Today was another day of exploring all these natural items. Little “L” had her first day back with me after 3 weeks and it was lovely to see her. We sat together on the playroom floor and she started to explore the items I had layed out. I tried not to say too much or impose my ideas. The idea of this form of play is that they explore in their own way and we observe. It can give you some wonderful insights in to how areas of the child’s learning is developing. What Schema’s they might be following and their learning styles.
Children are naturally inquisitiveness and as they move from being babies to toddlers, they stop being content with just holding and sucking the items and want to find out what can be done with these things. Can we make them make a sound? Can we stack them and then knock them down? Can we fill them up and empty them again? Once a child has found a satisfying reaction to their play with an item or items, they will repeat this action over and over again, testing the result will still be the same. This improves many areas of a child’s development. It will strengthen their hand eye co-ordination, cognitive development, boost their self esteem and improve their fine motor skills.
For a true session of Heuristic play I would have found a different room to do this in with no distractions. Some of our toys did pop up in our session due to our location in the playroom. Next time I think I will do this in the living room and close off the door to the playroom. Most Heuristic play sessions last about an hour and I lay the items out on the floor without actually setting it up. This is very different to the “Invitations to play” that you might set up at other times. It is important to have many objects and lots of each one so that children do not feel the need to “protect” or “hoard” the items. Children of this age find sharing very difficult and although we are teaching them every day to share, many are not developmentally ready for that just yet.
The adult does not interfere in the child’s explorations but just sits back to observe and be on hand for emotional support and security.
Little “L” loved her session today.
She started off by hanging curtain rings over the branches on our tree bowl.
She then moved on to popping a wooden Tortoise in to a shell and balancing him!
She tried to pop the curtain rings in to a goblet but they didn’t fit. She tried one ring after another and each one was discarded in to a bowl when she realised it would not fit. But she did find a wooden bell rattle that fitted just perfectly in to her goblet which gave her a lot of satisfaction!
Just before our session came to an end she climbed on my lap with a set of 3 tins. These were all varying sizes. She un-stacked them from one in side the other and then tried to match them with the correct lids. turning each one and then putting it down and selecting another to try.