Open ended play
What is Open ended play? Well, a board game is not a good example, there are clear rules, it comes with an instruction sheet, a clear objective to win. Rather, open ended play is a toy with no right way to play with it. There is no "end-goal" to accomplish, it doesn't have an instruction sheet, so they can play with it freely. When children aren't handed instructions, they make up their own. This allows them to practice being a leader and figure out what works, without the fear of losing.
Have you ever played chutes and ladders with a young child? What happens when they spin the wheel and move the spaces, but have to ride a chute back down the board? My 4 year old gets very upset, because she is now losing! Even though it is a game of luck, which she doesn't understand, all she knows is that she is no longer winning and she starts throwing a fit!
With a doll, they can make their own decisions, express their creativity, imagine whatever they want. There is no wrong way to play with it! This builds confidence to try other things. Open ended play benefits your child by encouraging essential intellectual abilities that will contribute to a successful future.
- Lynn Stoner