When I was pregnant with Rose and researching all the fun and exciting things I could do with her, I stumbled across The Imagination Tree website. Written by a teacher and a mum who knows her stuff when it comes to baby development and engaging our little ones through play.
The basic idea behind a treasure basket is that babies learn through heuristic play. A basket full of seemingly every day items can be a great source of learning and development for babies. Filling the basket with a variety of different colours, textures, scents and materials ready for baby to play with and explore. This in turn encourages baby to think about what each item is or does and promotes independent and investigative play.
Rose thoroughly enjoyed having a look through all the items in her basket. She found the Russian dolls particularly mysterious and exciting, trying to work out how it was possible for them to keep appearing! She also really enjoyed pulling the coloured scarves out of the tissue box and playing peek-a-boo behind them. She liked the feel and noise of the shiny crinkly rescue blanket too.
One of her favourite highlights of our afternoon was giving Lewis an attentive audience to the finger puppet show he did for her. It was actually really sweet for me to watch Lewis playing with Rose from behind the camera.
Putting together a treasure basket doesn’t need to be expensive. I bought most of the items in ours from the pound shop. The finger puppets were about £2.50 each from waterstones and the other bits and bobs I got cheaply from ebay.
tissue box filled with juggling scarves
bundle of straws tied with a ribbon
scented bag of rose and lavender
organza bag filled with pasta shapes, buttons and jingle bells
set of russian dolls
sillicone muffin cases
a small stuffed bird
metal tea strainer
small wooden spoon
wooden movable worm
wooden heart decoration
small metal whisk
juggling bean sack
puff wash thingy
silver rescue blanket
some material swatches
flashing bouncy stars
Perhaps predictably Rose had the most fun emptying out the contents of basket and playing inside it!
How about you, have you made a treasure basket for your little ones? What were their favourite items to play with?