Treasure baskets are a great activity for young children, and doesn’t have to cost any money as you can use items from around the house. In case your not sure what treasure baskets are they are a basket or box (hence the name) filled with different objects for babies and toddlers to explore.
The main objects used inside treasure baskets are items from the real world. Heuristic Play describes the activity of babies and toddlers exploring these items. Treasure baskets can encourage babies and toddlers to use all their senses and provides rich mental stimulation.
Things you could include in your treasure baskets:
spoons, pegs, door wedges, egg cup, curtain rings, wooden massager. wooden beaded necklaces, rolling pin or coasters.
measuring spoons, whisk, metal spoon, a slinky.
hair brush (soft bristles), scrubbing brush, toothbrush, make up brushes.
sponges, shells, pine/fir cones, pumice stone, large pebbles.
egg boxes, kitchen roll tube.
Fur/ leather/rubber objects
bean bags, ribbons, flannel, leather purse, spiky bouncy ball, bath plug, door stop.
an old CD, a dried orange, musical instruments, small piece of bubble wrap, feathers, smelly bags (different scents and aromas), cotton wool, a mirror.
The great thing about treasure baskets is that you can mix it up and change over the objects. Also you can organise your treasure baskets into 9 different baskets:
- Mixed basket
- Nature basket- pine cones, sponges etc
- Noisy basket – musical instruments
- Colour basket – you could even colour theme!
- Food basket – include food that the children can explore – smell, touch as taste
- Stacking basket – things children can stack! Cardboard boxes, curtain rings on kitchen roll holders, wooden blocks
- Play/action based – such as cooking pans and utensils to pretend to cook, cutlery, jugs and cups to serve drinks.
- Kitchen basket – again using kitchen items such as various utensils. But you could also add in some dried pasta, rice or lentils (inside some clear pots)
- Soft basket – cotton wool, flannels, baby brush, a soft toy
If you wanted to buy you own sensory basket filled with items already you can get one here
You can buy lots of different items on amazon such as feathers, a honey drizzler and other wooden items. You can also find baskets and various sensory toys. Take a look here
You could also add some sensory bottles and you can easily make them at home. I have written a post on how you can make them. Take a look here to take a look.