Heuristic play was a term used by a child psychologist Elinor Goldschmeld in the early 80’s. Heuristic play describes the activities of babies and they play and explore the properties of ‘objects’. These objects are things made from the real world. We live in a world where plastic dominates the retail world of toys. Plastic is dull, tastes the same and unstimulating for babies. Treasure baskets can be used around 16–18 months or once the baby can sit unaided to explore these objects to get a sense of the outside world.
Babies Treasure Basket
Important SAFTEY FIRST – think about the types of objects you are going to put in the basket, they must not have loose parts such as a sponge, or of a size to swallow. Babies should NEVER be left alone when playing with treasure baskets. Give everything a good wash, check for broken objects. A good measure of an object small enough to swallow is if it will fit inside a plastic
You will need:
• A basket (I like a strong basket so that babies are able to pull themselves up to peer inside)
• A blanket (perfect if you can knit/crochet a simple square)
You can be creative in using items around your home, charity shops are a good source. Think about offering a range of textures and materials e.g. Wooden objects: Lemon squeezer, wooden spoon, napkin ring, wooden egg. Metal objects: Tin measuring cups, spoon, whisk, sieve. Rubber objects: Soap holder, bath plug & chain, baster, rubber glove. Brushes: Baby’s hair brush, scrubbing brush, shaving brush, pastry brush. Natural items: Lemon, pumice stone, driftwood, pebble. Leather & textured items: Knitted ball, leather purse, sheep skin, flannel. Other objects: Sun glasses, silk scarf, tins, small baskets.