Heuristic Play &
he Treasure Basket


The concepts of Heuristic Play and The Treasure Basket were pioneered by Eleanor Goldschmied in the 1960’s. Her philosophy is that children develop most of their cognitive skills using their senses and therefore gives opportunities through the use of natural materials to explore and develop these valuable skills. The treasure basket is a collection of everyday objects chosen to stimulate the different senses.

It is one way of giving babies a wide range of experiences that help the brain to make connections and develop – and helps to keep them happy! Babies learn from the treasure basket by looking, touching, sucking, licking, banging, picking up and dropping.

It gives babies the chance to explore and decide for themselves what they want to play with. Babies’ curiosity about the contents of the treasure basket means that they will often concentrate for longer and longer periods of time.

We use a variation of the Treasure Basket in every room throughout the Nursery, adapted to each stage of development. We use real food in our home corners, real pots and pans, spatula’s, wooden spoons, whisks etc to further enhance the children’s learning potential and to give them valuable home from home experiences.