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  • Writer's pictureOur Playful Learning Journey

Open Ended Toys - Our Current Toy Rotation

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

How we set up our toy shelf to inspire play and imagination.


Play shelf set up with open ended and wooden toys for play, including Grimms wooden toys, Grapat and Bauspiel blocks
Our new toy shelf has inspired so much play and imagination already

Our play space has changed numerous times over the past few years and mostly likely will continue as our girls grow and our needs for the space change. We started with a small little shelf in the corner of our lounge room, then we changed to a cube shelf in our dining room and now we have this house bookcase from Mocka in the corner of our lounge room.

Having space on the play mat right next to shelf has been fantastic for encouraging the girls to play here more.

The past few weeks since we swapped to this new shelf have been really great. The girls really enjoy this setup and are playing more with their toys. The shelf sits right in front of our play mat, which is important as it gives them a soft place to sit and play. Both Miss 5 and Miss 23 months have been playing with their toys along the shelves too, using them as little small worlds.

I have been rotating the toys, swapping some new ones in and changing how the others are displayed and it has been working wonders for increasing their engagement with their toys and for increasing how long they play. This is only a smaller space, which means I am rotating the toys more often than I would if we had more room or a playroom.

Toy shelf with open ended toys including Grimms and Grapat wooden toys
Fairyland has been played with lots over the last week.

Miss 5 helped to choose what went on the shelves this week and enjoyed setting up the fairyland, building as she went. She enjoys helping set up the shelves and I have found she is more likely to play for longer when she helps and takes some ownership.


I really like how the longer shelves allow for small worlds to be set up and that there is space for both girls to play together. The girls have enjoyed using our Kinderfeets balance board to both sit on and stand on while playing along the shelves. Miss 5 enjoyed adding to the fairy land shelf and building castles and fairy homes. Miss 1 enjoyed driving the car along the road and putting the Nins in and out of the cars.


Grimms rainbow and bridges with a road and Grapat Nins in a Grimms car set up on a shelf for play
The shelves are great for setting up small world play.

The top shelves have smaller items that are too small for Miss 23 months. We have used some bamboo lid storage containers from Kmart for these small parts, such as wooden balls and the smaller Lola pieces. This is working really well at the moment and means Miss 5 can have these toys down at nap time and then easily pack away when her sister is up.


White House bookcase with open ended wooden toys displayed including Grimms and Grapat wooden toys. Sibling play space.
We are loving our new shelf and the play it has inspired so far.

This weeks rotation includes lots of our open ended toys that both girls can play with. I really like that both my children of different ages can enjoy the same toys in different ways.

Open ended toys are fantastic for setting up a play space that caters for sibling play for children of different ages.


Some of the toys on the shelf this week:


Floor:

Grimms large stepped pyramid


Bottom shelf:

Connetix ball run

Connetix magnetic tiles and car pack

Basket from Kmart with silks and pieces of material


Second shelf:

Gluckskafer rainbow building slats

Grapat Nins

Grimms cars

Way to Play roads

Papoose toadstools

Grimms rainbow bridges

Grimms large rainbow

Grimms weather set



Grapat Nins on a toy shelf ready for play
Our Grapat Nins are well loved for play in our house

Third shelf:

Bauspiel window blocks

Grimms rainbow semi circles

Le Toy Van fairies

Magic Wood tree house

Papoose trees

Grimms pebbles


Toy shelf with open ended wooden toys and resources
Open ended toys allow for different aged siblings to play together

Good Morning Yoga ☀️🌈


This is a beautiful book that I really enjoy reading and following the yoga poses with both my girls. It has a really calming effect if you complete a couple of cycles through the poses (for adults too). Each page has a different yoga pose as part of the story. Miss 23 months has even started joining in and having a go at the poses. It is very cute!


Miss 5 also likes to do yoga with Cosmic Kids on YouTube. It’s worth having a look at if you haven’t already. We haven’t used it for a while, but she does enjoy it!


Good Morning Yoga book displayed on shelf with brightly coloured wooden toys
Good Morning Yoga is a beautiful yoga book for kids


* Small parts pictured are recommended for children ages 3+. Always supervise children when playing. Please follow safety directions of the above shown products when using with your child/children.



 

Thank you for reading this blog post about our new toy shelves and how we are setting them up to inspire play and imagination!


We love our open ended toy collection and all the play that it inspires. The girls have really enjoyed this weeks rotation and I look forward to sharing new ideas with you in the future.


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Until next time, have fun learning in a playful way!


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