Sunday, February 19, 2017

Treasure Tray {Heuristic Baby Play}

Hi all you beautiful mummies out there! It's Mumma Loz with “Turtle” (Almost 11 months-old now!) Time goes so fast!

Recently, I have been reflecting on Turtle's play and how she is increasingly capable of creating her own play. Last month in the end of my blog I described her interest in the safety gate. Even though Turtle has not played with it as much this month, I have noticed her increased interest and excitement in household items. Especially things that are regularly used by hubby and I.

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The beautiful bond that Turtle is developing at the moment is her relationship with our cats. She is absolutely mesmerised by them! Turtle is always following them around, watching their every movement. This is all part of Turtle making sense of her world. I like to remind myself that play does not just happen during Turtle's interaction with toys but also through her engagement in her world.

(Picture for cuteness)

This introduces this month's Playful Baby Series topic of heuristic play. To be honest, I hadn’t heard the term until recently. But upon researching it, heuristic play actually makes so much sense! I believe most of us mums are doing it without even realising. Lets face it, life can get so busy and I don't know about you, but I am constantly worried that Miss Turtle is not getting enough stimulation. I'm starting to discover that can in fact, be so, simple.

Heuristic play emphasises that children learn and make sense of the world through playing with objects that connect with their environment. One heuristic technique is treasure baskets. These play baskets are filled with materials from around the house and outside. How easy is that!

I have awesome memories of my mum's Tupperware drawer as a child. We used to create all different things, whether it was a drum, or a city, or cooking role-play it was always such a fun way to play. When I saw turtle the other week with a Tupperware measuring spoon (that my lovely mum had given her) and seeing her little eyes light up, I knew how special it was to her! I knew I wanted to expand on this. 

It was also a great excuse to try out the large activity tray I recently purchased on line from Modern Teaching Aides.

Please don’t feel like you need to spend a lot of trays for play. I have found that plastic tidy basins,
kitty litter trays or under the bed storage containers also work a treat. You can also find great baskets from places like Kmart or even op shops.

The activity: 
Materials used:

·         Mirror – This was to add depth and assist Turtle in making connections between the objects and herself.
·         Tray
·     Basket with measuring cups and hairrollers – adding different textures and objects to assist her fine motor skills (stacking and sorting)
·         Tin serving tray and spatulas – To support turtles interest in musical instruments and growing understanding of sound.
·         Rain maker and maracas – To expand on her music interest.
·         Soft rug  – to add softness and texture.
·         Photo frames with rough cardboard – to add more textures.With the frames, I just pop out the glass completely and glue the cardboard to the back of the frame, then put it all back together (without the glass).

Setting up:
This was fairy easy. I waited until Miss Turtle was asleep so I could successfully pop away all her other toys and lay it all out ready to go. I also ensured that the television was off to guarantee that there was little or no distraction for turtle to engage in the activity.

The result:
When I brought Turtle out from her sleep I made sure I sat back and let her approach it on her own, I got a bit frustrated when she didn’t go there first (I was just so eager to see her reaction) but I just needed to be more patient! It was so exciting watching her turn her focus onto the tray and excitedly crawl over.

At first she was hesitant but then she picked one up, one by one exploring them and looking in the mirror watching herself. The item of most interest was the spatulas and tin tray. She loved making lots of sound!

Even though she didn’t play with it for long (the DVD player caught her eye!) I am so pleased with how it turned out. Next time I would love to include some outdoor items. My hubby drilled some holes in some of turtle's sensory bottles so I can add some lavender or rose. This will add more sensory objects as she didn’t really have any thing that she can explore through smell. That is my plan for next time!

Please don't feel like you have to do this much though, it can be as simple as going for a walk and gathering outdoor objects then bringing them home for your cherubs to enjoy, or letting your little ones raid your Tupperware drawer! Children just love being to be included, love to help, love to investigate and love to explore.

I'd love to see your heuristic play ideas on Facebook or Instagram just add #playfulbabychallenge @squigglesandbubbles @loving_naturally @squishelsandme @mummy_loz


Playful Baby Giveaway

Each month as well as equipping you with some fantastic, playful baby ideas we will also be giving away one fabulous Grimm's Spiel & Holz Wooden Toy!

Grimm’s Spiel & Holz have been making unique and distinctive natural wooden toys since 1978. Inspired by the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, Spiel & Holz toys leave room for independent and open-ended play, allowing for the child’s own imaginative and creative life to be developed. Spiel & Holz toys have no sharp edges or corners as all the toys are individually sanded by hand. Each toy is hand-finished with special non-toxic and water-based dyes providing distinctive colours and shades, and then treated with pure vegetable oil.

This month you can enter on Facebook or Instagram!
To enter via Instagram: Upload your photo to Instagram using the hashtag: #playfulbabychallenge and tag @squigglesandbubbles @loving_naturally @squishelsandme @mummy_loz 

To enter via Facebook:
Like the Squiggles and Bubbles Facebook Page
Like the Squishels and Me Facebook Page
Like the Loving Naturally Facebook Page
Post your picture to Squiggles and Bubbles wall
That’s it… TOO EASY!!
Every valid entry is entered in to the prize draw!

Winners will be chosen based on adherence to the guidelines – your photo can be literal, funny, clever, or really creative! Just make sure you show us how you connect with your baby through play!

The fine print…
  • Giveaway is open to Australian residents aged 18 and over.
  • The winners will be announced via a blog post and on Facebook and Instagram on the 15th of each month.
  • The winners need to contact Squiggles and Bubbles via Facebook within 14 days or prize will go to the runner up.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, authorised by or associated with Facebook or Instagram.

You may also like Owly Scarf Play. Just click the picture to read all about it!
Please always supervise your infant/child at play.  Please stay within arms reach and never leave infants/children unattended.  You know you're infant/child best, use your own judgement-considering your infant/child's temperament, habits, behaviour and development before you play with a new play medium.

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