Open-Ended Play

Best Toys to Spark Imagination

Posted by Anneliese Lawton

I love watching my little ones play, especially when it’s unstructured. There’s something so magical about watching their imagination come to life. The games and roles they take on are ones they create from within. Their joy is pure and their play so innocent. If you, like me, love watching your little ones imagination run free, then these are the perfect toys and activities for them. 

Tiny Tales – Sensory Kits 
6 bowls of colored rice for sensory play in a Tiny Tales Sensory Kit.

Nothing sparks imagination like a sensory kit. They’re a great way to keep your child engaged for hours on end. Each sensory kit from Tiny Tales Boutique contains themed material and props to allow for endless creativity and dramatic play, as well as fine motor development and cognition skills. Explore sensory rice, slime, and play dough with different themes ranging from bugs to under the sea. Perfect for ages 3 and up. 

Tiny Tales – 12-piece Montessori Tools 
Tiny Tales Boutique 12 Piece Montessori set with wooden tools to encourage dexterity and imagination

Expand sensory play with this 12-piece Montessori inspired sensory tool set from Tiny Tales. The kid includes wooden scoops, bowls, tongs, and more perfect for stimulating fine motor skills and imaginative play. 

Magna-Tiles – 100-Piece Building Set
Girl engineers creative build with Magnatiles Classic 100 piece set.

Magna-Tiles are colorful magnetic tiles that allow children to experiment and play through creative problem-solving and exploration. If you have some Magna -Tiles around the house, gather them up and enjoy a fun afternoon of STEM creativity. The tiles are also an excellent way to support open-ended play—a style of play that introduces objects without any objective, rules, or guidelines (if your magnatiles come with building instructions you can simply play without them for open-ended playtime).

Magna-Tiles – 110-Piece Metropolis Set
Colorful engineered building made with Magnatiles 110 piece Metropolis set.

Prepare to be ah-mazed. With Metropolis 110-Piece Set, children can build anything their imagination desires – from city skylines to medieval fortresses to outer space colonies – and dream up the stories that bring them to life. The set includes a fun combo of geometric shapes and unique shapes like windows, staircases, a spinner pieces, and more designed to extend playtime. 

Kidamento – Digital Cameras for Kids
Boy and girl peer together at the lens of the Kidamento digital camera while a black and white photo prints.

 There’s nothing like seeing the world through your child’s eyes, and now you can! The Kidamento Kids Digital Cameras are designed for children age 3 and up. The camera features adorable animal designs, IPS touchscreen, and some even have a built-in instant printer making it easy for little hands to build confidence as they adjust various modes and settings. Your child will love exploring the various frames and filters as they explore their creativity. The best part: it’s super durable and lightweight – perfect for dropping and rough play. 

Clover & Birch Busy Bag Set 
Clover and Birch 4 pack of Busy Bags

Busy bags for busy kids. This four-pack busy bag set from Clover & Birch is a must have for little ones on the go. Keep your four pack in the car so that a busy bag is always ready for doctors appointments, long car rides, or while you’re waiting for food at restaurants. Toss a busy bag in your purse as you get out of the car and enjoy watching your babe open the bag in excitement to see which one you’ve grabbed. The four pack set includes: Bowl & Scoop Montessori Inspired Set, Egg Cup Montessori Inspired Set, Alphabet Set, Animal Matching Set. Each set comes with its own organic cotton drawstring bag for easy clean up. 

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