Children's Activities

What Is Heuristic Play

Today I will be talking about heuristic play and the benefits of heuristic play.

What is heuristic play, you may ask? 

Well, simply put, heuristic play is a method of learning using everyday objects or objects around you and the world outside. It involves opportunities for discovering and problem solving. it involves activities that provide open-ended play.

What are the benefits of heuristic play?

The benefits of heuristic play are endless! It supports the personal, social and emotional development of children. As it involves sensory objects it encourages sensory exploration of everyday activities. This type of play encourages creativity and imagination and it stimulates different senses. Usually kids will see these objects in their everyday lives but not think anything of it, but when these very same objects are given to the kids to play with, they develop an interest in these objects and become curious of what they are, what are their roles, what do they do, why are they here etc. Which in other words is problem solving. Heuristic play allows children to concentrate and explore the objects and stimulates critical thinking.

it also promotes mathematics with the different types of objects. “What shape is it?” “What size is this?” “Is it heavy?” “Is it light?” “What does it feel like?”

How could you set up heuristic play at home?

You could get a box or a basket and fill it up with different things around your home. This could be anything that encourages open-ended play. You could use things like ribbons, shower puffs, egg boxes, bottles, lids, cardboard, empty kitchen roll, measuring spoons. You could also put in things from the garden or go for a walk in the park and collect objects from there. Such as leaves, pine cones, conkers, pebbles, shells. Anything you could think of. Anything that encourages exploration.

It’s important to allow children to play freely during heuristic play, without adult intervention! As much as you want to join in, it is best to leave the children to play and explore by themselves so they can get the full benefits from the heuristic experience. This is important because you are giving your children the chance to explore freely and independently. Note – observe your children while they are playing. While it’s best to leave them to explore alone, you can keep an eye on them from a distance. Do not leave children alone with the heuristic objects, especially if your children are younger!

Another thing to note is that you should minimise any distractions, so turn of the TV and try not talking around the children. Give your children as much time as they want to get the best benefits from the play.

It’s amazing what you will witness. You will see how they do things, what they do, what they create and their facial expressions, you will see the curiosity in their faces. Literally!

You could also buy heuristic boxes and items to put in. Just click on the pictures and it will take you to the sites 🙂

I hope you found this information useful! Enjoy!


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  1. Anthony Hu says:

    Thank you for your post. It is useful for anyone who has children at home. Heuristic play describes the activity of children as they play with and explore the properties of objects. These objects are things from the real world. They are simple and anyone can play this game, since the resources are endless.

    I particularly like your description on what are the benefits fo heuristic play? It is nice to see that this game supports the personal, social and emotional development of children. It also allows children to concentrate and explore the objects and stimulates critical thinking. I am going to have this game with my grandson. 

    1. TK says:

      You should try it!  You will see all the different creations your grandson will make. And this will definitely keep him entertained for a long time!

      Thank you for your comment Anthony 🙂

  2. Tobias says:

    As a former kindergarden teacher, this was so fun to read. I used to this aswell with the kids. It is so much fun and educating at the same time!

    I do hope more people read this and do it with their kids in the future because the kids love this and best of all, you get to be outside!


    1. TK says:

      This is so much fun and highly entertaining! Thank you for your comments Tobias 🙂

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