As a first time mother I remember telling myself that I will be very conscience about the toys that my daughter will play with. I did not want to buy things that only to make noise or were meant to be stared at I wanted everything to be a very conscience decision and free flowing.
For her first birthday we had a party and suddenly there were so many toys. For some time I did enjoy watching her interact with all her presents but after a while I could tell that having so many choices was making her very overwhelmed. She was spoilt for choice and decision fatigue was becoming very real for her.
That was when I implementing toy rotation. Not a new concept by any means but from what I understand it’s a way to have about 3 to 4 toys out at one time that allows for a child’s imagination to grow. While I was researching the whole concept I also came across the concept of Open Ended Toys. This was very fascinating for me because I could almost immediately identify that she was interested in all her open ended toys.
The first time I noticed this was when I found that she first used a piece of cloth as a cape to be a super hero and then the same cloth became a beach towel in a matter of minutes. I then could tell that this was the route I wanted to take for her. I wanted to have her have the most vivid imagination.
Between reading books and playing with a few toys at a time I could tell that she was flurishing. She was using her imagination and was also being able to problem solve.
One of the unexpected things that happened was the she was engaged with her toys for longer periods of time and needed very little intervention from me.
Some Open-ended toys that we love to play with are Blocks/Legos, Magnetic Tiles, Play Dough and Kinetic Sand.