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What types of toys are best to develop a child's creativity?
By Kathleen Alfano
Just about all types of toys help develop a child’s creativity. For over 20 years, I’ve observed children play with toys at the Fisher-Price™ Play Laboratory, and still learn new things about what sparks their interests. When children play, they use their imaginations and creative-thinking skills to explore and discover the many features a toy has to offer. Toys that are open-ended—crayons, play dough, dress-up clothes, blocks and musical instruments, for example—provide especially rich creative-play opportunities because they encourage experimentation, can be used in a variety of ways, and used differently every time. There are many other types of toys that foster creativity, as well. Toys that involve pretend role-play, such as action figures, adventure playsets (fire stations, farms, castles, etc.), kitchen centers and dollhouses, encourage children to use their imaginations and think creatively. Even books stimulate creative thinking because they provide “food for thought” and enliven imaginations.

Just as important as the type of toy is making sure there is enough time to play with them. Research has found that children need time to “get into” their play; in the process, their creativity blossoms along with other developmental skills.