by Talya Metz February 18, 2022 3 min read
If you're stocking your Montessori classroom, you're likely not looking for open-ended toys.
But open-ended toys do have a place in the home environment.
They're great for intellectual development and creativity.
Skip this section if you already know!
However, if you're new to Montessori or even just new to purchasing toys for your child, this will help.
Open-ended toys can be used in many different ways and they don't have one purpose, for instance, a set of blocks or some variation of blocks (Magnatiles, Duplo, etc).
Whereas Montessori "toys", often referred to as shelf work, have a more clearly defined purpose, with a beginning, middle, and end to the activity. A puzzle is a good example.
A Montessori classroom often has exclusively purposeful, Montessori materials but a Montessori classroom schedule usually leaves time for open-ended play, like during outdoor time. More flexible Montessori classrooms will also allow children to use materials outside of their intended purpose for open-ended play.
At home, it's good to have a healthy mix of open-ended toys and time for free play. It's wonderful for development of the imagination.
These things are seriously THE. BEST.
And you might be thinking "Why do I need to spend money on a piece of colourful fabric? I have a ton of clothes, blankets, scarves, and towels. Aren't they the same?"
The material, colour, and size of Playsilks make them perfect for so many different activities. The silk provides a rich sensory experience and children are just naturally drawn to the beautiful colours.
From infancy to 6+, children will use them in so many imaginative, engaging ways - their open-ended uses are truly infinite.
For infants, I highly recommend mini playsilks because they are a better size for little ones.
Older children, who tend to engage in more imaginative play, will love the addition of giant playsilks.
Playsilks are the ultimate open-ended toy and an amazing addition to any play space. They can be used for many years in many different ways - both indoors and outdoors!
And, best of all, they take up no space to store.
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