Open-ended means endless opportunities

Creative, open-ended activities are a fun way to help kids learn how to explore their ideas and innovate, problem solve and imagine new solutions, and confidently navigate the unknown.

An effective open-ended activity has two essential components

  • A clear challenge and/or constraint

This provides a place to start. It guides children in a general direction and provides some necessary framework.

  • No preconceived “right” or “wrong” solution

This ensures there are unlimited potential outcomes. It both pushes and encourages children to rely on their own imagination.

These kinds of activities can be scary and intimidating for some kids

With no concrete, specific examples to follow, children can feel apprehensive about where and how to even begin.

While working on open-ended activities, children can also become agitated and worried, second-guessing their progress and ultimately their end result.

But open-ended activities can help children gain confidence and develop resilence

Venturing into the unknown—even unknown ideas—can be intimidating. But it can be tremendously freeing, too.

Open-ended activities help children learn how to capitalize on their own creativity, communicate and express ideas in ways others can understand, and ultimately reinforces perseverance when faced with challenges.


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