Is a Toddler Balance Board an Open-Ended Toy?
A toddler balance board makes a great open-ended toy because it can be used in so many different ways during play. And while it certainly lends itself to rocking and balancing there are so many other things children can use a balance board for besides balancing.
What are Open-Ended Toys?
Open-ended toys are simply toys that can be used in a variety of different ways according to a child’s imagination and desire rather than having a singular fixed way in which they can be played with.
Open-ended toys foster imagination and creativity in play and they tend to be passive toys, meaning they do nothing under their own steam so that it is the child that is initiating play, as opposed to active toys that can teach children to be passive as they expect the toy to entertain them.
Open-ended toys tend to be simple toys, think building blocks, play silks, dress-up clothes, toy animals and kitchen toys that can not only be used in lots of different games and scenarios but can be used in different ways as children grow and develop.
Why Have Open-Ended Toys?
Playing with open ended toys has so many benefits for kids. While they are playing they are developing key skills including problem solving, language and communication skills, social skills, fine and gross motor skills, creativity, imagination and self regulation.
One of the key benefits of having open-ended toys and providing a child with toys that foster creativity and imagination is that they learn to create the toy they want out of what they have. Provide a child with a simple toy car and it can be their favourite car from the TV, any other car they want, or all sorts of other things. After all, we’ve all seen kids pick up a banana and use it as a telephone.
This means you end up with less toys that last longer. And the wobbel certainly fits the bill here. A toddler balance board isn’t just great for balancing and it isn’t just great for toddlers either.
What Makes a Toddler Balance Board Open-Ended?
A toddler balance board is an open-ended toy because it is a simple passive toy (it doesn’t do anything without the child's input) and it can be used in a variety of different ways.
As well as being a great toy for promoting physical activity and building strength while balancing and rocking, a balance board also makes a great slide, a fantastic step, a handy seat and a comfy rocking chair. Not to mention all the ways it can be incorporated into their play with other toys. We’ve seen them being used as ramps and bridges for car games, especially brilliant if you have the way to play road, as beds for dolls, as hills and mountains for animals and so many more things.
You will probably find that your child naturally incorporates their new balance board into their play, but if they don’t a little gentle encouragement by way of a few simple ideas and you’ll be amazed at how many ways they find to play.
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