Monday, July 16, 2012

A toy is just a toy. Right?

Here at number 32, I am so aware of the toys and games we purchase our kids. The idea of buying for the sake of buying is not something I am a big fan of and really who has the money to do it anyway?
I like the  kids to be outside exploring mostly, but there are times when toys and games are needed!

There are generally two categories of toys.
'Open ended' and 'Closed ended'.

Open ended activities/toys are those which don't have a natural conclusion as you can continually vary what you do within the activity and keep extending it. Things like, playdough, marbles, bean bags, instruments, dolls house, lego, blocks etc
They are toys that will grow with the child. They will be able to be used over and over and not go 'out of fashion'. They are the toys that will still be in the house when the grand kids come along.

Closed ended activities/toys on the other hand, are those that have a set beginning and end. They don't require too much thought and have a set way they need to be used. Things like, puzzles,  specific bought card games, board games and generally toys that require batteries are mostly closed ended.
Unfortunately these types of toys are usually highly marketed, making them attractive to the kids, but  once the child pushes the button and the toy does 'it's thing', the novelty wears off and they become bored with the toy.

What do you buy?
Think about your next purchase (for your kids or another you may be buying for). Open your mind and you'll be amazed how you'll be opening theirs.


  1. So true! the favourite toys at our place at the moment are crayons (the playon crayons - she prefers to stack them than draw with them so far...) and a gorgeous little wooden elephant on wheels. Not so keen on the plastic things that go wizz bang pop.

    by the way what is that toy you've got pictured? x

  2. I love magnets, especially now my little one doesn't put them in his mouth! A great recent purchase was the new lego hole punch from Muji, which comes with a little template so you can punch holes in paper or card which then align with the bumps on lego - you can combine paper and lego in lots of interesting ways, we've only just started exploring its possibilities.

    We also love Makedo, which is a great system of reusable hinges and fasteners which makes junk modelling much more fun, because sellotape just doesn't work for some of the more complex creations my older one comes up with! x

  3. My kids love those magnet things too!! x

  4. Great post! I think about toy/book/activity choices often and do try to buy things that will grow with the boys. These magnets look fabulous! We're big fans of lego, blocks and play dough here too xo

  5. You are so right. Children get much more out of a toy that has endless possibilities than something with batteries and a whole lot of lights, yukko. Love the creations. x

  6. Definitely! Food for thought too! Thanks x

  7. That is the nanny coming out in you AN32! I haven't thought about toys as 'open' or 'closed'. We have a bit of both at our place but I definitely prefer the open variety. I haven't seen those magnets before. A cracker! x

  8. Trying to rid ourselves of those closed ended toys at the moment. I think we have some that may have been played with once! But blocks, boy those are always in demand.


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