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Are you a fan of heuristic play? Chances are good that you are even if you’ve never heard the term before! Heuristic play is a fancy name for letting your child explore objects that aren’t technically considered toys. So if you pass a whisk to your child while making dinner, encourage your little one bang on a pot with a wooden spoon, or let your baby dig into a basket of scrap fabric or ribbon, then you are encouraging your child to engage in heuristic play.
We love this kind of play! We have a treasure basket for our baby set up in every room around the house. And, at eleven months, she’ll explore them for a good twenty minutes at a time. Twenty minutes of engaged, curious, child-led play. It’s beautiful.
The other day we were over at my parent’s house for lunch. My parents have plenty of blocks, balls, and books for our girls, but I realized that they also have all the materials needed for a great baby treasure basket. Should you ever find yourself at a place that lacks “real” toys, have a look around. Maybe you’ll discover that your child’s next favorite toy isn’t actually a toy at all!
At Mamaw and Papaw’s house, our baby played with:
And cinnamon sticks.
Of course other people’s homes may have materials that you don’t want your child to chew on. Please supervise closely and use discretion.
We have one treasure basket at home that our daughter comes back to over and over again. Click on over for MORE ideas for what to put in your baby’s treasure basket!
What household items does your baby enjoy?