10 Best Open Ended Toys to boost Problem Solving and Creative Thinking!

Open ended toys

Inside: Recommendations for 10 Open-ended toys which are also Montessori toys and simple toys for toddlers. These toys also function as problem solving toys and creative thinking toys.

Benefits of open ended toys and simple toys for toddlers are innumerable – they are not age constrained and are great to stimulate any child’s creativity, imagination, problem-solving skills, patience, concentration and give them the confidence of — “I did this!”.

All these skills are very valuable and core skills for success in life!

Which is the reason all kids should have open ended toys in their play space to work on; at all times.

What is an open ended toy?

The way I understand is – an open ended toy is a material which can have more than one results to it.

Example: You can use the same blocks or play doh to build different things; but for a puzzle, the result is set — to connect the pieces.

I don’t mean puzzles are bad, they have their own importance and so do blocks!

10 Best open ended toys

Here is a list of  10 best open ended toys, simple toys for toddlers! These toys also function as problem solving toys and creative thinking toys.

Lego Blocks

Blocks have endless possibilities, and I would not be surprised if someone told me they’re the best innovative kids toys ever. We’ve been playing with them for a couple generations; I remember playing with legos and now my kids love them!

Recommended Blocks:  Lego Duplo (1.5 yrs – 5 yrs)  and Lego Classic (5+ yrs.)

Lego classic for 5+ yrs age Lego Duplo for 1 - 5 yrs age









K’Nex TinkerToy

This is another classic toy that is great, made of real wood, with just spools, rods, and a few end caps. BUT, the concentration, calm and thrill kids get from connecting the rods and spools is real.

It doesn’t seem like much when you see the toy, but I can bet for the right mind these are so inviting and calming!

Buy:  K’Nex TinkerToy 

Tinker toy building toy









Magna Tiles

Pricey, yet one of the best creativity boosting toys on the market. And considering they have a potential to be played everyday I would say Magna-Tiles are worth the price. And you can always get a smaller set to begin with!

Buy –  Magna Tiles








Wooden Barn

Great Montessori Toys!

Wooden barn calls for an endless fun too, especially for a farm lover. 

Best Barn Options :  Mellisa and Doug Wooden Barn  and Terra barn from Target (I like this one better)

Montessori friendly Animals to go with the barn –  Schleich Animals

mellisa and Doug Wooden Barnwooden barn for kids








Bilibo is the new open ended toy, and it’s quickly becoming the craze. With endless possibilities, lightweight and fairly affordable price, I’m not surprised!

Buy – Bilibo


Magnetic Blocks / Tegu Blocks

Another one of the awesome magnetic – wooden toys that are safe for all ages, because the magnet is not exposed and the chances of the destruction of Tegu blocks is pretty slim.

Recommended Magnetic Blocks –  Tegu Blocks

Tegu Blocks Tegu Blocks Magnetic wooden toys








These have little suction cups at the end, and they can be connected with each other or to a smooth surface to build different shapes. They’re small enough to take them on travel, on car, in bath, on kitchen appliances, glass doors…

It’s another one of the cute toys, that looks artless but is very inviting to kids.

Buy – Squigz

squigz suction cup toy squigz suction cup toy









Wooden Blocks

The simple wooden blocks are great for learning the concept of stacking, balancing and building. However, they are a little tricky for kids less than 4 because they don’t technically “stick together”.

Affordable Wooden Blocks – Wooden Blocks 










Play Doh

Yes, the good old play-doh is also considered one of the best open ended toys that stimulates creativity, concentration and the “I made this!” sense of pride in kids.

Buy – Play-Doh








Chalk & Blackboard

Chalk and Board or sidewalk have so much potential — from scribbles to shapes to structures. I’ve seen kids of up to 13 yrs of age enjoy chalks; they’re the ultimate simulator when it comes to trying to express your imagination and the possibilities are endless.

Recommended: Chalk and Easel (white and blackboard)

Crayola ChalkBlack and White Easel for kids










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