Open ended  activities is mostly called free play in early childhood education…as the name implies its a free play’ where the children are allowed to play just the way they want .

it has no set rules and no set expectation which is great as the children are allowed to be themselves, play just the way they choose unlike any other activities i.e puzzle, when all the piece of the puzzle are assembled the child is finished and has to move to another activity.

I especially like free play  activities , as the children can play freely, you don’t have to direct them on what to do. Free play is all about the children being themselves thus the children are the driver, all you need to do as an adult around them is to engage them, ask them question like ‘ what’s that ? ‘ comment on what they are doing  and try joining them. Trust me you will have much fun.

There are lots of creative  open ended play activities that children can be  engaged. But then ,in this article we will be looking at six of them of which the first is one of my favorite..




This is a creative fun activities that has a soothing effect on children and not only children even adult,the activity builds children fine motor skill and improve their creativity, it’s also improve their cognitive development as they think of what to make out of the play dough.the fun derived in manipulating and creating things from play dough has no end.


in my previous article i talked about different ways you can make play dough you can check it out   …also, i recently discover a more easy way to make play dough which am sure if you try you will love it.

Steps to making easy stress free dough

To make this my recent nice dough all you need is as follows;

      • One cup of flour
      • One tablespoon of cream of tartar
      • More than half cup of  salt
      • Four tablespoon of  oil
      •  One and half cup of  water
      • Food coloring

Mix all the powered ingredient in a bowl, if you noticed, i said more than half cup of salt that’s because the more the salt the longer it will last, mix well until the salt is fully incorporated into the flour then in a cup, mix the water and the coloring together then pour it into the bowl of dry ingredient and mix well,it’s more like you making a pan cake ,after you sure the flour is well  mixed and looks more like a paste add the oil and mix ,then transfer it into a pot to cook , stir it continuously  as it’s cooking on the gas and as soon as you notice  its cooked, remove it from the pot  and place  it on a dry surface, let it cool for a bit and start kneading, make into a ball and yeeee!!! your play dough is ready. Trust me this recipe is amazing and  the texture superb


All you need to do is provide children with different coloring paint, paint brush, white paper  and let them have a’ Go’.


You can also put an ikea paper on the table ,pour different color of paint in an open bowl, put monster truck  or any cars on the table, trust me you will see children making tracks with the paint,recently tried this activity in the class and i could see the children having fun and the colorful tracks turn out beautiful, all you need to do as a practitioner or carer,parent or as an adult around them is to provide them with materials, toys and you will see them enjoying and having a go. painting is not just limited to children having fun it’s also communicating their emotions,or feeling through the use of different colors.

      • Improves children hand eye coordination as they paint the part they see, moving their hands in line with their vision
      • Helps children develop mobility skill as they continuous move their hands
      • Helps children  progress and discover their creativity


This is another free play activity children could enjoy, provide sand,a shovel,bucket and let them have a go, also you could provide them with a moon sand instead of the regular is a simple way to make a moon sand instead of you purchasing it.


Steps to making moon sand

Making moon sand is easy all you need is 

      • One cup of flour
      • Half cup of oil
      • Glitters

Pour one cup of flour in a bowl,pour the oil and mix them together,keep mixing until the oil mixes properly with the flour, when it well mix you will see the flour looking wet,add the glitters and mix.. tada!!!! Moon sand is ready, this recipe does not need any preservative as it lasts long on its own. you could increase the quantity depending on the number of children that will be playing  with it. 

Apart from the fun children have while playing with sand, Sand play also has other benefit;

      • Its promotes children physical development
      • Promoting social skills; when children play together on the sand table they are faced with the challenge of sharing ,compromising and negotiating. During sand play children could construct roadways,dig tunnels,as children take a role associated with their play they build social skills such as empathy and perspective taking.
      • Improves gross motor skill
      • Promotes creativity and language development


Is another open ended activity that is quiet, provide children with crayons, colored pencils ,plain pencil and white paper and let children have a go. you won’t believe what they are capable of drawing until you let me it will be much fun if you join them in this activity. Often I join children in this activity. The first thing I usually draw is flowers as i really love flowers, while joining children in this activity engage them, ask them what they are drawing, ask them the colors they are using and why they are using that color,their response will fascinate you.



Is a fun open ended play which allows children to make discoveries and explore outcomes. i.e watching the object sink or float help develop problem  solving skills as they begin to learn why and how things happen also while playing with water children are able to discover different temperature such as warm, cold, exploring water flow, movement and splashes, dissolving soap in water thus making bubbles, water play also help children develop math concept of measurement i.e full or empty


             you will also enjoy this;


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Are you bored ! then lets make superb play dough



  1. Great article…….keep it up

  2. Great article…….keep it up….you are doing a great job

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