Treasure Basket Explorations
Heuristic Learning for Infants and Toddlers



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Treasure Basket Explorations
Heuristic Learning for Infants and Toddlers

 

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For the littlest learners, everything is an activity--feeling a rock, trying to lick a bubble, smelling a flower, or poking sand. In Treasure-Basket Explorations: Heuristic Learning for Infants and Toddlers, teachers and caregivers of infants and toddlers will learn how these simple explorations support cognitive and vocabulary development. Grounded in the theory of early education pioneer Elinor Goldschmied, the book explains heuristic learning--discovery by trial and error--and how to encourage this type of learning to boost development.

Teachers will learn how to set up treasure baskets that encourage heuristic play: containers filled with easy-to-find items that support explorations in emergent language, math, and science skills. Encourage children to discover the sounds that a metal cup makes when banged on the floor. Invite them to feel the velvety texture of soft fabric or the bumpiness of a loofah sponge. Let them explore what a wooden ring and a cotton handkerchief can do together.

Through his explorations, the child is answering some fundamental questions: What is this and what can I do with it? Later, he will add to his knowledge: What else can this do and what can this become? This is cognitive development in action!

Laura Wilhelm

Laura Wilhelm, EdD, is Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education at Petree College of Arts and Sciences, Oklahoma City University. Over the past twenty five years, Laura has taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, First and...

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“I have read the delightful new book, Treasure Basket Explorations: Heuristic Learning for Infants and Toddlers, by Laura Wilhelm. This book is based upon Goldschmeid and Jackson’s (1992) seminal work on helping infants and toddlers explore objects in their environments. The unique focus of the book fills a gap in current publications for early childhood educators and parents alike, in that it outlines specific ways to use treasure baskets with the very young. Beautiful photographs highlight the text and give examples of ways infants and toddlers engage with treasure baskets heuristically. This book would make a good addition to a professional’s library, or a gift to a parent with young children.”

Dr. Janette Wetsel
Professor - University of Central Oklahoma


“I love the book! It brought back memories of my childhood. My favorite things to play with were a muffin tin, wooden spoons, costume jewelry and of course dirt! It has wonderful pictures and wonderful ideas to keep a classroom engaged for hours. I will recommend the book to my parents. Laura Wilhelm and her students did a fantastic job! ”

Carolyn Lamiell
Southern Hills Christian School



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