What is heuristic (hyoo-ris-tic) play?
Heuristic play is about supporting curiosity, wonder, imagination and free exploration. Our open ended, play items, allow children to select, explore, manipulate and compare items with each other. During their play, the child is engaged in their own learning while building their own opinions about what the object can or can't do.
These type of open ended play items are often referred to as “Loose Parts”. Loose parts are materials that can be explored in multiple ways. They are materials with no specific set of directions that can be used alone or combined with other materials.
It's the BEST way to engage and ignite children's imagination!
oVER 40 INDIVIDUAL LOOSE PARTS TO CHOOSE FROM
How does heuristic play benefit my child?
Imagination is key here and leads their play. Objects that make a noise, or flash a light when a button is pushed, robs them of this. Their muscle memory takes over their brain, as they learn that a noise or light only happens when this button is pushed. Children become easily bored with these type of toys and look for the next "hit", offering nothing but a cause and effect.
With heuristic objects, the sky is the limit! There are no overstimulating functions as child learns to play and explore in a completely natural way. Their way, their rules, their thoughts, their imagination!
The natural connections children make to formal learning through the use of open ended and naturalistic resources should be a motivation to all adults to ensure that these are freely available to young children both indoors and outdoors
Play is the highest form of research
Daly and Beloglovsky, 2015
When children interact with loose parts, they enter a world of “what if” that promotes the type of thinking that leads to problem solving and theoretical reasoning. Loose parts enhance children’s ability to think imaginatively and see solutions, and they bring a sense of adventure and excitement to children’s play.
O. Fred Donaldson
Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn
"Parent, teacher, educator & child approved!
Join the hundreds of ECE services and families across New Zealand & Australia, who are already enjoying the daily benefits of heuristic play!"