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Open-ended play and directed play. Which one to choose?


Simply put, open-ended play generally does not have a final goal. For example, when your child plays with building blocks, they can build anything - there is no ‘right answer’. Directed play involves a goal, whether it’s a general or specific goal. For example, when your child is playing with a kitchen set, you tell them ‘can you cook three veggies?’ We love to incorporate both into our kits since both have their benefits. 

Open-ended play

  • Encourages creativity and imagination 
  • Encourages problem-solving 
  • Builds persistence 
  • Encourages language use and interaction 

Toy examples

  • Mushroom peg board 
  • Magic tissue box 

  • Supermarket shelf 

Directed play 

  • Encourages planning 
  • Builds self-regulation skills 
  • Encourages parent-child interaction 
  • Builds concentration 

Toy examples 

  • Fruit tree 

  • What’s in the grass? 

  • Discovery box

Research shows that both types of play have benefits, and there really aren’t really any disadvantages to doing either. We try to balance both ways of playing in our kits. Each toy can be explored by your child independently, but we also provide plenty of activity suggestions you can do with your child.