We've all heard of open-ended play and its popularity amongst educators, but what exactly is it? And what are its benefits?

Open-ended play is a kind of play free from any rules, instructions, or guidelines. Children are able to unleash their creativity and imagination without any restrictions.

To make things even better, open-ended play is extremely affordable and easy to set up. Little to no supervision is required due to the absence of rules, plus open-ended toys are cheap and offer endless opportunities in terms of play and customisation.

The most common example of an open-ended toy is wooden blocks. But in this article, we will talk about more modern toys that have been approved for STEM education.

What are the benefits of open-ended play?

Aside from being a lot of fun, open-ended play offers a ton of benefits to children during their development years.

Enhances brain development: open-ended play has been proven to stimulate a child's imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills. All open-ended toys allow for unlimited freedom, so it's no wonder they offer a significant boost for these three traits.

Grows emotional intelligence: children can express their emotions in a safe environment and learn how to regulate them. This is because open-ended play offers group play where kids get used to collaborating and expressing their feelings with others.

Improves social skills: similar to the previous point, open-ended play teaches children to communicate, cooperate, and share so that they can form friendships with others

Encourages independence: because there are no rules, kids learn to make their own choices. This encourages them to grow their interests and self-esteem, which in turn boosts independence.

Nurtures a love of learning: what better way to learn things than through fun? This is exactly what open-ended play does. Children are given unlimited play opportunities to learn STEM concepts in a fun way.

Best toys for open-ended play

As promised, we are going to introduce four open-ended toys that go beyond your classic wooden blocks. These toys have been selected based on the benefits listed above and their ease of use.


Makedo offers creative toys for upcycling and making new things out of old materials. Their products are designed to encourage kids to use their imaginations and create something new and unique.

One of their most popular kits is the Makedo Invent, which includes a range of reusable tools for cutting, folding, and connecting cardboard boxes and other materials. These tools are designed to be safe and easy to use, and they allow children to create all kinds of different things, from simple sculptures to more complex ones.

Overall, Makedo's open-ended toys promote creativity and imagination, as kids are encouraged to come up with their own designs and ideas. They are also fun and engaging, making them a great choice for schools looking for a unique and exciting activity.



Pathfinders specialises in creating educational and eco-friendly DIY kits for children of all ages. Their products are designed to promote hands-on learning, creativity, and environmental sustainability.

One of their best-sellers is the Pathfinders Hydraulic Pack which is designed to introduce young children to the principles of hydraulics and engineering. This toy includes all the necessary materials for building a variety of hydraulic machines, including a scissor lift, a cherry picker, and a robotic arm.

Overall, Pathfinders' open-ended toys are an excellent tool for STEM teaching and for nurturing a love of learning and problem-solving skills in young children.



Strawbees offers creative construction toys that inspire kids to build and create with everyday materials. Their products are designed to be simple, versatile, and fun, encouraging users to explore their imaginations and build anything they can come up with.

One of their best creations is the Strawbees School Kit, which includes a range of connectors, straws, and building instructions. With these materials, kids can create everything from simple structures to complex machines, all while developing their creativity, problem-solving skills, and independence.

Overall, Strawbees' open-ended toys are versatile and easy to use, making them ideal for children in their early years of education. They also promote social skills and emotional intelligence through sharing and collaboration between kids.

Invention Engine

Invention Engine

Invention Engine specialises in open-ended toys that teach children about the principles of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in a fun and engaging way. Their products are designed to encourage curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking.

The Invention Engine Unit 1 Bundle is a state-of-the-art educational kit which consists of individual components that can be assembled into various machines and contraptions. Kids are encouraged to experiment with different combinations to create their own unique machines, all while learning coding basics. 

Overall, Invention Engine provides a fun and engaging way for children to learn about STEM subjects, promoting curiosity and a love of learning. They also encourage creativity and problem-solving skills, as children are encouraged to design and build their own creations.

Discover great deals on open-ended toys

Open-ended play is a fun and effective way of getting children to expand their imagination, creativity, social skills, independence, and emotional intelligence. Choosing the right open-ended toy helps kids unlock new skills while adhering to the STEM curriculum.

At CD-Soft we supply a wide range of open-ended materials, including the STEM ones listed above. We have great deals and discounts all year round and even offer help with choosing the best open-ended resources for you.

Browse our range of open-ended toys and discover all the benefits they have to offer to your children. For any help or assistance, contact us today on 1800 634 050 or send an email at sales@cdsoft.com.au