Toys that encourage creativity are materials that do not dictate any specific game or results. Some examples include blank paper and paints; plain blocks; sand; pots and pans; boxes of clothes for dress-up; clay; plainly made dolls; gardening tools; outdoor riding and climbing toys such as a wagon, a ladder, or hanging bars; and common household items the children may have access to when they want to imitate household activity, such as cooking, cleaning, nurturing, fixing, and building tools.

Stay away from designs that dictate specific results or that direct the outcome of a child’s play, and that discourage the input of a child’s thought process. These might include coloring books; toys with press buttons that produce set results; dolls that produce specific emotional responses or actions; and toys that imitate television or movie characters.