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Heuristic play

Heuristic play
Heuristic play is rooted in young children’s natural curiosity. As babies grow, they move beyond being content to simply feel and ponder objects, to wanting to find out what can be done with them. Toddlers have an urge to handle things: to gather, fill, dump, stack, knock down, select and manipulate in other ways. Household or kitchen utensils offer this kind of activity as every parent knows, and can occupy a child for surprising stretches of time. When toddlers make an enjoyable discovery – for instance when one item fits into another, or an interesting sound is produced – they often repeat the action several times to test the result, which strengthens cognitive development as well as fine muscle control and hand/eye coordination. In their book, People under Three, Elinor Goldschmied and Sonia Jackson coined the term heuristic play, to explain how to provide a more structured opportunity for this kind of activity. Heuristic play with objects is not a novel idea.

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How Children Learn to Talk Have you ever wondered how children learn to talk? Many people, when asked that question, respond that they do it by imitating. This is at least partially true. Without imitation, we couldn't account for the fact that children in Texas usually learn Texan English, children in Paris usually learn Parisian French, and not vice versa. But imitation as an answer doesn't take us very far. 6 Types of Play: How Children's Play Becomes More Social Play is a serious business. The pioneering developmental psychologist Lev Vygotsky thought that, in the preschool years, play is the leading source of development. Through play children learn and practice many basic social skills. They develop a sense of self, learn to interact with other children, how to make friends, how to lie and how to role-play. The classic study of how play develops in children was carried out by Mildred Parten in the late 1920s at the Institute of Child Development in Minnesota. She closely observed children between the ages of 2 and 5 years and categorised the types of play.

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