The term “Heuristic Play” was created to describe and explain the interaction between babies and kids with everyday objects ”

Today, kids are around many colored, stimulating and engaging toys of many brands and purposes. These toys regardless of what they are made of (plastic or wood) remain essential in your baby’s life as it helps them gain extra knowledge. However, playing with toys alone is not enough. Kids will still lack abilities to stimulate some of the senses and are bound to have low heuristic properties which allows them later on to develop critical thinking and have problem-solving skills. 

What is the concept of heuristic play?

Heuristic play is mostly recommended to enhance critical thinking abilities. Heuristic play is the exploration of everyday objects which allows for sensory exploration. Everyday objects and items really mean anything. It could be pieces of pasta and rice or yarn or wooden spoons, This is why when your kid shows interest in any item in your household do not freak out immediately and allow them to ‘play’ with it some time all while observing them and making sure it is not a dangerous object for the kid, Heuristic plays also allows imagination which makes your children prone to be more creative in their teenage and adult years.  

All the benefits of heuristic play for children

“Toys that do less, actually teach more.”

1. Stimulation and enhancement of creativity and imagination

When going for out of the norm stuff to play with your kids are not focusing only on muscle memory that limits their imaginative capabilities. They have more freedom to explore and learn when dealing with open-ended play. 

2. Improves brain development 

Open ended play or heuristic play as it involves several sensory exploration allows to improve the brain development. This is actually one of the most important benefits your toddlers can have. Heuristic play improves the brain’s development as it supports mass motor skills. 

3. Stimulates critical thinking

Usually, when playing with toys , the actions a kid can do with that toy is limited. So with time , they learn the objectives and end results that they need to get/hear from that toy. It can be a noise for example. With time the children will memorize the actions and therefore rely more on their memory muscle. Whilst this is great , your kids also need to experiment with new objects -It could be banging something on the floor or two toys together- This allows the kid to develop hypotheses by questioning logic. 

4.Enhances early mathematical skills conceptual learning

Once you allow your child to be more exposed to a wide range of objects (size, shape and weight) you’re allowing them to dig in the conceptual learning as opposed to toys. 

5. Less stressed and more independent

When kids are faced and allowed to play with whatever basics they are faced with they learn to be critical thinkers and courageous in discovering. When a kid sees you stressed about them touching objects other than toys they will get stressed and worried about everything. This develops a sense of co-dependence and a mis-conception of the world.  


How can you as a parent encourage heuristic play?

Usually the time that is sufficient for heuristic play is not more than 30 minutes per day. All you need to do as a parent is be chill, relaxed and provide a safe healthy open-space environment for them to play. All you need to do is switch off everything and allocate 30 minutes of play time with random objects in the house. It could be letting them fill the fridge box with tomatoes and cucumbers or letting them play with pegs. The most important thing is that these activities need to rotate the type of activities from day to day.

Just remember toys are not bad but they are not enough for the best cognitive development 

Who are We?

We are Leads, a nursery in nadd al hamar and we are one of the first dubai early childhood development centre. Contact us if you are interested and looking for a nursery center in dubai

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