what is heuristic play?
The word "heuristic" means to enable a person to discover or learn something for themselves. The term heuristic play was coined by Elinor Goldschmied (1910-2009). Heuristic play is about supporting curiosity, wonder, imagination and free exploration. Open ended, everyday objects, allow children to select, explore, manipulate and compare items with each other. During this type of exploration play, the child is engaged in their own learning, and building their own opinions and thoughts about what the object can or can't do.
These open ended objects are often referred to as “Loose Parts”. Loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. They are materials with no specific set of directions that can be used alone or combined with other materials. You'll find our loose parts collection offers many different objects, of all shapes, sizes and textures to excite and spark children's imagination and sensory learning.
The learning opportunities and benefits for your child are huge! Because all of the items are open ended, there really are multiple ways your child can develop and grow while exploring with their heuristic play set. The great thing about a heuristic set, is that it grows alongside your child, from infancy through toddlerhood and beyond. It is only limited to your child’s own imagination. The earlier you introduce loose parts the better, as your child becomes accustomed to thinking outside the box, from the rich free play they have experienced.
We are here to help! If you have any questions about heuristic play, please contact us and we'll be happy to answer them!