PART 1 Looking at Treasure baskets and Heuristic play
Many nursery settings use treasure baskets and offer heuristic play, both these types of play support many areas of children’s development.
Let’s look at these types of play;
- Both types of play involve children playing with a group of objects rather than plastic toys. Objects create endless play opportunities whereas toys have limiting factors. Children may choose two objects and start banging them together to make sounds
- Treasure baskets contain objects made from natural materials, these are normally displayed in a small basket that children can reach into select objects of their choice. Natural materials are a great way to help develop children’s senses. Heuristic play is more for mobile children.
- Heuristic play is displayed on the floor using of a range of grouped objects. A useful tip is to remember to offer both natural and manmade materials. Also having a mixture of different container types is always a successful choice. Heuristic objects can be larger than those in a treasure basket, this is due to children being more mobile and also being able to control their body movements. Having the added body strength allows children to build tall towers, stack objects or place tins on top of each other. Young children will often repeat their actions; therefore, ensure you have more than one of the same item.
- Both treasure basket and Heuristic play are led by the child, very little adult guidance is needed. It is all about the children making their own choices. This type of play can do wonders for building children’s confidence and helping their concentration span. Adults should allows be present to give support and for children to share their discoveries
- Offering treasure baskets and heuristic play can have huge benefits on children’s development. Many children will stay at this chosen activities for a period of time. Children will develop their senses through exploring the objects and hand-eye coordination is used when children are posting objects into containers. There are many opportunities to incorporate maths eg grouping objects, exploring sizes and shapes.
PART 2 COMING SOON-Looks at what to include in a treasure basket and ideas for heuristic play.