Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Open Ended Materials

Open-ended means not having a fixed answer; unrestricted. The children themselves decide what to do, how to do it, and what to use.

These are objects that have many uses and endless possibilities. There are no exceptions, no specific problems to solve, no rules to follow, and no pressure to produce a finished project. It's about FREE PLAY!

Why are open-ended materials important to include in children's play?

  • allows children to use their imagination and creativity
  • helps develop trial and error and problem solving skills
  • children have no fear of doing it wrong since there is no right method or outcome.
  • open-ended play gives children a sense of freedom and self confidence
  • they must make their own choices and learn to be responsible and self-directed.
"IMAGINATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN KNOWLEDGE" - Albert Einstein

The following activities are NOT open-ended:
  • ready made cut outs,shapes, or craft kits
  • traced drawings for children to color
  • coloring books
  • stencils
  • dot-to-dot drawings
  • puzzles and board games
  • toys with batteries- 90% toy, 10% child
  • television and videos
  • toys with only one purpose or use
  • costumes with one specific use only- Halloween costumes

List of Open-Ended materials to use often in your program planning: (use with direct supervision)

Cardboard tubes
Shoelaces
Styrofoam packing
Wood scraps
Yarn
Metal juice can lids
Paint-watercolor, tempera, acrylic
Jewels from old lamps and chandeliers
Clay
Old costume jewelry
Sand
Wine corks
Mud
Empty spools of thread
Water
Lace
Blocks
Textured paper
Lego
Hemp
Plastic caps from milk jugs, bottle caps
Ribbon
Fabric pieces – felt squares
Pipe cleaners
Cardboard boxes of various sizes
All kinds of tape
Play dough
Toothpicks
Crayons
Googly eyes
Markers
String
Paper
Chopsticks
Buttons
Recycled water bottles/cans
Pom poms
Old metal keys
Empty cereal boxes
Parts from machines, clocks, engines
Paper bags – grocery and lunch bags
Hats, shoes, belts, bags, shirts, gloves
Newspaper and flyers
Scarves and bandanas
Shoe boxes
Colored, clean aquarium rocks
Bread tags
Artificial flowers and petals
Q-tips
Laundry soap lids
Straws of different colors and sizes
Leaves
Aluminum foil
Branches
Golf T’s
Seeds
Plastic food containers with lids
Sea shells
Empty ice cream buckets
Dirt
Dice of all sizes
Sand
Poker chips
Gravel
Magnets
Rocks
Paper clips
Mud
Marbles
Water
Glass gems
Snow
Sequins
Tree cookies – stumps cut up into discs
Clothespins
Pine cones
PVC pipe
Moss
Sponges
Pussy Willows
Nuts and bolts from a hardware store
Bulrushes – Cattails
Beads of various sizes
Twigs
                                          THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!

2 comments:

  1. A very interesting read and a great post alltogether. thanks for sharing this information.

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  2. Articles on this website tend to be good and appreciative.

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