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The Treasure Basket

April 2, 2009

From birth children learn through experiences in their everyday environment. The opportunity to learn through experimentation and exploration is important to prepare for later, more formal learning. As soon as babies can sit comfortably and can grasp and handle objects, they can be given a treasure basket to play with.

The basket should contain a range of natural and everyday objects, but not plastic or bought toys. It should be no less than 14 inches in diameter, and four or five inches high. It should have a flat bottom, and be strong enough for the babies to lean on without it tipping. It should be filled to the brim with objects so that there is plenty of scope to sort through and select items to explore.

The purposes of the collection are to offer maximum interest through the use of the five senses: touch, sight, sound, smell and taste. The babies gain rich sensory experiences through mouthing and handling the objects that they select, and show great curiosity and high levels of concentration.

The idea of playing with everyday objects is not a new one, and most people will remember playing with pots and pans in the kitchen or sorting through the button box. By providing a simple treasure basket we are giving young children the opportunity to explore and discover things for themselves and by themselves.

Suggested Objects for the Treasure Basket

Natural Objects
Fir cones: different sizes
Big feathers
Piece of loofah
Large pebbles
Pumice stones
Small natural sponge
Dried gourds Corks: various sizes
A lemon
Large chestnuts
Avocado pear stones
An apple
Large walnuts
Objects of natural minerals
Woollen ball
Small raffia mat
Small shoe brush
Little baskets
Wooden nail brush

Wooden Objects
Small boxes Cubes: short length of wood
Small boxes, velvet lined
Small drum on wooden frame
Bobbin cotton reel
Rattle, various types
Curtain rings
Bamboo whistle
Napkin ring
Castanets: unpainted
Peg: two types

Metal Objects
Spoons, various sizes
Garlic squeezer
Small egg whisk
Lemon squeezer
Scout whistle
Bunch of keys
Typewriter spool
Bottle brush
Lengths of chain, of different quality

Objects in Leather, Textile, Rubber, Fake Fur
Small teddy
Puppy ring
Length of rubber tubing
Leather purse
Small rag doll
Bean bag
Velvet powder puff
Small leather purse with zip

…just to name a few!!

Micah loves his and it is a great activity for him while I start the older children off with their school work.

What would you put in yours?


4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2009 10:17 am

    Hello Leah! we do seem to have so very much in common! LoL!Here is a post i wrote on treasure boxes a while back.hthLX

  2. April 3, 2009 11:00 am

    Micah’s basket sounds interesting, but mine as a 30 year old (!) would have less of the sensory to touch and more sensory to eat, like chocolate, cookies, cake – a sweet theme! maybe some magazines, a good story and some photos of friends i’ve not seen for a while.

  3. April 5, 2009 5:06 pm

    Lynn – they are such a great idea aren’t they? I love watching Micah play with his…I think of new ideas all the time!Lol Mary, I might make that box up for you…

  4. April 12, 2009 8:22 pm

    yay you made one!!!!I was talking about them today with my sister so….I’m on the hunt for things for my niece this week as she’s nearly sitting up and is into munching everything…and everyone!

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