It has been fascinating to watch the children explore and discover the 'new' natural objects brought in for them to play with. The buzz word for this kind of play is 'heuristic' - which comes from the work 'eurisko' which means to learn, discover or reach an understanding of something.
Heuristic play allows children to play in a discovery way - to use their imaginations. And of course natural objects are rich in sensory stimulation with their different textures, shapes and feel. The phrase 'heuristic play' was a term coined by child psychologist Elinor Goldschmeid in the 1980's to describe the activity of children as they play with and explore the properties of objects from the real world.