Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Heuristic Play

I thought I'd take a few moments out to write a little bit about heuristic play.  This is something which sounds really complicated and involved but which is actually one of the easiest types of play activities you can do with young children.  All it really means is playing with and exploring objects.  Some examples might include playing with cardboard boxes, tearing up paper, banging pots and pans to make music.

If your child is between about 5-6 months and 18 months then Treasure Baskets can be a lovely way to engage with them in play.  The concept is very simple, go round your house and gather objects which the child can then explore.  Then sit them down with the basket (or box, you can use container really) and let them have a look.
Here's one I put together using what I would describe as 'natural' objects.  It includes; an egg box, cardboard tube, cotton buds, wooden bricks, a cotton reel, wool, clothes peg, a couple of wooden spoons, a paint brush, a pastry brush, a terracotta pot and a wicker coaster.
 This one just contains fabrics.  Includes; grosgrain ribbon, satin ribbon, ric rack, lace, cotton tape, a flannel, wool, a sponge and a selection of bits of fabric with different textures.
This one is for 'shiny' things.  Includes; a whisk, measuring spoons, teaspoon, tin foil, a bracelet, a CD, a small spanner, tea strainer, keys, metal chime and some shiny ribbon.
You don't have to theme the baskets, just go with whatever you have!  Just experiment and let your baby do the same.

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