories. The endless ways to use the toys (and materials) can help them come up with new ways to play with. 
  • Gives a sense of freedom – Since there are no instructions and rules on how to play the toys (or games), children will feel more relaxed and comfortable in playing. This provides a safe and nurturing environment. They will not be afraid to make mistakes, thus, they will be more willing to take risks, explore different ideas, and engage their creative minds. This allows them to figure out “cause and effect”, think outside the box, and figure out what works and what doesn’t. 
  • Cultivating emotional intelligence – Social skills are just as important as knowledge. Your child’s ability to connect and communicate is an extremely important skill in life. They are the foundation of every positive relationship. Open-ended toys will teach your child to play with other kids, read social cues, and respond appropriately. In a Montessori school, children are encouraged to communicate; they will learn how to discuss, share ideas, and negotiate on how to play with multipurpose toys with other kids.

Both types of toys play a huge role in every child’s mental, emotional, and physical development. While they learn a sense of structure, correspond to instructions, and respect rules and boundaries in closed-ended toys, they will also learn how to work within the given rules. Subsequently, while open-ended toys let them play freely, their creativity and imagination stretch their cognitive skills as they get lost in their little own world.

Let kids be kids. Help them explore the world by giving them the right options to feed their curiosity and creativity.open ended toys for development  

33 Responses

  1. This article opened my eyes, I can feel your mood, your thoughts, it seems very wonderful. I hope to see more articles like this. thanks for sharing.

  2. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put
    in writing this website. I’m hoping to view the same high-grade content from
    you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own blog now 😉

    Review my webpage: Blaine

  3. Hey! I know this is kinda off topic but I was
    wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?

    I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve
    had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform.
    I would be fantastic if you could point me
    in the direction of a good platform.

    Here is my blog :: deltasone disponibile online senza ricetta

  4. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through
    Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I am going
    to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue
    this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

    Feel free to surf to my website – Florrie

  5. Hi, I do think this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may revisit once again since I book-marked it.
    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide
    others.

    My web page Vivian

  6. you’re actually a just right webmaster. The web site loading pace is amazing.
    It seems that you’re doing any distinctive trick.

    Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve performed a excellent activity on this subject!

    Feel free to surf to my web blog … Bernadette

  7. I have read so many content concerning the blogger lovers however this post is genuinely a pleasant
    post, keep it up.

    my homepage: Ronda

  8. Hey there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came
    to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and
    will be tweeting this to my followers! Wonderful blog and
    terrific design.

    Here is my page: où acheter buspar

  9. Attractive element of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and
    in accession capital to claim that I acquire in fact loved account your blog posts.
    Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I success you access consistently rapidly.

    Look at my web page – licoric disponible en Quito

  10. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well
    written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more
    of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

    Visit my webpage; achat en ligne de fusimed

  11. I savour, result in I found just what I used to be taking a look for.
    You have ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day.
    Bye

    Here is my page … Candy

  12. Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; we have developed
    some nice practices and we are looking to exchange strategies with other folks, please shoot me
    an e-mail if interested.

    Also visit my page – Infórmate sobre el precio del Terbistad

  13. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to
    see if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube
    sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

    My webpage … zyloprim pour un traitement sûr et efficace

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Montessori Diploma 3-6 Years Online Course
Montessori Lower Elementary 6-9 Years Certificate Course
Montessori Certificate 3-6 Years Online Course
Short Certificate Courses 2-6 Years for Parents and Educators