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25 Open-Ended Toys that Encourage Creativity

Open-ended toys allow children to use their imaginations and be creative while they play. Today I am sharing some of our family’s favorite open-ended toys that also come in their own storage container!

Two little girls play with a simply tea set. Image text overlay reads "Open-Ended Toys for Hours of Play"

What are Open-Ended Toys?

Open-ended toys foster creativity and imagination because they can be used in many different ways.

Blocks, Play-Doh, and Legos are all considered open-ended because it is the creativity of the child that determines how the toy will be used.

An example would be the same block being used as a car, a tree, and as part of a building.

The Benefits of Open-Ended Play

Because open-ended toys do not dictate the way that young children play there are many benefits including:

  • Learning to make choices
  • How to express their creativity
  • Supporting their independence

Open ended toys also help children to develop spatial awareness, fine motor skills and provide an opportunity for them to express themselves.

Today I am sharing simple toys that will be used and loved for years to come.

The 25 Best Open-Ended Toys for Kids

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When you look for open-ended toys try to think back to when you were a kid…

What were your favorite toys that allowed you to use your imagination to build, create and pretend?

Most likely your list is going to include things like:

  • Blocks
  • Play-Doh
  • Legos
  • Clay
  • Sheets, Towels, Blankets and Scarves
  • Magnetic Building Toys

Guess what? Those are all open-ended toys and the reason why you loved them as a child is because they were so versatile.

The same will be true for your own child, so think of these toys as an investment in their skills when it comes to creativity, imagination, innovation and independent play.

Here are a few of our family’s favorites:

The Best Open Ended Toys

Open-ended toys encourage unlimited imaginative play for kids. Here is a list of some of the best open-ended toys for kids that will lead to hours of engagement and play.

How to Encourage Pretend Play

As a new mom, I had one question when it came to choosing toys for my children:

Why do all the best toys have to be so messy?

  • Legos
  • Blocks
  • Play-doh
  • Craft Supplies

The same toys that allow children to develop important skills often have tons of pieces that are:

  • Messy
  • Easy to lose
  • Difficult to keep neat and tidy

When our family started exploring minimalism, I decided to search for gender-neutral toys that came with their own storage solution.

This has allowed me to perpetuate my love of all things organized while the children are still allowed to play, build and explore.

We have found that when the toy comes with it’s own storage container, the kids naturally put everything away when they are done playing.

It keeps our home neat and tidy and keeps me from going all “Mommy Dearest” about Lego pieces being everywhere 😉

If you love to keep an organized home – or would like to start being clutter-free with kids you are going to love these clutter-free toys.

Because the truth is that kids need these messy toys to learn how to create, pretend and use their imaginations.

There you have it mama! Tons of clutter-free gift ideas that support open-ended play.

Background image of an organized kids play room. Text overlay in a large circle reads "open-ended kids toys for moms who love to be organized"

The Best Pretend Play Toys


  1. A heads up- a large percentage of these gift suggestions are listed as unavailable or the link goes to a page with no product. Maybe time to update the post?

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