We often underestimate the influence of plants in our lives. Plants provide us with food, building materials, raw materials used in manufacturing processes, fuel and life-saving drugs as well bringing colour, scent and beauty into our lives. Plants also play an essential role in maintaining the environmental sustainability of the Earth. Planting, growing and tending plants are perfect ways of introducing young children not to the importance of taking care of living things and to their responsibility for taking care of the planet.
The word heuristic derives from the Greek word eurisko meaning ‘I discover’. It is used to describe an intuitive way of meeting challenges and solving problems – exactly what young children do when they are engaged in Heuristic Play.
Communication and Language – Listening, Speaking and Understanding – has been designated as one of the Prime areas of learning in the new EYFS Framework. This gives us a clear message about the importance of nurturing children’s communication skills from a very early age. We are all aware that even very young babies use all their senses to explore themselves and their surroundings as they start to make sense of the world. Well before they can talk they will be communicating, investigating, asking questions, solving problems and making choices as they eat, play and interact with the people around them.