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Heuristic Play And Treasure Baskets Heuristic play is a planned activity which offers children the opportunity to explore various items using and developing their senses; touch, smell, hearing, sight and taste. The children explore a wide variety of objects which include natural objects eg. Fir cones, shells, pebbles; objects made of natural materials e.g. Wooden pegs, wooden nail brush, wood off-cuts; metal objects eg. Keys, chains, jar tops. You can find lots of interesting objects for children to explore in your home. Look in your cupboards and drawers. You might find pots & pans, string, sink plugs, scented candles, soaps, sponges, beads, etc. Children will enjoy exploring these objects to see how they taste, feel, smell, sound and what they look like. Heuristic play helps children to learn for themselves and make choices. During the activity the children should explore by themselves, without interference. The adult's role is to be close to the children as a support, to collect all of the items together, to set out the activity and to observe the children whilst playing. The children can develop their manipulative skills, imagination, solve problems, sequence, anticipate and rearrange objects. There is no right or wrong way for the children to explore the materials. The activity also promotes the development of concentration skills, through the exploration of interesting objects. Do's & Don'ts *Do ensure that all materials are safe and age appropriate. Remember not to include small objects for babies. There may be some items which you would need to remove for older children. Chains which they might swing and hit others with, for example. Tin cans must be checked for sharp bits. *Do ensure that all materials are cleaned regularly, especially if sharing treasure baskets with other children. Children, especially babies will explore the materials using their mouths and germs will be passed on if not cleaned. *Do observe children during the activity. Adults will need to remove the materials as soon as the children begin to lose interest. By observing children adults may notice *schemas which can be incorporated into children's play. *Don't interfere in the children's play. To fully benefit from the activity, children should be allowed to explore the materials as they wish to do so, without any suggestions from the adults. *Don't leave children alone. It might be tempting to do a few jobs around the house while they are occupied but they will only be fully involved in the activity if you are sitting close by. *Don't leave treasure baskets, or Heuristic Play materials, out for children to play with at any time. Although it is good for children to have some 'real objects' to play with, they shouldn't have unlimited access to these materials. Heuristic Play only works if the children have it set out as an activity a couple of times a week. Treasure Baskets Treasure baskets are designed for babies who are less mobile, mainly under the age of 1 year. It is a very similar activity to Heuristic Play. The only difference is the quantity and type of objects set out for the activity. When providing the activity for babies, a basket is used to encourage them to reach in


and take out the item they want to investigate. Fewer items are provided because if there is too much choice, they may feel overwhelmed and not be able to concentrate on exploring individual items. When setting out Treasure Baskets it is essential to ensure that the materials are age appropriate. Check:Are there any items which the babies could choke on or swallow? Are there any items which the babies might eat - scented candles or soap for example? Click Here to Learn How to Improve Your Parenting Skills


Heuristic Play And Treasure Baskets