Simple Wooden Toys Teach Kids So Much | Toyco

Wooden toys have been around for centuries – in fact, according to the Toy Hall of Fame, the humble stick could well be the oldest toy in the world. And while you may not think of a stick as a toy, you have to remember that your imagination operates a little differently from that of a child. Any youngster is capable of turning anything into a toy. You know the famous scenario of presenting a child with a fancy gift at Christmas, only for them to be more interested in the box it came in. You were like that yourself once! It just goes to show that simple objects can be just as much fun for little ones, and that is certainly the case with wooden toys. And those basic toys can teach kids so much through something called open-ended play.

Any wooden toddler toys sold by toy retailers will not be the most technologically advanced products in their range. But they are still highly important and should be a part of every toy collection as they encourage open-ended play. This activity is extremely beneficial in the development of young minds, and here’s why.

Open-ended play can be described as a type of play where there are no fixed answers, or predetermined limitations or outcomes. It allows children to use their growing imagination to let the play session take them in any direction their creativity steers them. As there will never be any set outcomes with open-ended play, there are also no rules to follow. Plus, there is no correct or incorrect way of doing things. Children are curious, and open-ended play presents them with the chance to explore further because there are no limits and no structure. They are the ones in charge of their play experience and because of this, they are likely to learn more than what made-for-purpose toys might teach them.

Made-for-purpose toys are usually single-purpose items. These are things like games or puzzles that lead to a predetermined conclusion e.g. a child has to complete a puzzle or win a game for the objective to be reached. These toys are still educational, and a lot of fun. But they force the child to act within certain boundaries and rules. On the other hand, simple wooden toys, like blocks, are multi-use and they inspire the young ones to use their imagination and creativity. There are no boundaries, no rules, no expectations, no solutions, and no pressure to compete. The kids are the bosses here. Wooden toys allow them to keep playing and learning in their own way.

Wooden blocks are particularly good in this respect. Kids can turn them into anything they like. At the same time, they help children grow their communication, language, motor skills, mathematical vocabulary and concepts, concentration, self-control as well as the common themes of creativity, imagination and exploration. They’re versatile too and can be incorporated into other areas of play, including water, sand and role play.

Wooden toys and open-ended play go hand in hand. As such, while kids are having fun they’re learning a great deal at the same time. So the next time your child plays with a stick instead of some fancy toy, be grateful. In their own way, they’re expanding their imagination and creativity.