Open-ended play - Imagistones
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Open-ended play - Imagistones

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August 2017


At the start of the Summer holidays, I was fortunate to be sent access to resources produced by the wonderful Imagistones. As you know by now, I am a massive advocate for storytelling, imagination, creativity and simplicity. So, these stones made a very welcome addition to our family home.


However, I wanted to explore something a little less obvious when using these stones. I wanted to encourage more open-ended play.


Children these days are surrounded by a wealth of toys (electronic or otherwise) that a very creatively minded adult has invented for them to play with. However, the actual play involved in the majority of these items is minimal. A child is more often led to believe that play is all about success: A toddler drops a ball into a hole and a thousand lights and sounds teach him/her that they have succeded in the required mission. Unbeknownst to the manufacturer, this has created closed play - one action, one result rewarded.


In a growing. worrying trend, children are becoming less creative and in more need of immediate reward and response, being less satisified to be bored and struggling to play independently

(Just look at all these related articles on a Google search if you don't believe little old me!)


So, I took the beautiful Imagistones, that are so wonderfully smooth, tactile and inspirational for story making and I thought of different games that I would play with them:





Can you sort the stones into groups of things that are the same?

We sorted by criteria - food, animals, weather - and then we sorted by colour - green, blue, yellow, grey, red, brown.

What's missing?

I call this "Kim's Game"....


Can you remember all the objects, cover them, remove one and work out what's missing?

Older children could write this down.

The other version of the game is to write down all the origianl items without removing one.



Making pictures, using the stones.

I chose a smiley face, but it can be whatever you want. You could place the stones onto paper and draw aroud them to add to the art.

Stack Attack


How many stones can you place in a tower before they collapse? Count them. Challenge each other. Problem solve how to make a stronger tower.


NB: Only place this on the carpet/grass/soft surface due to the material of the stones.

Rhyme making

What is my rhyme?


How about guessing the nursery rhyme or familiar story by using just a select few stones? Here I have made the nursery rhyme "Incy Wincey Spider" With older children you could time how long it takes for them to guess it.

So as you can see, there are lots of different ways to use one item. These are only a few ways that I have thought of. Dig deep in your own wonderfully creative brain and invent some more. How about hiding them around the house/garden and building a story/treasure hunt as you go?


Most importantly, have fun. The best memories are made by simply enjoying yourself. This is when learning has the highest impact and is stored in those little, developing creative brains.


Thank you Imagistones for the opportunity to play! #Simpleisbest #Learningisfun