Heuristic (pron.: /hyoo-ris-tik/; Greek: "Εὑρίσκω", "find" or "discover")
refers to experience-based techniques for problem solving, learning, and discovery.
Where the exhaustive search is impractical, heuristic methods are used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution; mental short cuts to ease the cognitive load of making a decision.
“Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left to educate themselves.” ~Abbé Dimnet, Art of Thinking, 1928
This week in the Menoni household the flu and some nasty colds took over. Two kids were finally able to get back to school but if your kids are anything like mine, they’ll be in a needy, fragile state once they return home today.
In preparation for this, I put together some very quick and easy sensory activities. (For more of these types of ideas look here.)
Big Brother has really been into pirates the past few months. When I ran across this Pirate Inspired Sensory box idea on one of my favorite blogs, I knew I had found a treasure. Pun intended.
(Pirate books for inspiration, our Dinosaur brown-colored playdoh, Popsicle stick with index card pirate flag, coins, Mardi Gras beads, wooden figures from our Acrobats collection, rocks, shells from our beach, a sword and kerchief from our dress up bin and some favors from a recent Pirate-themed birthday party.)
I have always loved doing sensory activities with my kids because it sparks lots of interesting questions from their curious minds, builds small motor skills, increases vocabulary through discussion, and provides a learning experience using all of their senses. Since all three of my children learn in different ways (kinesthetic, auditory, visual) then I know this is the best way to introduce them to new experiences and objects.
For Sissy I used objects from our Valentine's Day Sensory Box that I created last year and combined them with some other objects I found around the house.
A Treasure Basket is a basket (or other container) filled with various objects that will provide a wonderful tactile experience. This particular basket included; wooden beads, water blocks, bead blocks, a wire whisk, wooden marble tracks, a rice shaker made from an old sprinkles container, a piece of fabric and ribbon.
(My poor little guy is still under the weather but still always keeps the sweetest disposition.)
Although my goal is to foster a love of learning in my kids, it is usually me that seems to learn the most from their inquisitive minds and fearless creativity.
Winter break is upon us and I’m excited to come up with more learning experiences for all of us. Until then, enjoy the rest of your LOVE-ly Valentine week.
“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives. “ ~Clay P. Bedford