Heuristic play

Heuristic play – An approach to help babies and young children learn.

hueristicHeuristic play is an approach to help babies and young children learn. The approach uses natural and household objects presented to babies and so that they can experience and discover independently.

Heuristic play is unrestricted and totally child led. Through this play babies have the opportunity to explore, find out, investigate and discover for themselves without adult intervention.

On Wednesday 7th August from 9.45-10.15 the baby room held a Heuristic Stay and Play session which was open to our babies and parents/ guardians. From this session we wanted to develop our babies’ investigation skills as we have seen a keen interest from our babies exploring their environment.

“Henry enjoys banging wooden objects together!”
“Tristan is fascinated but the turning wheels on our wooden cars!”

We started by sectioning the room into metal, textured and natural exploration areas with bags for enclosing and transporting in the center. All the resources were clean and safe for the babies to explore independently with adult supervision.

heur5Once set up the room was sprayed with lemon blossom and basil to add a further sensory element to the play session. Adults were then asked to bring their babies into the room and allow them to independently explore the resources in their chosen way.  All the babies enjoyed their Heuristic Play session. Grace was intrigued by the wooden loops on the metal stand and proceeded to remove the loops and threaded them on to her arm!

heur6To encourage children getting ready to crawl we supported babies on their tummies on the reflective foil where they enjoyed wiggling  their bodies to make a rustling noise and reaching out for items that interested them.  With support from his Mummy Henry was able to move to areas he wanted to explore, he especially enjoyed banging with a spoon and squeezing the natural sponge.

tristWe have noticed that Tristan has a rotation schema and enjoys round objects and making them roll or spin. As a practitioner it was lovely to see Tristan persisting in moving across the carpet area to investigate the texture of a circular object in the natural area.

We would like to thank all the parents that attended our Heuristic Play and Stay session and hope you and your baby enjoyed exploring the Heuristic play resources.

“Just to say Hugo really enjoyed the Heuristic play today! Thank you for inviting us!”
Sarah Garlick

The baby room has created a heuristic play home links bag with resources to support doing a heuristic session at home please ask a baby room member of staff if you would like to take it home.

Bertie has taken it home and loved it! Trudy (Bertie’s Mum) shared his experiences on a home link sheet:
“We emptied all of the items from the Heuristic play bag and Berite started investigating! He particularly liked the texture of the natural sponge and filling and emptying the Hessian Bag.”
Well done Bertie, from this we are planning to add a variety of natural sponges to our treasure baskets.

Top tips for Heuristic Play

  • For babies new to crawling try placing the items just out of reach to encourage reaching and crawling.
  • For babies who can walk and older siblings, paper/ material bags and boxes are a great way to encourage them to move objects around the room where they can create links between all the resources.

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