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.

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
Styrofoam packing
Wood scraps
Metal juice can lids
Paint-watercolor, tempera, acrylic
Jewels from old lamps and chandeliers
Old costume jewelry
Wine corks
Empty spools of thread
Textured paper
Plastic caps from milk jugs, bottle caps
Fabric pieces – felt squares
Pipe cleaners
Cardboard boxes of various sizes
All kinds of tape
Play dough
Googly eyes
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
Laundry soap lids
Straws of different colors and sizes
Aluminum foil
Golf T’s
Plastic food containers with lids
Sea shells
Empty ice cream buckets
Dice of all sizes
Poker chips
Paper clips
Glass gems
Tree cookies – stumps cut up into discs
Pine cones
PVC pipe
Pussy Willows
Nuts and bolts from a hardware store
Bulrushes – Cattails
Beads of various sizes
                                          THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!


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

    Child Care Services

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

    Child Care Rebate & Child Care Centre Carlingford

  3. I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article... industrial cleaner perth

  4. so happy to find good place to many here in the post, the writing is just great, thanks for the post. industrial cleaner perth

  5. Reading Makes Your Child Smarter

    Reading is known to have numerous benefits. It increases your world knowledge, enhances your vocabulary, and works to improve your reading comprehension abilities.

    But did you know that reading can actually make you smarter?

    In fact, reading not only can make a child smarter, the very act of reading can even help to compensate for modest levels of cognitive ability in children by building their vocabulary and general knowledge! This is a finding reported by researchers Cunningham and Stanovich in a report titled "What Reading Does For the Mind".

    The simple fact here is that reading can make your child smarter, and that learning to read early on is directly linked to later success in life.

    1) Did you know that your child's vocabulary at 3 years old predicts his or her grade one reading success? [1]

    2) Did you know that vocabulary and reading ability in first grade strongly predicts grade 11 outcomes? [2]

    3) Did you know that your child's reading skill in grade 3 directly influences high school graduation? Studies have found that children who cannot read proficiently by grade 3 are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers! [3]

    >> Give your child the best possible head start. Teach your child to read today. Click here to learn how.

    But how do you teach a young child to read, and isn't that the job of the school and teachers?

    You can't be more wrong...

    With the right tools, knowledge, and techniques, teaching young children to read can be a simple and effective process. I'd like to introduce you to a fantastic reading program called Children Learning Reading, a super effective method for teaching children to read - even children as young as just 2 or 3 years old.

    The creators of this program have used it to teach their four children to read before age 3, and by reading, I mean real, phonetic reading.

    I can understand if you find that hard to believe... In fact, I had a difficult time believing it myself as well... that is, until I saw the videos they posted documenting the reading progress of the their children - not to mention all the videos other parents have sent in showcasing their children's reading progress after using the Children Learning Program. After learning more about their methods and techniques, it became clear how it's possible to teach young children to read effectively.

    It is truly within your ability to teach your child to read in a relatively short period of time spending just 10 to 15 minutes each day.

    >> Click here now to watch the videos and start teaching your child to read.

    1. Vocabulary Development and Instruction: A Prerequisite for School Learning
    Andrew Biemiller, University of Toronto

    2. Early reading acquisition and its relation to reading experience and ability 10 years later.
    Cunningham AE, Stanovich KE.

    3. Double Jeopardy How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation
    Donald J. Hernandez, Hunter College and the Graduate Center,

  6. This website and I conceive this internet site is really informative ! Keep on putting up! cleaningedge

  7. Very nice article. I enjoyed reading your post. very nice share. I want to twit this to my followers. Thanks !. industrial cleaner perth