Benefits of open ended play for babies | Sensory Box Surprise

What are the benefits of open ended play?

What is open ended play?
In simple terms open ended play is anything that a child can play with in a variety of ways - choosing to play their way. 

As Richard Louv suggest  “A ‘loose-parts’ toy, as Nicholson defined it, is open-ended; children may use it in many ways and combine it with other loose-parts through imagination and creativity which excites all the senses, nature remains the richest source of loose parts.” 

Evidence through practice

Over the years when working with children a question would always come up, ‘what can children learn through open ended play?’
Fred Rogers once said 'Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning' 
In open ended play experiences there are no instructions, no rules or particular ways to play so there is no physical boundaries. You do not just have to roll a ball or build a tower with stacking cups. The child becomes the leader in their play, they can do whatever they want to, make their own decisions, change their pattern of play, experiment, investigate and learn through their own schema (pattern of play). And lets not forget that research suggests play stimulates brain development. There are endless opportunities in open ended play. 
What do children learn through open ended play?
When working in the early years sector it became apparent through observation that children initiate the lead,  think for themselves, develop creativity, supports their imagination, builds their resilience & independence. They can learn to experiment, make mistakes and create new ideas and concepts. Children can learn to concentrate on their task, problem solve and think for themselves about how to create or build something for example. Open ended play in my opinion is one of the best ways for children to learn and explore sensory resource in the early years.
Encourage open ended play with our award winning My Sensory Journey Subscription Boxes  & Sensory Surprise Boxes. Give children many opportunities to learn. There are some very exciting open ended resources to play with to support the development of curiosity, creativity, imagination, problem-solving skills and much more.
In the My Sensory Journey Subscription boxes, parents are given different ideas though a downloadable Parent Sensory Play Guide of things you can explore with your baby and the resources provided for the correct age and stage of development. But remember that your baby can play with resources how they wish to if you allow them. There is no right or wrong in open ended play.
Tag us in some of your pictures or stories of your baby enjoying open ended play experiences on our Facebook or Instagram page
Sources: Richard Louv, Jon Hamilton. Fred Rogers.