I don't remember why I visited that web site but the text that I read changed my vision of how babies play and how, as parents, we often don't realized that simple is generally much better.
I also learned a new term: Heuristic Play. Basically, it describes the activity of children as they explore the properties of objects from everyday life. Heuristic play with babies (from the time that they can sit unaided to around 18 months) revolves around the use of the Treasure Basket. Babies put everything in their mouth since it is their way to explore objects. By creating a Hippie Basket filled with 20-30 objects, which comprise a variety of textures and materials, you will provide a rich experience that will inevitably stimulate your baby's senses.
To make your Hippie Basket, you obviously need...a basket. Then look around your house for baby safe objects like a small knitted toy, a pocket mirror, a paint brush, a silk scarf, a whisk, a notebook, etc. You can also add a few "short term objects" like a finished toilet paper roll, an egg box, a lemon (?!? but Alice loves it) or a big pine cone.
Once your Hippie Basket is completed, let your kid play with it for about 45 minutes everyday. Of course, if Alice decides to investigate the big pine cone, I will supervise a bit more to make sure that she is not going to choke on an eventual piece of broken pine cone. However, don't become an helicopter parent and please let your baby explore "real" objects not targeted for babies.
In a world were toys are so intense that they limit a child's creativity and discovery, heuristic play came to our life as a breath of fresh air...and it is free so why not give it a try!
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Thank you so much for your amazing comments regarding my hypochondriac tale. You are the best medicine! xox