Toys that do less, actually teach more, writes Bianca Jukes.
Children are surrounded by loud, colourful, active toys – but these toys lack the sensory and heuristic properties critical for supporting creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Heuristic play refers to the sensory exploration of the properties of ‘everyday’ items. With anything from a bowl, to a pinecone or a piece of string, heuristic play objects all share the characteristic of being open-ended. In this way, heuristic play resources promote innovation, creativity and imagination through the discoveries children make about ways in which these items can be used. Children learn through play – so offer them toys which will support their creative thinking.
5 benefits of heuristic play for children’s learning:
Bianca Jukes is an early childhood teacher, mum of two, and co-owner of Crate Wonder, a unique company supplying a range of new and recycled open-ended resources to Early Childhood Centres and families across New Zealand. Find out more at www.facebook.com/nzopenplay