Through my classes and teaching I encourage children to play heuristically with or without the objects around them but I try to create a stimulating and engaging environment in every class.
- When a child learns Heuristically they are discovering for themselves.
- When a child ‘learns through doing’ they are doing so Kinesthetically.
These two style of learning are linked by their very definition, you cannot have one without the other.
Children learn best through playing and interacting with the environments around them.
I am therefore very against toys that are defined by the shape of the plastic and much prefer toys that can create a scene or an environment in which stimulates a child to think.
The most incredible thing about children is their endless ability to think and not be bound by the same constraints most adults find themselves adhering to.
A masterpiece in the making….
Give a child a bottle and that bottle becomes a submarine, a flamingo, a chefs hat or a space rocket and that space rocket starts to set a scene.
A space rocket has to go somewhere once it has blasted off…..
- to the moon,
- then Pluto
- and meet aliens who want to make friends
- and aliens who don’t
- but that’s ok because the aliens who don’t want to make friends are just a little bit grumpy because they had lost their dog…
- they weren’t bad aliens, just grumpy until they found their dog
- then they invited us for tea
- and we had space crumpets and mashed potato.
You see how easy it is for one bottle to create a story, a thought process. What some might see as wildly incoherent, it is beyond all reasonable doubt, a masterpiece to their eyes.
Play to learn
That story involved thinking, becoming inspired, the development of logical flow and progression, the knowledge of space, the relationships formed between themselves and new people, the awareness that some people might be good and others not, the understanding that there could be a reason that someone is not nice.
They are learning relationships, compassion, progression, independence, creativity to name a few and best of all, they are having fun doing it. They are playing and learning at the same time.
Indulging your children at play time is the most fun they can have with you and it might not be just them who ends up learning – I mean who would have thought mash potato and crumpets would work…
[Disclaimer: mash potato and crumpets is not worth trying]