Want to know one of our favorite open-ended toys? My kids don’t have many toys that have lasted as long in the play rotation as this toy– ZOOBs. It’s pretty amazing considering my kids have been playing with ZOOBs since ages 4 and 7! Now they’re 11 and 14 and still playing with them.
Which is why I had to share.
I mean, that’s pretty amazing, right!?
It’s interesting to watch how the kids play with ZOOBs.
One girl likes to follow the directions in the provided idea booklets for making things — a DNA helix or a crown, for example.
My other child enjoys building things from her own imagination. (Open-ended!)
But, they both love it!
ZOOBs are colorful snap-together plastic gears, axels, and joint pieces. They’re recommended for ages 6 and up. (Which as you can tell, “and up” includes tweens and teens, at least in my house.)
They’re not electronic; they’re totally battery-free.
Without a doubt, ZOOBs are one of our best, top, most favorite open-ended toys! (For years.)
Buy Zoobs HERE.
If you’re wondering what learning is happening when playing with ZOOBs, here are my observations:
- Building anything requires design, engineering, and mathematics thinking — all of which fall into the ever-popular STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) education category.
- Snapping together pieces refines fine motor skills.
- Creating stretches children’s imaginations.
- If you use the provided idea booklets, you’re practicing following directions.
Therefore one could assert that open-ended toys like Zoob are educational.
Because they are.
When the kids play together, social skills and emotional intelligence are practiced. Skills like cooperation, self-regulation, and so forth.
Not only that, if the creations are used in role-play, there are even more possibilities for social skills, vocabulary building, and cognitive flexibility. For example, when you’re using a ZOOB wand to be your sister’s fairy godmother . . .
Honestly, seeing my kids play is one of my favorite things about being a mom.
How about you?
Do you have any favorite open-ended toys or play ideas?