3 ways to promote open ended play!

Updated: May 24, 2020

Imagination is an important part your child’s education and providing “open ended“ play environments help develop this key skill.

Here are 3 ways to help promote open ended play in your home.

Children's play space/
Open ended play space


Mirror's are a great way help children with self awareness and depth perception.

We are not born knowing what we look like, so setting up a mirror for your child will help ensure they build a mental image of themselves. This assists with association to their peers and promotes imaginative play.

Children playing with sensory items on a mirror
Mirror Sensory Play


Place a mirror on top of your sensory table. Combine with mixed sensory items such as beads, pebbles and sand. This is a great way to enhance your child’s sensory play.


Open Shelving

Open display shelves are a great way to encourage children to choose what they want to play with, enabling their own narrative. The trick is to keep the learning activities at an appropriate level. For younger age groups this may mean as close to the ground as possible, whilst older children may require waist height activities.

Display items high up on a shelf
Display items


Using open vertical shelving will allow you to rotate activities only relevant to the days learning. Alternatively, you may want to place items up high that are not for play but related to the narrative.


Sensory Play

Sensory play is important to your child's development and ultimately improves their imaginary play.

There are many activities and toys to support sensory play, so which ones do you choose? Well, there is no right or wrong answer. It will depend on your child and there level of development.

Sensory sorting toy
Sensory Toy


Homemade sensory activities are a great way to save money and help familiarise your child with real life objects.

But please use with caution!

Small parts can cause choking, especially for children under 3 years old.


There are countless ways to improve your open play space and these are only a few. Always remember the most important thing is for your child to have fun, keep learning and love life!