“Heuristic play is the use of play to discover or learn something for themselves.”
Heuristic play was a term coined by a child psychologist Elinor Goldschmeid in the early 1980’s. Heuristic play describes the activity of babies and children as they play with and explore the properties of ‘everyday objects’. These ‘objects’ are things from the real world like pine cones, spoons, egg cups, shells, sponges, whisks, nail brushes and all sorts of variations of objects and are often refered to as treasure baskets. Whether the ‘objects’ are used for stacking, imaginative play or explorative play using everyday objects in play is a the perfect learning opportunity for progressing everyday skills like counting and are great for promoting language whilst introducing new words to the child’s vocabulary.
‘Everyday should be a beach day!’
One of the huge benefits of growing up in Cornwall is the opportunity to explore the beautiful and awe-inspiring coastline. We occasionally take trips to the beach, enabling our children to learn about the natural world around them and the creatures that inhabit our beautiful oceans. Whilst at the beach Bright Eyes children delight in writing messages or drawing pictures in the sand, searching for shoreline creatures and shells and building sand castles. We often take home treasures from the beach too that can be used in our craft activities. The beach is also the perfect backdrop to educate our children in the importance of looking after the environment and how we can work together to preserve the natural world as well as being sun safe and water play safe too. These outdoor activities are not only fantastic fun, but build confidence, encourage inquisitiveness and develop physical and emotional strength.
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing” – Scandanavian Saying
Set within a large mature garden, Bright Eyes Childcare offers little adventurers the opportunity to explore the natural environment and learn through play. With sheltered and covered areas to discover, as well as open spaces, our children are able to build relationships with the great outdoors whatever the weather. Outdoor play stimulates the imagination and has countless other benefits, including fitness and physical development. Building a shelter for a hedgehog, looking for bugs in our bug hotel, making mud pies in the mud kitchen or embarking on a treasure hunt through enchanting woodland and acting as nature detectives to identify different creatures are just some of the activities that await Bright Eyes children.
Research shows that many children are not eating enough fruit and vegetables. At Bright Eyes our children enjoy growing an array of tasty natural treats in our vegetable plot and greenhouse. What better way to learn about the benefits of healthy eating than to plant a seed, nurture it and watch it grow into something delicious. Everything our children grow is organic and they love picking and preparing their produce for a healthy snack. This process builds a love and understanding of nature, whilst encouraging even the pickiest eater to try new things.
Other activities at Bright Eyes
Our Child-Led Learning Policy means that all children will have the chance to thrive, make decisions, build bonds and explore their interests. With this in mind we have a variety of play options for our children to engage in. These include wet play, sand play, construction and home play. We also have dedicated areas for quiet reading with a huge selection of story books and an Imagination area, with dressing up boxes overflowing with clothing and props to fuel their imaginations. Our nursery team also run craft activities and messy play with plenty of paint and glitter!
- Arts and Crafts (drawing, painting, craft work)
- Outdoor play
- Mark making/Writing
- Music sessions (music and movement, dance, singing nursery rhymes)
- Practical life activities (gardening, cooking)
- Library time
- Messy play
- Letters and sounds – improving speech and letter recognition to improve writing skills later
- Games – memory games, whats the time Mr Wolf, parachute games, ball throwing games etc
- Free play – Home corner, role play areas with everyday context e.g. market stall, hairdressers, dentist, doctors etc
- Visits to places such as the post office, park or just everyday shopping