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Heuristic Play

June 2013 066

The Treasure Basket and Heuristic Play approach is astoundingly simple - offering natural and household objects to babies and toddlers can have a profound impact on their learning capabilities, encouraging concentration, exploration and intellectual development.'

(Developing Play for the Under Threes;2006)

A treasure basket is a unique approach developed in the 1980's by Elinor Goldschmied and her team offering the baby a range of natural, household and recycled objects in a rigid low sided basket for exploration and interest.

The predominant interest is to handle and mouth objects in order to find out about their physical characteristics.

"What is this object like?"
A treasure basket is food for the brain as every new experience makes the brain grow.

Heuristic Play is used to describe the activity of a toddler when they play with an object.This play is not a social activity as it concerns how the toddler experiements with objects and the environment. However toddlers will naturally pay attention to each other and copy actions.This play is predominantly to discover "What can I do with this object ? "and "What else can I do with this object ?"

As the child's language develops and an understanding of the function of things develops the predominant question becomes,
"What can this object become ?"

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