Re thinking toys

on Tuesday, 30 April 2013. Posted in Blog

Blogger- Sally Rodrigues.

How many times have you heard this in a toyshop or a children’s party?
“Children are always more interested in the packaging than the toy.”
“I have no idea what to give a one year old. My mom always told me I was happiest playing with a pot and a wooden spoon!”

Children under three years old need objects that they can experience, explore and discover.  They are sensory beings going through a stage of play Piaget referred to as the Sensorimotor stage (0-2yrs). Where young children want to find out ‘What is this?’

Considering most toys today are made from plastic, there is very little room for diverse sensory stimulation. So babies, begin to seek it out the sensory stimulus they need elsewhere, your keys, your watch, your scarf, your glasses, our cutlery, our shoes, and the dog’s bowl!  

In the Early 80’s Child psychologist Elinor Goldschmied along with Sonia Jackson, coined the word Heuristic Play to describe how babies and toddlers play. Derived from the Greek work ‘heuriskein’ meaning to discover to invent, and though hours of observation came up with the idea of Treasure Basket for babies.

A Treasure Basket is traditionally a circular low-sided woven basket filled with ‘objects’ from around the baby’s environment. All the objects in the Treasure Basket are non-plastic and create a simulating sensory play experience. Allowing them to interact with the world through self initiated play. It is vital that we recognise the importance of allowing young children the time and the place to turn purposeful play into learning.

With thanks to Sally Rodrigues

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