There was a time when parents use to boast about battery operated toys they got from abroad for their kids, but no longer. As a responsible parent one need to understand that machine and battery operated toys are more damaging to your kids as they are finished products and there is not much left in it to trigger a child’s imagination.
“We should have busy children, not busy toys!” Magna Gerber, RIE approach
Replace these ‘perfect’ toys with ‘open-ended’ toys
Open-ended means ‘not having a fixed answer; unrestricted; allowing for future change. Playing with open-ended toys, children have no fear of doing it wrong since there is no ‘correct’ method or outcome and observant adults are privileged with insights into children’s development and thinking. Open-ended toys are essential through entire childhood. All children have curiosity and imagination, which opens up with open-ended toys. Ideas multiply, confidence grows and creative play becomes a way of discovering life around them, without force.
The next question for sure is where to find such toys. One need not head abroad. We have in India some such amazing toy makers. This blog exclusively looks at top 6 Open-ended Wooden Toy makers from India.
Shumee is an online brand for sustainable, eco-friendly, high quality open-ended educational toys. Shumee is the brain child of Meeta, a Harvard educated lady and mother to little boys. Each toy is made after putting in enough research, so that it just does not engage a child, but also sparks his/her creativity and imagination.
Little Genius Toys Pvt. Ltd is another company that makes eco-friendly, sustainable, wooden educational toys. Toys are designed to stimulate brain power and help hand/eye coordination. There toys are widely accepted by educators throughout the field.
Skola toys are specially designed to promote child’s imagination, logical reasoning, problem solving and visual discrimination skills. They have toys for kids in the age group of 1 year to 7 year. They have classified their toys into number based, environment based, dexterity based, language and cognition based. The Skola toys has derived many of its values from the inspiring work of Dr. Montessori.
At Brainsmith, the team is dedicated to create innovative learning materials that stimulate young minds, instill a sense of curiosity and foster a lifelong love for learning. This is again a new moms venture. Toys are designed keeping in mind a child’s development and ability to learn. Products are made from premium quality wood. They are eco-friendly and sustainable. In addition to wooden toys, they also make a unique product called quantum cards.
Varnam is an award winning social enterprise working with artisans from Channapatna, also known as ‘toy town’, Karnataka, for over 4 years. They use the traditional lac-turnery method for making toys and lifestyle products. All colours they use have been tested and certified by Industry experts making them absolutely safe for children.
Desi Toys is a creation of Swapna Wagh, another mom. It was launched in 2012. Desi toys operates out of Mumbai. Products are made from a mix of solid wood, MDF and fabric. Toys are designed keeping in mind child’s developmental needs, ability to learn and Indian traditions.
So parents go ahead and replace existing ‘perfect’ toys with ‘open-ended’ toys.
Would love to hear from you in case I missed any toy store.