What are some examples of open-ended toys? Blocks, big buckets of Legos (try to avoid buying only the Lego kits-if you do buy them, make sure the child has just loose Legos also), baby dolls, dramatic play materials, toy cars, train tracks that children can put together themselves, and just about anything without a battery! I am not saying battery operated toys are bad in anyway, just that they tend to be “one hit wonders” and children can get bored with them easily.
A simple idea to assemble for any child are dramatic play boxes. Your imagination is the limit and these items can often be gathered up for little to no cost for those on a tight budget. For example, a grocery store box could consist of clean, empty food containers, paper sacks, coupons, old grocery store circulars, and fake money. Children can even create their own fake money using paper!