So at the moment I’m into these exploration treasure basket things. And so is my little boy, big-time. He’s just learnt to sit, and he’s all over getting his hands on the latest challenge I have for him – which is pretty cool. And they keep him entertained for ages, big plus for mummy 🙂
It’s all about Heuristic Play, which is a fancy way of saying, ‘kids get to explore things on their own.” There is lots of research and all to go with it, but the bottom line is, my little man enjoys looking at things at his own pace, on his own terms, in his own chosen order, for as long or as little time as he wants.
There are loads of treasure basket ideas out there – most mums seem to have a special basket, filled with items of different colour, material, texture, size and purpose.
Sometimes a treasure basket is filled with items that are similar – such as putting in a wooden spoon, a wooden toy, a wood cube, a block, a piece of driftwood, a pine cone, etc – and the baby can have a little think about the texture of wood. Or it might be a metal basket day, with all metal items like spoons, a whisk, a pot lid, a door knob, and a spanner from the toolbox. Or a fabric day, with ribbons, different squares of fabrics – light, heavy, soft, coarse, a felt toy, a woollen sock, a silk scarf, etc.
And sometimes a treasure basket is a big mix of all of these items, some of which get rotated in and out every few days so that there is always something new to discover for little fingers.
I think it’s nice to do all of these things at some point, but I also think the basket itself can change. I have put all of my boy’s items into a woven basket, a metal pot with big handles, a big plastic tub, a metal mixing bowl, and a plastic laundry basket. I still have a fabric storage box, a cardboard box, and a small suitcase up my sleeve, and I’m sure I can find plenty more interesting receptacles in the garage 🙂
So don’t be afraid to get out those nasty old pots and pans, mum! It might be just what the baby ordered 🙂 And if you have any cool ideas for keeping things fresh, let me know!
Some great ideas for fun (and beautiful) treasure baskets can be found at:
Prepare The Environment – beautiful sensory baskets
The Imagination Tree – a great range of reflective, wooden and fabric baskets
Raising Sparks – good ideas for a metal and a ‘brushes’ basket!
It’s All About Stories – plastics and ribbons baskets, plus many more!
And a great idea for Sensory Bottles from Twin Talk 🙂