Operation Playtime Day 12 of 12: Heuristic play

  1. Operation playtime- come join in! 20th January 2009
  2. #OPT starts tomorrow
  3. Operation Playtime Day 1 of 12: Blocks
  4. Operation Playtime Day 2 of 12: Record a nursery rhyme or action song together
  5. Operation Playtime Day 3 of 12 Cooking
  6. Operation Playtime Day 4 of 12: Book marathon
  7. Operation Playtime Day 5 of 12:Painting
  8. Operation Playtime Day 6 of 12: Get outside
  9. Operation Playtime Day 7 of 12: Pretend play
  10. Operation Playtime 8 of 12: Kitchen Grocery Store
  11. Operation Playtime Day 9 of 12: Playdoh, gloop and yuk!
  12. Operation Playtime Day 10 of 12: Make Bubbles
  13. Operation Playtime Day 11 of 12: Sugar chalk
  14. Operation Playtime Day 12 of 12: Heuristic play

The term Heuristic ( hewr-iss-tik ) Play is used to describe the activity of a toddler when he plays with objects.. This play is not a social activity as it is about how the toddler experiments with objects and the environment… It is also important that the attentive adult is always seated comfortably nearby to provide reassurance, a sense of safety and to share in the pleasure and amusement.”

Developing Play for the Under 3s: The Treasure Basket and Heuristic Play

Anita M Hughes

Familiar forms of heuristic play: Rice tub, Treasure Basket or birdseed bath

The MO chose a collection of objects from the sand tray. He was in a pouring and scooping mood. I sat infront of him with my camera and then book and let him play. He’s 37 months and loves this type of play. I didn’t encourage him to take out some of those objects . ( I was itching to do that- looks too full for me) Instead he directed his own play and since today was pouring and scooping having a lot of other objects didn’t matter. When it did matter he’d move the object. No need for me to intervene. I was there to just watch out for his safety. He did talk to me and share what he was doing and tell me what he was holding.

How I see it?

With pretend play you act out a story or game etc.. and use natural objects. With Heuristic play you experiment with the environment using objects. The answers give you clues to how things work. The toddlers then apply that knowledge to other situations.

My son had ample practice pouring and scooping and whilst seeming boring to me he was refining his skill in a purposeful way.

Instead of only a sand pit try changing to a gravel pit outside.

We had an interesting time. Harder for me to let him play but be close without intervening. He was happy to potter around in the birdseed for 25 minutes. ( Bring a cushion) before declaring, ” All done!”

Find out more about heuristic play

Heuristic play

Treehuggermums

Alltop. Seriously?! I got in?

This is the last day of Operation Playtime 12 days of unplugged play. I hope you’ve had fun with your little one. I have enjoyed visiting the  #opt  ideas that you tried.  If you’ve not had a chance to visit and see how easy it is to start an unplugged habit; what are you waiting for?

We don’t have to have plugged or unplugged play only. Balance your play activities. Here are 12 examples of the many more you can find here at the blog or in the emails. Let this be the start of your unplugged habit.

  • Put your thoughts in a blog post and use that link, not your blog, into Mr Linky. We want to go right to your post 🙂
  • And/or Add a comment here as well if you’d like.
  • Follow the other Operation Playtimers and comment on their #OPT post.

Hope to see you again.

Operation Playtime Day 11 of 12: Sugar chalk

  1. Operation playtime- come join in! 20th January 2009
  2. #OPT starts tomorrow
  3. Operation Playtime Day 1 of 12: Blocks
  4. Operation Playtime Day 2 of 12: Record a nursery rhyme or action song together
  5. Operation Playtime Day 3 of 12 Cooking
  6. Operation Playtime Day 4 of 12: Book marathon
  7. Operation Playtime Day 5 of 12:Painting
  8. Operation Playtime Day 6 of 12: Get outside
  9. Operation Playtime Day 7 of 12: Pretend play
  10. Operation Playtime 8 of 12: Kitchen Grocery Store
  11. Operation Playtime Day 9 of 12: Playdoh, gloop and yuk!
  12. Operation Playtime Day 10 of 12: Make Bubbles
  13. Operation Playtime Day 11 of 12: Sugar chalk

This is a guest post from Shannon of Teachingtots. She is a  SAHM with 2 wonderful girls! I was a preschol teacher for 11 years before I decided to stay at home with my oldest LO. I dug out all my teacher books and started teaching her at home. She is in 2nd grade now and getting all A’s! When I had my littlest girl I started all over again but this time with a twist I started a blog about our homeschool adventures: TeachingTinytots

My girls love to color with Chalk and i love it too for 1 because we always have chalk around the house! But lets face it chalk drawings smear and smudge! Well not anymore: Sugar Chalk will be bold and bright and it won’t smear or smudge!
You will need: sidewalk chalk or regular chalk, bowl, water, sugar, construction paper
To make: place water and 1/2 cup of sugar in the bowl and stir until it is dissolved. place the chalk in the bowl ( make sure the bowl is big enough and there is enough water to cover the chalk. Let the chalk soak a few hours or overnight.
Take the chalk out and give your LO’s construction paper and the chalk and them create pretty masterpieces! Black or dark blue construction paper makes the most bold chalk masterpieces but any color will work!!!

This idea and recipe came from my favorite art book for little kids First Art by Mary Ann Kohl

  • Put your thoughts in a blog post and use that link, not your blog, into Mr Linky. We want to go right to your post 🙂
  • And/or Add a comment here as well if you’d like.
  • Follow the other Operation Playtimers and comment on their #OPT post.

See you tomorrow. Last day.

 

Operation Playtime Day 10 of 12: Make Bubbles

  1. Operation playtime- come join in! 20th January 2009
  2. #OPT starts tomorrow
  3. Operation Playtime Day 1 of 12: Blocks
  4. Operation Playtime Day 2 of 12: Record a nursery rhyme or action song together
  5. Operation Playtime Day 3 of 12 Cooking
  6. Operation Playtime Day 4 of 12: Book marathon
  7. Operation Playtime Day 5 of 12:Painting
  8. Operation Playtime Day 6 of 12: Get outside
  9. Operation Playtime Day 7 of 12: Pretend play
  10. Operation Playtime 8 of 12: Kitchen Grocery Store
  11. Operation Playtime Day 9 of 12: Playdoh, gloop and yuk!
  12. Operation Playtime Day 10 of 12:  Make Bubbles

Like many unplugged play activities we’ve already tried in the last ten days, we may look at the title and think,  “Oh bubbles. We do bubbles.” We give our kids the bubble solution or we blow bubbles ourselves for a time. But what if you were to carve out more time to let the kids really get into this unplugged play project instead of using bubbles for 10 minutes on a hot summer’s day.

There’s so much more to bubbles than a hot summer’s day.

  1. Learning breath control. You have to have patience to blow continuously and slowly to get a bubble.
  2. Dipping and mixing- too much of either and you have foam and no bubbles
  3. Calming because you have to have control. Try blowing bubbles when you’re angry.
  4. Great to share and make friends with at the local park.
  5. You can get large bubbles and lots of little bubbles- all it takes is practice.
  6. Inspire the budding scientist with the variety of bubble mixtures. Getting the recipe right. Trying new formulas etc.
  7. Opportunity to improve social skills. e.g trial and error & perseverance.
  8. Cooperation between siblings/friends. Who holds? Who gets the wand?
  9. Games you can play:  Who can pop 10 bubbles? touch 5 bubbles with your elbow/wrist/knee/bottom ( always gets a laugh)

During the winter our bubble fascination continues with straws and bowls. The kitchen side by side sink works great for both boys to blow bubbles. I think because the sound resembles something else……… usually we have fits of giggles and some poor person inhaling the liquid. But all in good fun.

Bubble prints are a fun crafty project during the winter months too. Along with impromptu baths in the middle of the day to play with bubbles. This last one a rare but fun change.

You don’t have to just use wands. Think closer to home.e.g. slotted spoons, whisks, cookie cutters, pipe cleaners, wire loops, fly swats etc. Look around the house to find alternative wands.

  • Put your thoughts in a blog post and use that link, not your blog, into Mr Linky. We want to go right to your post 🙂
  • And/or Add a comment here as well if you’d like.
  • Follow the other Operation Playtimers and comment on their #OPT post.

See you tomorrow.

 

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Operation Playtime Day 9 of 12: Playdoh, gloop and yuk!

  1. Operation playtime- come join in! 20th January 2009
  2. #OPT starts tomorrow
  3. Operation Playtime Day 1 of 12: Blocks
  4. Operation Playtime Day 2 of 12: Record a nursery rhyme or action song together
  5. Operation Playtime Day 3 of 12 Cooking
  6. Operation Playtime Day 4 of 12: Book marathon
  7. Operation Playtime Day 5 of 12:Painting
  8. Operation Playtime Day 6 of 12: Get outside
  9. Operation Playtime Day 7 of 12: Pretend play
  10. Operation Playtime 8 of 12:Kitchen Grocery Store
  11. Operation Playtime Day  9 of 12:  Playdoh, gloop and yuk!

So many playdoh recipes. So little time. We love to make our own playdoh and follow a different recipe each time. We prefer the cooked version as it lasts longer. We’ve never made the ones you can eat because I just didn’t want another habit to break them of. But I hear chocolate playdoh is a lot of fun.

Why we like playdoh?

  • You get to make and do whatever you want
  • Builds finger strength
  • develops manipulation skills ( rolling snakes)
  • When we’re in a stonking mood it calms, all of us.
  • Good to share
  • both boys get to play side by side.

A lucky find at a yard sale means we have a whole load of equipment we can use with playdoh. The hard work or pushing the playdoh through to get hair is so worth it.

Playdoh play can last. It’s usually what the boys do whilst I cook dinner if they aren’t helping with that. For 20 minutes plus they can create and play.  The conversations and language they practice makes me smile.

I can see them which I think is the number one problem why playdoh is banned in a lot of homes. Parents leave their kids with it alone. Hardened playdoh in hair, on the dog or in carpets is no joke. The kitchen table and tile floor for us and so far no problems. Don’t give up on playdoh.

What about gloop, cornstarch, flubber and silly putty?

Have you tried those?

Traditionally playdoh is the first we turn to but try these other substances. Children don’t get enough messy play. There is something theraputic about plunging your hands into something slimey and mushy. Doesn’t sound like it to us but it raises lots of questions from them.

Here’s a link to a some recipes or go to your favourite site.

Ideas

Try something new.

Flubber for dummies

Sensory play 6 Touch

Fun Gloop

Natural Playdoh and other recipes

  • Put your thoughts in a blog post and use that link, not your blog, into Mr Linky. We want to go right to your post 🙂
  • And/or Add a comment here as well if you’d like.
  • Follow the other Operation Playtimers and comment on their #OPT post.

See you tomorrow.

 

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Operation Playtime 8 of 12:Kitchen Grocery Store

  1. Operation playtime- come join in! 20th January 2009
  2. #OPT starts tomorrow
  3. Operation Playtime Day 1 of 12: Blocks
  4. Operation Playtime Day 2 of 12: Record a nursery rhyme or action song together
  5. Operation Playtime Day 3 of 12 Cooking
  6. Operation Playtime Day 4 of 12: Book marathon
  7. Operation Playtime Day 5 of 12:Painting
  8. Operation Playtime Day 6 of 12: Get outside
  9. Operation Playtime Day 7 of 12: Pretend play

Yesterday we looked at unstructured pretend play. Pretend play is such a huge part of unplugged play. Today the focus is on a structured pretend play scenario.

Kitchen Grocery Store

This is a guest post from Allison of No Time for flashcards

Imaginative play is crucial, it allows your child to test out and use skills they observe all day long. They also learn new words, use math skills , tap into their imagination and so much more. Our grocery store took me 5 minutes to set up and we played with it for ages! Using real food seems to make it extra special, but play food will work just fine.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some food from your pantry and /or fridge, a cart or basket, a bag to put your purchases in, some play money and something that can be turned into a register. We used a stool, with a plate and some red paper to make a “scanner”.
  2. Get your money and grab a basket!
  3. Start Shopping !
  4. Time to Pay!

Have fun and remember how important play is!

  • Put your thoughts in a blog post and use that link, not your blog, into Mr Linky. We want to go right to your post 🙂
  • And/or Add a comment here as well if you’d like.
  • Follow the other Operation Playtimers and comment on their #OPT post.

See you tomorrow.

 

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Operation Playtime Day 7 of 12: Pretend play

  1. Operation playtime- come join in! 20th January 2009
  2. #OPT starts tomorrow
  3. Operation Playtime Day 1 of 12: Blocks
  4. Operation Playtime Day 2 of 12: Record a nursery rhyme or action song together
  5. Operation Playtime Day 3 of 12 Cooking
  6. Operation Playtime Day 4 of 12: Book marathon
  7. Operation Playtime Day 5 of 12:Painting
  8. Operation Playtime Day 6 of 12: Get outside
  9. Operation Playtime Day  7 of 12:  Pretend play

All children love to be creative. Some of them we have to help them along. Many just can’t help themselves and are eager to dress up or act. There’s no reason to think certain pretend play ideas are just for girls or boys. This is their time to experiment and try out ideas and make sense of the world.

My boys love to dress up in costumes. We have two huge stacks of clothes. Yes we are the family that has a superhero who shops groceries with his mom.

Just like outdoor play and gross motor play, finding time to encourage or allocate time for pretend play isn’t always a priority.

Inspire your children to try some pretend play. As usual push those boundaries only if you’re children are willing and try something different. Or else carve out some pretend play time.

Ideas

  • Read a story and extend the end of it into their adventure.
  • Start a pretend story you’re making up complete with actions. Ask them to join in.
  • Get a favourite toy and use it to start a play scene
  • Provide a selection of unstructured items ( material, natural objects etc) Invite them to go play and see where it takes them.
  • Set up an unstructured toy area ( dolls, train set etc)
  • Join in and extend the play by asking questions” Where should we go” I’m hungry- what shall we eat? Shall we stop? etc

There are so many ways to start them off.

  • Put your thoughts in a blog post and use that link, not your blog, into Mr Linky. We want to go right to your post 🙂
  • And/or Add a comment here as well if you’d like.
  • Follow the other Operation Playtimers and comment on their #OPT post.

See you tomorrow.

Operation Playtime Day 6 of 12: Get outside

  1. Operation playtime- come join in! 20th January 2009
  2. #OPT starts tomorrow
  3. Operation Playtime Day 1 of 12: Blocks
  4. Operation Playtime Day 2 of 12: Record a nursery rhyme or action song together
  5. Operation Playtime Day 3 of 12 Cooking
  6. Operation Playtime Day 4 of 12: Book marathon
  7. Operation Playtime Day 5 of 12:Painting
  8. Operation Playtime Day 6 of 12:  Get outside

This is a post for us.

We’ve lived in Colorado now for over a year. Being a military family we’ve lived in a few places. When we did our play audit we noticed we didn’t spend much time or nearly as much time as I’d like or have done in the past outside. Partly it’s the new area; pregnancy  & now newborn- but excuses aside I’m looking for some ways to motivate us outside more.

I think this video response is apt for winter.

Don’t get me wrong we do go outside especially to the park and on our bikes…….just not for long. The boys are very active inside. Trying for a little more balance and direct that fantastic energy outside.

What do you do? How do you encourage outside play? Do the kids have to go out everyday?

Ideas

Think about the answers

  • What gross motor activities do your kids love to do? cycling? scooters? tag? teeter tooters? gardening?
  • What do they do unstructured play? outdoor toys and equipment?
  • Do you like walks; going for hikes; trip to the park?
  • Others???????
  1. Put your thoughts in a blog post and use that link, not your blog, into Mr Linky. We want to go right to your post 🙂
  2. And/or Add a comment here as well if you’d like.
  3. Follow the other Operation Playtimers and comment on their #OPT post.
  4. See you tomorrow.

Operation Playtime Day 5 of 12:Painting

On

    1. Operation playtime- come join in! 20th January 2009
    2. #OPT starts tomorrow
    3. Operation Playtime Day 1 of 12: Blocks
    4. Operation Playtime Day 2 of 12: Record a nursery rhyme or action song together
    5. Operation Playtime Day 3 of 12 Cooking
    6. Operation Playtime Day 4 of 12: Book marathon
    7. Operation Playtime Day 5 of 12:Painting

Hi! My name is Amy Anderson. I have a background in elementary education, and currently am a stay-at-home mom of two girls. I am very involved in my daughters’ parent participation preschool and kindergarten classroom. I share many of our creative play and explorations at my blog and offer a variety of creative products to inspire imagination, discovery, and play at my online shop, Let’s Explore. I am very happy to be sharing a really fun and easy project with you today!

My girls and I love to explore painting with a variety of brushes and objects. One of our favorite explorations is with gadgets and tools from the kitchen. So, gather up some washable paint and an assortment of things from the kitchen. Here are some ideas to get you started:
  • potato masher
  • whisk
  • fork
  • honey dipper
  • spatula
  • sponges and scrubbies
  • bottle brush
  • cookie cutters
  • melon baller
  • chopsticks
Try spreading a thin layer of paint on a paper plate or tray. Your child can then dip a gadget in the paint and make a print on the paper. Some tools, like honey dippers and whisks, are also fun to dip into a cup of paint and then dab and roll on the paper. Experiment!
Most kitchen tools clean-up well afterwards and you can continue using them in the kitchen. However, I also like to keep a box of kitchen gadgets that I don’t use anymore or that I find inexpensively for anytime painting and less worry about clean-up.
Have fun!
  • Put your thoughts in a blog post and use that link, not your blog, into Mr Linky. We want to go right to your post 🙂
  • Add a comment here as well if you’d like.
  • Follow the other Operation Playtimers and comment on their #OPT post.

See you tomorrow.

Operation Playtime Day 4 of 12: Book marathon

On

  1. Operation playtime- come join in! 20th January 2009
  2. #OPT starts tomorrow
  3. Operation Playtime Day 1 of 12: Blocks
  4. Operation Playtime Day 2 of 12: Record a nursery rhyme or action song together
  5. Operation Playtime Day 3 of 12 Cooking
  6. Operation Playtime Day  4 of 12:  Book marathon

We love reading. We also take it for granted. We all read but how much time? Bedtime only/sometimes? For a project only or just for fun? Whatever the reason- take today as book marathon day.
I very much enjoyed The Read-Aloud Handbook. Which led us to focus on…reading stories aloud even as they get past 6. We also love audio stories and hope our kids will continue to love listening to stories as we do.

Along the same theme; a family favourite we bought some time ago in the UK :. The Hutchinson Treasury of Stories to Read Aloud . This is our current popular read.

The BG has almost daily reading books from Kindie to read. I wanted him to still enjoy reading even though he’s learning. I didn’t want him put off reading by the struggle of it and missing out on the fun of the words.

The MO seems to have an insatiable appetite for books. We say, “Don’t sit down for long otherwise MO will bring you a book!” and it’s true.

The LO has realised his fingers can be directed and screw up and grab really well so he’s truly getting into books too. So with all this reading going on I need to find fun books to read as well. This compendium has 44 stories. Yes you read right 44- try buying 44 books separately for around $40.

The 1000 picture book blog post has been playing on my mind. My date planner is always nearby so I’m recording our books in there on each day. I’m not aiming for 1000 picture books but recording what books we read seems a fun thing to do. When I went home I was able to show my oldest some of my reading books still on my shelf in my bedroom. I’d love to be able to show the boys the appetite they had for books when they are older. I hope it’s still remains.

This is one of those unplugged activities we all do. Let’s change it a little bit and do something different than usual.

Ideas

  • Make a fort and read under the sheets or under the table.
  • Choose a theme of books and read. ( i.e. poetry, rhyme, dinosaurs, princesses, Ancient Rome, minibeasts, Thomas the tank etc)
  • Read for an amount of time rather than an amount of books ( or the other way around)
  • Let the youngest choose the most books and the oldest choose the least.
  • YOU get to choose the books instead of the kiddos
  • THEY get to choose the books from a selection
  • Download an audiobook from Audible.com
  • Listen to a story from Storynory.com
  • Visit the library and find an audio story/ and written story combination.
  • and many more……….

Share your ideas

What are your favourite books? How do you keep reading really interesting and fun as the kids get older? What read alouds or picture books are your favourites? Do you have goals like 1000 books in 2009 or 12 chapter books in 12 months; go to the library every week?

NB: I know that ‘marathon’ suggests a race of reading 100s of books. That’s not my idea. More- reading more than you would usually do/doing something different. Instead inspiring and promoting reading as a direct activity rather than a fill in activity ( got 10 minutes) or bolt on activity ( bedtime).

  • Put your thoughts in a blog post and use that link, not your blog, into Mr Linky. We want to go right to your post 🙂
  • Add a comment here as well if you’d like.
  • Follow the other Operation Playtimers and comment on their #OPT post.

See you tomorrow.

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Operation Playtime Day 3 of 12 Cooking

  1. Operation playtime- come join in! 20th January 2009
  2. #OPT starts tomorrow
  3. Operation Playtime Day 1 of 12: Blocks
  4. Operation Playtime Day 2 of 12: Record a nursery rhyme or action song together
  5. Operation Playtime Day 3 of 12  Cooking

This is Amber from Because Babies Grow Up. My educational background is in child development. After college I worked with infants performing developmental assessments. From those assessments, I learned a lot of fun mini-activities at every stage that kids love. I now have two girls and have enjoyed watching them discover the joy of play. I’m excited to share one of our favorite play activities with Operation Playtime.

Today we’ll head into the kitchen and mix up a batch of cookies! This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. Whenever I talk about cooking with Sammi (my 2 1/2 year old) I typically hear these responses: It takes so much longer to cook with kids helping; It is so much messier when the kids help; I don’t know how my kids can help.

Here are some ideas to combat those potential setbacks:

  • Set aside extra time to bake. Think of this as any other play activity. Let it take as long as it takes!
  • Plan for messes. Keep paper towels, washcloths, or sponges close at hand to quickly wipe up the messes. It’s so much easier to clean up as you go so it’s not so overwhelming when you’re done.
  • Making cooking a play activity takes a little extra prep, but it’s worth it!
  • Give your kids wiggle room. Let them practice pouring, scooping, stirring. You’ll never know what they can do until you let them try.

Cooking promotes both cognitive development as well as motor development. Kids are increasing their understanding of ingredients-separate things come together to make something else-and measurements. At the same time, they’re practicing fine and gross motor movements: holding a measuring spoon and pouring it into a bowl, stirring, scooping flour or sugar with a measuring cup.

I have to credit my husband with this, but since we started cooking with Sammi, she can now crack an egg, open it and dump the egg into a bowl. To top it off, she rarely gets any egg shells in with the egg. I know that the only reason she can do that at 2 1/2 years is because we trusted her enough to let her try. I cleaned a lot of egg up off the floor, but now she has a lot of confidence in her abilities and loves to cook.

If this is your first experience letting your child cook with you, I caution you to not expect it to go perfectly. It may not even go smoothly! But, if you remember that it’s play and the process is the activity, then it can be a lot of fun. Your kids will be so excited to do something they’ve never done before, especially something they see you do all the time.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Crisco)

3/4 C (cup)Butter flavored Crisco shortening

1 1/4 C firmly packed light brown sugar

2 T (tablespoon) milk

1 T vanilla

1 egg

1 3/4 C all purpose flour

1 t (teaspoon) salt

3/4 t baking soda

1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 C coarsely chopped pecans (optional)

  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Combine shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in bowl. Mix until well blended.
  3. Beat egg into creamed mixture.
  4. Add flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into creamed mixture.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips and pecan pieces.
  6. Drop by the spoonful onto a cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 min. Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet 1-2 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheet and place on cooling rack.

Enjoy with a glass of milk! (I give Sammi the beater to eat while I drop the cookies on the baking sheet. Her attention span for this activity is pretty much up once the chocolate chips come out!)

Ideas

Share your cooking stories. What do you love or hate to do? Have you tried baking but not helping with a main meal? or visa versa.

  • Put your thoughts in a blog post and use that link, not your blog, into Mr Linky. We want to go right to your post 🙂
  • Add a comment here as well if you’d like.
  • Follow the other Operation Playtimers and comment on their #OPT post.
  • See you tomorrow.

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