OPEN ENDED TOY RECOMMENDATIONS 1-12 YEARS OLD

What are Open Ended Toys?

Open-ended Toys are toys that allow children to make choices, support their
independence, express their creativity and imagination.


Open-ended Toys by definition do not have a pre-determined use.
For example: A block can be an airplane, remote control, phone, a doll’s
chair, their favourite treat. There are no limits to what they can use the
materials for in their play.


The way that your child will play with these toys will be heavily
influenced by their age, developmental stage, their interests and lived
experiences.


It is through these play experiences that children are able to make
concrete connection in their brain that are stored in their memory for
future reference.

I’m happy to finally provide this recommendation guide that you as a parent can reference, that you can send family and friends for birthday and holiday gift ideas and it will explain the why, which developmental benefits it will have, the type of play it will promote within your child and the longevity of engagement it will have.

Each months recommendations are not a suggestion of owning all toys but a proper description or how and how long your child will most likely be interested in engaging with these toys for years to come.

When you go through https://modernrascals.ca/ and start filling up your carts try to calculate the price for years of engagement.

For Example I recommend in most months in the first year Folkmanis Finger Puppets, most are around $13 but will be played with and enjoyed with until 12 , We have these in my kinder and school- ager programs and the habitats, block play etc are incredible. They are perfect editions to literacy baskets and pairing with songs and stories and so much more!

Add these toy recommendations with a balanced mixture of household items, items found in nature and Recyclables.

These are again open-ended toy suggestions and guidelines of toys that I own, My Daycare programs own and I have over a decade of environmental exposure to gage how long your child will enjoy playing with them or have used them in my workshops.

This post is sponsored by Modern Rascals, my favorite Canadian sustainable & ethical clothing and toy e-commerce store. They have the best variety of my absolute favourite brands and the best quality out there! These are my honest toy recommendations for each age!

As you start to make your Modern Rascals wish list before checking out you can use VANESSA10 to save 10% off your entire toy order ( code can only be used once & not affiliated ) and there are also flexible payment plans to look into on the site as you invest into your child/children’s open ended toy collections.

One Year

This months recommendations are factoring in that your family members and friends will be looking for present options, you might looking to purchase some bigger investment toys that will grow with your child all the way to the next year and beyond. During Amadeo’s first year is when I started adding these items or these types of toys into his toy collection. He is currently two and still gravitates to them all almost daily or when I bring them out into rotation. The wobble Board and Large Stepped Pyramid are hands down the two most used toys within our household.

Developmental benefits: There’s a lot going this month not only for your little one but for you as a parent! You all survived and thrived in your first year, standing ovation all around! During this month you’re going to see your almost one year old start to strive to complete those gross motor developmental milestones. They’re developing sharper finger control with wider range of motion, as well as learning the use of several more objects once modeled by a care giver. Keep in mind we are heading into the destructive play early years so breaking down towers and dumping bins out are helping aid in their brain connections and development.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your one year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, and Object Play.

The longevity of engagement: All of these First Year Birthday recommendations will be enjoyed for over a decade by your child/children! yay for open ended toys!

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Bamboo Wobble Boardhttps://modernrascals.ca/products/bamboo-wobbel-board?_pos=1&_sid=14ce15c67&_ss=r

2. Grimms Large Rainbow: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/grimms-element-large-rainbow

3.Holztiger Lion: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/lion-1

4. Grimms Large Stepped Pyramid: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/stepped-pyramid-4-cm-thick-building-sets

5. Colour Street Block Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/colour-street-45-pieces

6.Wooden Tweezers: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wooden-tweezers

7. Grimms threading game: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/thread-game-in-a-wooden-frame

Second Year

Developmental benefits: During the second year (terrible twos, the stage were I am currently with Amadeo) your children are really starting to figure out the world around them, their emotional brain is developing, their interested in learning and growing in ways that lead them to becoming more independent. They start to be able to follow simple requests, are starting to recognize colour and shape and become interested in sorting by categories. If provided with open ended resources they will start to tap into their creativity and imagination. Most of their focus, interest and preference for play with done parallel to their siblings or primary caregivers.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your two year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Rough and Tumble Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, and Role Playing.

The longevity of engagement: All of these recommendations will be enjoyed for over a decade by your child/children! yay for open ended toys! How toys are presented and modified as they grow and development will change by their personalities, interests and their age and stage of development.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Grimms threading game: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/thread-game-in-a-wooden-frame

2. Grimms Rainbow Balls: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wooden-balls-rainbow

3. Grimms Large Rainbow: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/grimms-element-large-rainbow

4. Bamboo Wobble Boardhttps://modernrascals.ca/products/bamboo-wobbel-board?_pos=1&_sid=14ce15c67&_ss=r

5.Grapat Nins Carla: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/nins-carla

6.Grimms Semi Circles : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/grimms-rainbow-semicircle

7.Grimms Stacking bowls: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/natural-stacking-bowls

Third Year

Developmental benefits: During your children’s third year their imagination and language skills are developing very quickly . They’re vocabulary is getting stronger and more complex, making up stories and play activities, and focusing on learning to build relationships. Mixed in with all this fun, they’re also trying to learn right from wrong and how to manage their feelings, which can sometimes overwhelm them, three is alot for your child’s emotional regulation.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your three year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Rough and Tumble Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, and Role Playing.

The longevity of engagement: All of these recommendations will be enjoyed for over a decade by your child/children! yay for open ended toys! How toys are presented and modified as they grow and development will change by their personalities, interests and their age and stage of development. You know your child best and where their skill set is but I’m going to guess that the cutter will last for this year and then with practice and mastery they will be able to move onto a sharper knife.

Toys from Top Left to Right

  1. American Sign Language Blocks: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/sign-language-blocks

2. King Of The Road Way To Play Set: https://modernrascals.ca/products/king-of-the-road?_pos=5&_sid=718f000d3&_ss=r

3.Orange Candy Lab Car: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/rio-grande-orange-mule-candycar

4.Raduga Grez Tea Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/raduga-grez-tea-set-natural

5. Holtztiger Elephant: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/elephant-with-raised-trunk

6. Ocamora Kids Cutter: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/maple-childrens-cutter

7. Acorn babies: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/rainbow-acorn-babies

Fourth Year

Developmental benefits: During your child’s 4 year they will learn comparisons, like big and small, and long and short, become very interested in sorting, patterns creating schemas. Most children will be starting to transition to kindergarten in this year so there are big changes they will need to adjust to, learning through play will help work out all these new experineces.They will also be learning their full name, age, address, and phone number — very important in case a child is lost or gets separated from you. The toys recommended above will help fulfill your child’s desire to sort, match, and create patterns. We have most of these products and Amadeo LOVES them! The dragon is the next holztiger figure on our list!

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your four year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, and Role Playing.

The longevity of engagement: All of these recommendations will be enjoyed for over a decade by your child/children! yay for open ended toys! How toys are presented and modified as they grow and development will change by their personalities, interests and their age and stage of development.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Grapat mandala pieces: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/mandala-mini-honeycombs-36-pieces-in-yellows

2. Grimms Rainbow Forest: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/grimms-rainbow-forest

3.Grimms Sorting Mushrooms: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/grimms-sorting-game-rainbow-mushrooms

4. Grapat Lola Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/lola-set-72-pieces

5.Holztiger Dragon: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/green-dragon

6. Grapat Tomtens: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/tomtens

7. Translucent Cubes: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/translucent-cubes-100-pieces

Fifth Year

Developmental benefits: Year five is a BIG one! Your child is gaining more responsibility at home and school preparing for the next years to come. Around this age they will start to recognize most letters of the alphabet, count more then ten objects at a time, know the names of at least four colours and understand the basic concepts of time. They will want to please and be liked by their friends, though they may sometimes be mean to others. Agree to the rules and instructions most of the time, display and follow through most daily tasks independently.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your five year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, and Role Playing.

The longevity of engagement: All of these recommendations will be enjoyed for over a decade by your child/children! yay for open ended toys! How toys are presented and modified as they grow and development will change by their personalities, interests and their age and stage of development. The sets you purchase like the Grimms weather set can be used to learn and recognize the weather but also be added to imaginative and creative play for years to come.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Grimms Rainbow Houses: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/building-set-small-houses

2. Grimms Weather Set: https://modernrascals.ca/products/weather-set?_pos=1&_sid=5e9001a80&_ss=r

3.Grapat Insects: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/insects-18-pieces

4. Grimms Building Block Set of 5: https://modernrascals.ca/products/building-set-shapes-and-colours-part-1-70-piece?_pos=105&_sid=a5f527609&_ss=r

5.King Of The Road Way To Play Set: https://modernrascals.ca/products/king-of-the-road?_pos=5&_sid=718f000d3&_ss=r

6. Grimms Rainbow Threading Buttons: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/thread-game-large-rainbow-buttons

7.Grapat Mandala Rain Drops: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/mandala-mini-rainbdrops-36-pieces-in-blues

Sixth Year

Developmental benefits: In this next year your child will be working on becoming more independent, extending their attention span, understand the concept of number and be able to tell time. Understand day from night , left to right and gravity. To help your six year old strengthen their attention span and amount of time they can play and engage with their toys independently these open ended selections will help build upon their creativity and imagination.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your six year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, and Role Playing.

The longevity of engagement: All of the items selected in this month will be love, engaged with and appreciated until their at least 12.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Moon Phase Blocks: https://modernrascals.ca/products/moon-phase-blocks?_pos=14&_sid=d2ba6ce74&_ss=r

2.Raduga Grez Veggie Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/raduga-grez-veggies-set

3.Nins with Wizard Hats: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/nins-with-wizard-hats-12-pieces

4.Grimms Perpetual Calendar : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/perpetual-calendar-english

5.Grapat counting coins: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wooden-counting-coins-60-pieces

6.Rainbow Bosque Trees: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/bosque-trees

7.Fairyland Building Set: https://modernrascals.ca/products/fairytale-building-set-75-pieces?_pos=97&_sid=a5f527609&_ss=r

Seventh Year

Developmental benefits: During this year most seven year olds display an interest for knowledge and will have an innate curiosity and excitement about things in the world around them. They are natural explorers, scientists, and analysts, and often ask questions about everything from why the sky is blue to where babies come etc. At this age, they also take great pride in sharing their knowledge about things and often enjoy showing younger children skills that they themselves have mastered.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your seven year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, and Role Playing.

The longevity of engagement: These are some of my FAVOURITE school-ager toy and educational options. Great for skill building and cooperative play.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Grimms Concave Blocks : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/blocks-concave-finds-convex-24-pieces

2.Grapat Small Rainbow Marbles: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wood-marbles-in-rainbow-colours-36-pieces

3.Castle Building Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/castle-building-set

4.Grimms Spiral Building Steps: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/counter-rotating-stepped-spiral

5.Grapat Acorn & Rainbow Sorting Bowls: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/wooden-bowls-and-acorns-with-tongs

6.Grimms Casa Luna: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/casa-luna

7.Tangram Battle Game: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/tangram-battle

EighthYear

Developmental benefits: Your eight year old will tend to become very social during this year, want to spend the majority of their time interacting with their peers instead of adults and the opinions of their friends will become increasingly important. At this age they are more likely to follow rules and boundaries that they are involved with helping create. Have rapidly changing emotions. Angry outbursts are common. Many children are critical of others, especially of their parents. They may seem dramatic and sometimes rude.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your eight year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, Role Playing, and Imaginative Play.

The longevity of engagement: These block sets by grimms are just to die for and are great add on sets for your child around this age as they tend to create more intricate and complex structures.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Cedar Hollow Knitting Spool: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/large-knitting-spool-4-pegs

2.Biodiversity Kaleidoscope: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/biodiversity-kaleidoscope

3.Bird caller: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/mallard-duck-bird-call

4.Grapat Nins Of The Forest: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/nins-of-the-forest-with-wool-felt

5.Grimms Counting Rainbow Block Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys?page=12

6.Grimms Romanesque Block Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/romanesque-4x4cm-building-set

7.Bird Eggs in a Basket: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/a-dozen-bird-eggs-in-a-basket

Ninth Year

Developmental benefits: Your child is in their ninth year will begin to master recognizing basic social norms that they’re exposed to and appropriate behaviour. Will be able to foster caring solid friendships and should have a strong sense of empathy. This is when children can tend to experience more anxiety from common stressful situations like socializing with people they aren’t familiar with and preforming in school etc. They’re often much more interested to draw, paint, make jewelry, build models, or do other activities that use their fine motor skills, creativity and imagination. The Grapat Mandala Pieces would be amazing for this age and up as loose parts.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your nine year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, Role Playing, and Imaginative Play.

The longevity of engagement: This element block set by grimms is beautiful and would be great to add on sets for your child around this age as they tend to create more intricate and complex structures. introducing independent opportunities to gain math and science concepts will be helpful and engaging as well.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Erzi Building Log Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/building-logs-150-pieces

2.Ocamora Blue Rainbow: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/nesting-arch-blue-9pcs

3.Erzi Number Game :  https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/educational-game-numbers

4.Grimms element puzzle: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/large-four-elements-building-set

5.Erzi Balance Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/balance-set

6.Grimms Large Octagon Puzzle : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/octagon-mandala-puzzle-large

7.Grimms colourful Mats: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/colourful-mats-game

Tenth Year

Developmental benefits: Working with a group of children in grade 5 has really shown me that this is a BIG year for change. Your child will either be ready to act like a teenager or more on the adolescents side of things because this can be a overwhelming time for hormones and emotions. They Admire and imitate older youth, are beginning to question authority and if it aligns with their wants, needs and beliefs and are very interested in group games and play. These next couple years before we leave the early developmental years are a bit trickier to get your children to want to play and be creative with toys, that’s why open ended toys and building materials will be great to try to take their attention away from electronics.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your ten year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, Role Playing, and Imaginative Play.

The longevity of engagement: These recommendations are meant to spark a love for nature, expand on your Childs imagination and creativity and allow for group play to take place.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Grimms Leonardo Building Sticks: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/leonardo-building-sticks-in-rainbow

2.Insect Hotel : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/le-jardin-insect-hotel

3.Folkmani Lady Bug Lifecyle: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/ladybug-life-cycle

4.Grimms Geometrical Shape Game: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/geometrical-domino-shapes-game

5.Grimms Disc Beads: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/rainbow-20mm-discs-240-pieces

6.Folkmanis Racoon Garbage Can Hand Puppet: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/raccoon-in-a-trash-can-hand-puppet

7.Marble Run : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/marble-circuit-67-pieces

Eleventh Year

Developmental benefits: This year puberty is making many changes to your child’s young adult body and mind. Thought patterns are adjusting to adulthood and the brain is allowing them to start thinking about intangible ideas such as love, faith and the meaning of life. A positive outlook  on adulthood can help to make this transition an exciting one and less of a scary one. Their brain is becoming quite advanced now and are coping with more abstract thinking.  An 11 year old will be developing an understanding of hypothetical situations and will be showing a more adult way of thinking and expressing themselves.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your eleven year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, Role Playing, and Imaginative Play.

The longevity of engagement: These recommendations are meant to spark a love for nature, expand on your Childs imagination and creativity and allow for group play to take place.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Holztiger Mystery Box: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/holztiger/products/holztiger-mystery-box

2.Bamboo Dominos : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/bamboo-dominoes

3.Dragons Lair: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/bauspiel/products/dragons-lair

4.Knights Castle: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/bauspiel/products/knights-castle-10-pieces

5.GraPat Baby nins: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/grapat/products/6-baby-nins-in-a-coconut-shell

6.Grapat Rhythm Of Life Beads: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/grapat/products/the-rhythm-of-life-wood-coloured-chain

7.Papoose Earth Trees: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/papoose/products/earth-trees-spring

Twelfth Year

Developmental benefits: This is the last year that’s considered Early Developmental years. They are getting ready to leave elementary and off to secondary school which may create fears and anxiety within your child and they may require additional support or a confidence boost to help with their concerns. Playing lots of sport or having active interests can help to burn off energy and help with the stresses.

The type of play they promote: With these toys and the skills your twelve year old will be developing and working rapidly in their brain and these toys will help build the foundations of; Symbolic Play, Communication Play, Loco-motor Play, Exploratory Play, Object Play, Creative Play, Fantasy Play, Mastery Play, Role Playing, and Imaginative Play.

The longevity of engagement: These recommendations are meant to spark a love for nature, expand on your Childs imagination and creativity and allow for group play to take place.

Toys from Top Left to Right

1.Grimms Leonardo Building Sticks: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/leonardo-building-sticks-in-rainbow

2.Bird Eggs in a Basket: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/a-dozen-bird-eggs-in-a-basket

3.Grimms element puzzle: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/large-four-elements-building-set

4.Grimms Large Assembly Run: https://modernrascals.ca/products/ball-run-assembly-set-things-in-motion?_pos=1&_sid=488078eec&_ss=r

5.Insect Hotel : https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/le-jardin-insect-hotel

6.Mushrooms in a Basket: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/forest-mushroom-basket

7.Grimms Romanesque Block Set: https://modernrascals.ca/collections/toys/products/romanesque-4x4cm-building-set

One Reply to “OPEN ENDED TOY RECOMMENDATIONS 1-12 YEARS OLD”

  1. hi hey thnks ilikeyou mylove

    On Fri, Oct 16, 2020 at 3:53 PM Vanessa Ravalico wrote:

    > vanessaravalico posted: ” What are Open Ended Toys? Open-ended Toys are > toys that allow children to make choices, support theirindependence, > express their creativity and imagination. Open-ended Toys by definition do > not have a pre-determined use.For example: A block can” >

    Like

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