Creative thinking is a essential skill that will help children be successful later in life. With the fast paced advances in technology we can’t predict what jobs or industries will be in the future for our children. However by teaching children how to be problem solvers, critical and creative thinkers we will set them up for future success.
Encouraging creative thinking is allowing your child to have open-ended art and play experiences. Play is learning for children. The toys highlighted below offer opportunities for your child to play, learn and develop their own creative thinking.
Toys do not have to be expensive to be useful. We have not only highlighted toys you can purchase (just click on the link or image to buy) we also highlighted a way to make the toy yourself or better yet… have your child help create and build! Read below for the full toy guide.This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Hand Made Kids Art.
Buy It: LEGO Bricks ,Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, and Wooden Blocks encourage kids to build imaginative structures. Throw away the instructions and have your child build from his imagination rather than attempting to recreate the image on the box.
DIY It: Kids love all kinds of blocks but let them make their own and they will love them even more. I love this idea from Kids Activities Blog about how to make your own painted wooden blocks. or try building with cardboard like we mentioned in this post.
Buy It: I love the Crayola brand for art supplies for kids (no, I am not sponsored by Crayola) typically the colors are bright and the quality is good. We don’t own this exact Art Kit but we do have and use the materials that it includes.
DIY It: Create a craft box for your child filled with materials to create and make. You may wish to include markers, stickers, glue, tape, finger paints, old note cards, crayons, colored pencils, pens and anything else that might make an open ended art project. You also may wish to check out our list of recommended supplies to keep on hand.
Tinkering Kit: If you are a frequent reading of our blog you know we love all things STEAM related. I love this portable tinkering kit idea from Left Brain Craft Brain. In fact, I hope to make one for Lil B and one for M-Woww for a stocking stuffer (shhh, don’t tell them).
Buy It: We have this simple play kitchen from Ikea. I have several friends that have this fancy retro kitchenand they love it, regardless of what type of play kitchen you have, kids like to imitate what they see adults doing. This gives them the freedom to explore what they are observing in a safe way.
Buy It: M-Woww likes the Princess Dress Up Trunk and Lil B like’s the train conductor outfit (please note, we don’t have this exact outfit but it was the closest I could find to what we have which is a few years old).
DIY It: Recycle old clothing such as dresses, hats, and scarves. Check out the local thrift store for some gently used clothing items that may work as dress up clothes. Also, I suggest adding non gender specific costumes such as a lab coat and stethoscope for a doctor. Here are 13 diy outfits from No Time For Flash Cards to help inspire some more DIY costume ideas.
Buy It: Music Instrument Set
DIY It: You can make your own instruments such as cymbals, tambourines, maracas, chimes, or drums. Turn a paper towel tube into a kazoo or fill two plastic plates with beans and glue together to make a tambourine. Check out Red Ted Art’s post for more DIY instruments.
Looking for more gift ideas for all of your loved ones? This post is part of the Holiday Gift Guide Blog Hop. Check out the list of all the awesome gift guides over on What Do We Do All Day.
Share with us your favorite toy to encourage creative thinking!