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 basket:
- Wooden items: spoons, pegs, door wedges, egg cup, curtain rings, wooden massager. wooden beaded necklaces, rolling pin or coasters.
- Metal items: measuring spoons, whisk, metal spoon, slinky.
- Brushes: hair brush (soft bristles), scrubbing brush, toothbrush, make up brushes.
- Natural objects: sponges, shells, pine/fir cones, pumice stone, large pebbles.
- Paper/Cardboard objects: egg boxes, kitchen roll tube.
- Fur/ leather/rubber objects: bean bags, ribbons, flannel, leather purse, spiky bouncy ball, bath plug, door stop.
- Other objects: an old CD, a dried orange, musical instruments, small piece of bubble wrap, feathers, smelly bags (different scents and aromas), cotton wool, a mirror or sensory bottles.
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 utensils. But you could also add in some dried pasta, rice, 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, honey drizzler, other wooden items, baskets and sensory toys. Take a look here