Why you should choose open-ended toys for travel

By Grace Koelma | Dare List Mama

What are open-ended toys?

Toys that are open ended don't have a single fixed purpose. They can be used in multiple ways, which is why they are a great option to take travelling. Space in your suitcase is limited, so you need to choose toys that have stamina and can be rediscovered, re-purposed and put together to create something entirely new.

Open-ended toys let children experiment, imagine, build, deconstruct, break, fix, cook, make, tell stories and adopt characters in make-believe play. With open-ended toys, the options for play are limitless.

Below is a list of open-ended objects perfect for children's play (most will fit in a suitcase!):

  • Wooden blocks
  • Silk scarves
  • Beads and string
  • Buttons
  • Foam blocks
  • LEGO, DUPLO or Magna tiles
  • Loose parts (scavenged from nature or with recyclables in the home)
  • Toy cars (we love Hot Wheels Matchbox Cars)
  • Figurines (animal, people, superheroes)
  • Balls
  • Rope
  • Sandpit
  • Pillows, sheets and blankets
  • Mud kitchen
  • Shaving foam and bubbles
  • Sticks and leaves
  • Play Doh
  • Chalkboards and whiteboards
  • Dress ups box with props 
  • Toy money
  • Musical instruments
  • Cups, funnels and pipes for water play
  • Craft materials: pipe cleaners, wooden sticks, glue, newspaper, cellophane, foam, felt
  • Cardboard boxes

What are your favourite open-ended toys? Are there any I've missed? Comment below.

Grace Koelma

Grace is a writer, designer, digital nomad, mum (otherwise known as toddler chaser), slow traveller, wild things appreciator, culture immerser, coffee opportunist... She frequently uses big words (some of which are definitely made up), likes long walks and even longer books, and her focus on wellness in 2017 means she is learning to obey her FitBit. Except when she's glued to her computer!

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