Here at KIDLY, we love stuff that's different and makes an impact in the world of parenting, and Moluk is one brand that's done just that. Consisting of a range of toys powered by children's imagination, these cool products are open ended, and each of the elements in the toys are made to work together like a big puzzle or like building blocks of a game. There's no on off buttons, no batteries, just your lil' one's brain.

We were lucky enough to catch up with the brand's founder, Alex Hochstrasser, who gave us his top 3 tips on what makes play time great and as someone who studied the playing behavior of preschool kids, he knows his stuff...

1. Surprise, surprise...

Children are curious by nature (don't we know it), they like to explore and discover things on their own rather than play by the rules. Alex reminds us that play should always be effortless. You'll probably find that as soon as you try to exploit this activity to make lil' ones learn something, it'll lose its charm. Kids love a toy if it's exciting and has an element of mystery and surprise. Play objects that are open-ended and that reveal new possibilities over time are more intriguing and fun than ones that are completely spelled out, finished toys that leave no room for interaction and nothing left to the imagination.

These Hix Construction Cones are a perfect example of imaginary play. Consisting of four convertible cones made of elastic silicone rubber, these help tots with their visual-spacial ability, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills. Alex says ‘What makes them interesting are live hinges that let you fold each cone into four different shapes which can then be stacked and nested in countless different configurations.’

Hix Construction Cones

Hix Construction Cones.

We also love this Bilibo game box, which lets mini imagination makers, stack, pair up or play in a range of different ways - a great tool to help kids play freely.

Bilibo game box

Bilibo game box.

2. Feed their imagination

Have more confidence in your kids, it's easy to wrap them up in cotton wool, but when it comes to play, let them be free. For a healthy development, children need to be able to play freely, preferably outside with lots of other kids. Unfortunately, in many urban areas, the spaces where children can play safely are very limited, but getting them out and about - even for a few minutes does wonders. When it comes to toys, Alex believes less is more. Look for toys that grow with your kids, toys that invite interaction and discovery, whilst engaging all the different senses. The Bilibo Sensory Toy and Nello Toddler Toy are two great products that can be used outside for hours of fun, whether it's in sand, water play, or just on the lawn.

Bilibo Sensory Toy

Bilibo Sensory Toy.

Nello Toddler Toy

Nello Toddler Toy .

3. Something for everyone

Toys are the tools for children to grow, learn and become confident adults. Helping them adapt and thrive in a fast changing world, so toys that really challenge their imagination without focusing on gender, are great. Alex noted that although figure toys have been around for years, they have been gender specific. ‘There's action figures for boys and dolls for girls, but this has made role play quite limited. That's why Moluk decided to make a range of figures and shapes that offer intriguing expressive qualities, as well as rough-and-tumble physical action.’

Each shape in the Oogi range is gender neutral and in true Moluk style lets tots create their own games. Oh and they stretch too - we won't blame you if you want a go too.

Moluk Oogi

Moluk Oogi.

Another piece of kit we've got heart eyes for here at KIDLY is the Mox Balls. Made up of three faces, these stackable, throwable beauties are perfect for teaching them that not all toys have roles and rules.

Mox Balls

Mox Balls.

So there you have it. There's Mr Moluk's top tips for happy play. As Alex says, it's ‘very rewarding when you see that something you designed makes a difference in children's lives and puts a smile on their faces’.

We feel the same. Check out the whole Moluk range.