It’s been such a long time since I posted about our treasure baskets and thought an update was in order! If you haven’t heard of these or made one before you are in for a treat. Treasure baskets are virtually free to create, take a few minutes to put together, are natural and help to develop so many skills and abilities in babies from 6-18 months.
Baby Pop still loves to play with her basket and now I have got her a round one which makes it much easier for her to access all of the contents from all angles. The objects inside are interesting to look at, feel, shake and taste, yet safe and non-toxic. There is no particular “purpose” to any of them, yet they can be manipulated, explored and played with in a multitude of ways. The basket promotes curiosity and a natural desire to investigate and think, which are wonderful skills to be seeking to develop in babies!
As before, we change some of the objects regularly to keep the basket interesting and fresh to play with. I can usually tell when I need to do this as she starts to fling things out without even looking at them, at breakneck speed. It’s very entertaining to watch but let’s me know things have got a bit stale again!
The current list of contents includes:
* various pine cones, picked up on a walk a while ago
* ribbons of different patterns and textures
* a wooden massager with roller balls
* a range of beaded necklaces and bracelets
* a thick, felted apple
* an interesting wooden toy with jointed parts
* a large shell from the beach
* one of our salt dough ducks (she loves this!)
* a huge, sparkly bouncy ball with glitter shreds suspended in water inside (beautiful and mesmorising!)
* a couple of laminated photos of babies cut out of magazines (she talks to these!)
* a wooden box with a lid
* some thick pipe cleaners, with sharp ends tucked in firmly
* a heart cushion with a range of buttons sewn on tightly
* a little tin filled with pebbles that makes a delightful noise when shaken (sealed shut)
* and…. plenty of other tidbits too!
These things were from around the house or picked up on outings to the countryside or beach. Thanks to my lovely friends who know about this basket and now collect interesting finds for me! (have you got a relative or friend who could look out for things for you too?)
I have found that she LOVES this basket because it is all hers and that means a lot with a big sibling around at the moment! She likes it even more if I keep it hidden and just bring it out once or twice during the day, therefore keeping the novelty factor alive. Obviously it’s crucial to have the TV off and other distractions kept to a minimum, then just sit by baby and interact when she invites you to. Don’t leave baby alone with the basket however, as there may be some items that are dangerous if played with without supervision.
I recently came across another little basket that used to be mine as a child for keeping my hairbands and clips in. It has made the PERFECT travel treasure basket as it holds just about 8-10 things and has an extra feature for added fascination and skill practise- a lid! Lots more joy
What could you find around your house to put in your treasure basket? It would also make a beautiful and unique natural gift for a new baby or for a first birthday present!
Treasure baskets are wonderful for:
* using the senses to discover, explore, investigate and examine new materials/ shapes/ colours/ tastes/ textures/ sounds/ weights/ quantities
* developing thinking skills
* promoting open-ended and independent play